Many familiars writers are up for a Minnesota Book Award this year, including Garrison Keillor, Vince Flynn, Patricia Hampl and Lorna Landvik. The list of finalists released Saturday also reflects the broad range of Minnesota writers' experiences and expertise, from Wing Young Huie's photographic study of Asian-Americans to Catherine Watson's dispatches from the ends of the earth to Bruce White's study of Ojibwe/white relations. ¶ Winners will be announced April 12 in ceremonies sponsored by the Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library, the St. Paul Public Library and the St. Paul mayor's office. The finalists in eight categories (judged by 24 librarians, booksellers and others) are:

Children's literature: "Emmy and the Incredible Shrinking Rat," by Lynne Jonell (Holt); "Farmer Cap," by Jill Kalz (Picture Window); "Guess What is Growing Inside This Egg," by Mia Posada (Millbrook Press/Lerner), "The Perfect Nest," by Catherine Friend (Candlewick).

General nonfiction: "The Art of Subtext: Beyond Plot," by Charles Baxter (Graywolf); "Looking for Asian America: An Ethnocentric Tour," by Wing Young Huie (University of Minnesota); "The Replacements: All Over But the Shouting," by Jim Walsh (Voyageur/MBI), "That the World May Know: Bearing Witness to Atrocity," by James Dawes (Harvard University).

Genre fiction: "Code Black," by Philip Donlay (ibooks); "Maiden Rock," by Mary Logue (Bleak House/Big Earth); "Protect and Defend," by Vince Flynn (Atria/Simon & Schuster), "Thunder Bay," by William Kent Krueger (Atria/Simon & Schuster).

Memoir and creative nonfiction: "The Dog Says How," by Kevin Kling (Borealis/Minnesota Historical Society); "The Florist's Daughter," by Patricia Hampl (Harcourt); "Home on the Road: Further Dispatches from the Ends of the Earth," by Catherine Watson (Syren), "The Wet Collection," by Joni Tevis (Milkweed).

Minnesota: "Creating Minnesota: A History from the Inside Out," by Annette Atkins (Minnesota Historical Society); "Land of Amber Waters: The History of Brewing in Minnesota," by Doug Hoverson (University of Minnesota); "Mike Lynch's Minnesota Weatherwatch: A Complete Guide for Winter-Obsessed Minnesotans," by Mike Lynch (Voyageur/MBI), "We Are at Home: Pictures of the Ojibway People," by Bruce White (Minnesota Historical Society).

Novel and short story: "The Last Communist Virgin," by Wang Ping (Coffee House); "Pretty Little Mistakes," by Heather McElhatton (HarperCollins); "Pontoon," by Garrison Keillor (Viking/Penguin), "The View from Mount Joy," by Lorna Landvik (Ballantine/Random House).

Poetry: "Music for Landing Planes By," by Éireann Lorsung (Milkweed); "The Resurrection Trade," by Leslie Adrienne Miller (Graywolf); "This Brightness," by William Reichard (Mid-List), "Willow Room, Green Door," by Deborah Keenan (Milkweed).

Young-adult literature: "Billie Standish Was Here," by Nancy Crocker (Simon & Schuster); "Chasing Tail Lights," by Patrick Jones (Walker); "Defect," by Will Weaver (Farrar, Straus and Giroux), "Falling Boy," by Alison McGhee (Picador/St. Martin's).

Two additional awards will be presented April 12: Jody Williams, book artist and teacher at Minneapolis College of Art and Design, will receive the first annual Book Artist Award. (A reception featuring Williams' work will be held at 5:30 p.m. Feb. 15 at the Minnesota Center for Book Arts, 1011 Washington Av., Minneapolis.). The Kay Sexton Award, which honors a lifetime contribution to letters, will be announced in February.

Sarah T. Williams is the Star Tribune Books editor.