Wisconsin Library Association Announces The 2015 Top Books By Wisconsin Authors

Posted by Brigitte Rupp Vacha on Wednesday, June 24, 2015 in Awards

Each year the Wisconsin Library Association (WLA) selects the top books written by Wisconsin authors. “Wisconsin authors make amazing contributions to literature,” said Plumer Lovelace, Executive Director for WLA. “These awards are given to Wisconsin authors and/or illustrators for the highest literary achievement for work completed in 2014. We couldn’t be more proud to honor them.”

This year’s awards go to:

  • Shotgun Lovesongs by Nickolas Butler, who was born in Pennsylvania, but raised in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. Shotgun Lovesongs, published by St. Martin’s Press, is, in many ways, a quiet novel. The reader is allowed to sit with the characters, and be moved by their emotions and their bonds of love and friendship.  While the sense of place is very strong, it still helps readers relate to most rural communities. Butler’s excellent descriptions bring both the setting and the people into focus for readers. This novel lingers in the readers’ mind, with big thematic moments, but not artificial melodrama
  • Bird by Crystal Chan, who grew up in Wisconsin’s cornfields, but now lives in Chicago.  Bird was published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers, and is an extraordinary and haunting debut, offering entrenched secrets, mysterious spirits and an astonishing friendship. Nothing matters. Only Bird matters. And he flew away. Jewel never knew her brother, Bird, but all her life she lived in his shadow. Her parents blame Grandpa for the tragedy of their family’s past; they say that Grandpa attracted a malevolent spirit into their home. Grandpa hasn’t spoken a word since. Now Jewel is twelve and she lives in a house full of secrets and impenetrable silence.

The WLA Literary Awards Committee and Children’s Book Awards Committee also recognized other Wisconsin individuals for literary achievement. They are:

Notable Wisconsin Authors/Illustrators:

  • Ann Bausum
  • Deborah Blum
  • John Hildebrand
  • David Maraniss

Outstanding Achievement:

  • The Goblin Emperor, Katherine Addison
  • Heraclix & Pomp: A Novel of the Fabricated and the Fey, Forrest Aguirre
  • Epilogue: A Memoir, Will Boast
  • How Not To Be Wrong: the Power of Mathematical Thinking, Jordan Ellenberg
  • Vintage, Susan Gloss
  • The Heart of Things: A Midwestern Almanac, John Hildebrand
  • Evergreen, Rebecca Rasmussen
  • The Mathematician’s Shiva, Stuart Rojstaczer
  • Lisette’s List, Susan Vreeland
  • Bread and Butter, Michelle Wildgen

Outstanding Poetry:

  • Yes, B.J. Best
  • The Night We’re Not Sleeping In, Sean Bishop
  • Motherlung, Lisa Marie Brodsky
  • Sleeve Waves, Angela Sorby
  • The Book of Arabella, Timothy Walsh

Outstanding Achievement in Children’s Literature:

  • Stubby the War Dog: The True Story of World War I's Bravest Dog, Ann Bausum
  • The Hula Hoopin’ Queen, Thelma Lynne Godin
  • This is a Moose, Tom Lichtenheld, Illustrator
  • Kate Walden Directs: Night of the Zombie Chickens, Julie Mata
  • Here Comes the Easter Cat, Deborah Underwood

The Elizabeth Burr/Worzalla Award is made possible from a grant from Stevens Point’s Worzalla Publishing Company. The WLA Literary Award is made possible through individual and corporate contributions to the WLA Foundation.

For more information about the WLA awards, please go to the websiteor contact /Users/wlalib/AppData/Local/Temp/kate.hull@fitchburgwi.gov">Kate Hull, Chair, Literary Awards Committee or /Users/wlalib/AppData/Local/Temp/jschomber@beloitlibrary.info">Jeni Schomber, Chair, Children’s Book Awards Committee.

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