Announced on April 16, 2016 at the Minnesota Book Awards Ceremony
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And the winners are...


Jump | Children’s Literature | General Nonfiction | Genre Fiction 
Memoir & Creative Nonfiction Minnesota Novel & Short Story | Poetry
Young People’s Literature | Special Awards | Support Us
* Denotes Minnesota-based publisher

Award for Children's Literature

Sponsored by Books For Africa

Red: A Crayon's Story by Michael Hall
(Greenwillow Books/HarperCollins Publishers)

Red has a bright red label, but he is, in fact, blue. This funny, heartwarming, colorful picture book about finding the courage to be true to your inner self can be read on multiple levels, and it offers something for everyone! Hall is also the author and illustrator of My Heart Is Like a Zoo, winner of the 2011 Minnesota Book Award for Children’s Literature as well as four other critically-acclaimed books for children.

Award for General Nonfiction

Sponsored by The Waterbury Group at
Morgan Stanley

No House to Call My Home: Love, Family and Other Transgressions by Ryan Berg
(Nation Books/Perseus Books Group)

In this lyrical debut, Ryan Berg immerses readers in the gritty, dangerous, and shockingly under-reported world of homeless LGBTQ teens in New York. Ryan Berg is a Lambda Literary Foundation Emerging Writers Fellow and received the New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship in Nonfiction Literature.

Award for Genre Fiction

Sponsored by Macalester College

The Grave Soul by Ellen Hart
(Minotaur Books)

Restaurateur and private investigator Jane Lawless is pulled into a family mystery with long-reaching consequences in Hart’s 23rd book in the series. Hart is a multiple Minnesota Book Award winner and author of thirty crime novels in two different series. For the past sixteen years, she has also taught “An Introduction to Writing the Modern Mystery” through the The Loft Literary Center.

Award for Memoir & Creative Nonfiction

Sponsored by Kevin and Greta Warren

Water and What We Know: Following the Roots of a Northern Life by Karen Sabine
(University of Minnesota Press)*

In essays that travel from the wildness of Lake Superior to the order of an apple orchard, Babine searches out the stories that water has written on human consciousness and traces an ethic of place, a way to understand the essence of inhabiting a place deeply rooted in personal stories. Her essays have been published in numerous literary magazines including North Dakota Quarterly, River Teeth, and Sycamore Review. She is the founder and editor-in-chief of Assay: A Journal of Nonfiction Studies.

Award for Minnesota

Sponsored by Saint Mary's University of Minnesota

Minnesota Modern: Architecture and Life
at Midcentury
by Larry Millett

(University of Minnesota Press)*

Millett lends his expert eye to this guide through the life and architectural styles of Minnesota at midcentury. Richly illustrated, this book is an exploration of the post-World War II architectural style that swept the nation from 1945 through the mid-1960s. Millett is the author of many books, including Minnesota’s Own: Preserving Our Grand Homes and Once There Were Castles: Lost Mansions and Estates of the Twin Cities. 

Award for Novel & Short Story

Sponsored by Education Minnesota

There’s Something I Want You to Do
by Charles Baxter

(Pantheon Books/Random House)

“There’s something I want you to do.” This request—sometimes simple, sometimes not—forms the basis for the ten interrelated stories that comprise this latest penetrating and prophetic collection from an author who has been repeatedly praised as a master of the form. Baxter is the author of fifteen books of fiction, creative nonfiction, and essays. This is his second Minnesota Book Award.

Award for Poetry

Sponsored by Wellington Management, Inc.

Beautiful Wall by Ray Gonzalez
(BOA Editions, Ltd.)

In his newest collection, Gonzalez takes readers on a profound journey through the deserts of the Southwest where the ever-changing natural landscape and an aggressive border culture rewrite intolerance and ethnocentric thought into human history. He is the author of fifteen books of poetry and the recipient of numerous awards, including a 2002 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Southwest Border Regional Library Association. This is his third Minnesota Book Award.

Award for Young People's Literature

Sponsored by The Creative Writing Programs at Hamline University

See No Color by Shannon Gibney
(Carolrhoda Books/Lerner Publishing Group)*

Alex Kirtridge has always been a star baseball player, just like her dad, and she’s always known she was adopted. But when, at 16, Alex discovers hidden letters from her biological father and Reggie, the first black guy to like her, starts hanging around, Alex is confronted with questions about who she really is. Gibney is a writer, teacher and activist in Minneapolis. This is her first book.


Special Awards

Watch the tribute videos below

2016 Hognander Minnesota History Award: "Degrees of Freedom"

Hognander Minnesota History Award

Sponsored by Hognander Family Foundation

Degrees of Freedom: The Origins of Civil Rights in Minnesota, 1865-1912 by William D. Green 
(University of Minnesota Press)*
2016 Book Artist Award: Wendy Fernstrum

Book Artist Award

Sponsored by Lerner Publishing, co-presented with Minnesota Center for Book Arts

Wendy Fernstrum
One is the Holiest Number (#2)
2016 Kay Sexton Award: Jim Sitter

Kay Sexton Award


Thank you to our generous sponsors

REGIONAL SPONSORS: Metropolitan State University, Sage Publications; EDUCATOR'S CIRCLE: Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing at Augsburg College, Minnesota Humanities Center; PUBLISHER'S CIRCLE: Coffee House Press, Graywolf Press, HarperCollins Publishers, Milkweed Editions, Nodin Press, ReferenceUSA, University of Minnesota Press; BOOKSELLER: Red Balloon Bookshop; OUTREACH PARTNERS: Council of Regional Public Library System Administrators, The Loft Literary Center, Metropolitan Library Service Agency, Minnesota Center for Book Arts, Saint Paul Almanac, SPNN, TPT;
IN-KIND SPONSORS: Dolan Printing, InterContinental St. Paul-Riverfront, MGM Wine & Spirits of East Saint Paul and Woodbury; FOUNDATION SUPPORTERS: The Huss Foundation, The Katherine B. Andersen Fund of The Saint Paul Foundation, The McKnight Foundation, The Pohlad Family Foundation.

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