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Celebrating Great Books: Our Indies Choice and E.B. White 2011 Award Winners!

April 11, 2011

Late last week, the American Booksellers Association announced the 2011 Indies Choice and E.B. White Award Winners and we were thrilled to see many of our favorite books on the list, including the Young Adult Novel of the Year, Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly! These awards are very special to us because the winners are chosen by independent booksellers across the country. According to the ABA, “The winners of the 2011 Indies Choice Book Awards reflect the spirit of independent bookstores nationwide and the IndieBound movement.”

We blogged about many of these books over the past year, and we thought it would be fun to revisit some of those posts here for our newer readers. Two of the titles, Revolution and The Sixty-Eight Rooms, were our “Rep Picks” the season that they were published, which is a special honor we give to the book our group chooses as a special favorite (those picks are usually weeks in the making, since we all are passionate advocates for many titles!)

Young Adult Book of the Year

We loved this book so much that we featured it twice when it was published, first in a post chock-full of rave reviews from our indie booksellers, along with an interview with Jennifer Donnelly on her inspiration and writing process, and a few days later, in a piece we all contributed to, entitled “Top 10 Reasons We Love Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly.” Here is a memorable quote from a bookseller we shared back in October:

How much did I love Jennifer Donnelly’s Revolution? So much that I can’t even describe it. This book is simply brilliant; a page-turner with an amazingly complicated protagonist and a pitch-perfect mix of the contemporary with the historical. Revolution is not to be missed; this tour de force from Jennifer Donnelly is sure to cement her as a star writer in the YA market. 

– Suzanna Hermans, Oblong Books

Young Adult Honor Awards

This book, by the authors of Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist is charming, romantic and funny. Bookseller Heather Hebert wrote a lovely ode to the book and author David Levithan for us last fall (she calls herself a “Levi-fan”) and she shared a reader quote with us at the time that perfectly sums up the book’s appeal:

Imagine this:
Your friend hands you a book.
She says, “You’ll love this. You have to read it right away.”
You do what she tells you to do:
You sit down and read the book, immediately.
You get completely immersed in Dash and Lily’s eccentric, funny lives.
You wish you’d been that cool as a teenager.
You vow to read more modern American poets
and get your own OED.
(But you’re also secretly glad that
you’ve passed that stage
of adolescent angst.)
And then, when the story is done:
What do you do?
You flip the book over and start it again.
Because it makes you too sad to think
that Dash and Lily
and their families
and their friends
might not be a part of your life

-Berit H.

E.B. White Read-Aloud Award – Middle Reader Honor Awards

What Kate had to say about it:

This is nothing short of a remarkable first novel. It’s no surprise that this is an Indies Choice Honor book. Here’s what I had to say about it nearly a year ago:

Sure, good novels make me cry now and then, but this book is worth a box of tissues.  Rising above the typical classroom story filled with quirky individuals and a new idealistic teacher, because of mr. terupt is one of the best books I’ve read in years. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry and through the eyes of some very special 5th graders you’ll see something truly magical. Because of Mr. Terupt is a book to love and share, no matter what age you are–maybe even a great book to recommend for a Town-wide Read.

For more about Because of Mr. Terupt, you can check out the post Sarah wrote on it here.

From Kate:

At Random House we love Penny and we love Laurel Snyder! In this book our heroine finds out that a little bit of magic can go a long way, sometimes a lot farther than you ever dreamed. From riches to rags in the blink of an eye Penny learns what’s really important in your life are the friends and family who were there for you all along. A little bit Lemony Snicket with a shout out to classics old and new like Betsy-Tacy, Ballet Shoes and The Penderwicks, a delightful read for kids 8-12 and the grownups in their lives too.

For more on Penny Dreadful, please revisit Sarah’s post about Laurel Snyder here, which included this wonderful bookseller quote:

“Snyder delights in showing us bright, curious kids making sense of the often-senseless world. Young Penny Grey is living a boring, controlled, and stifling life in the city when she makes a wish that something interesting would happen, ‘just like in a book.’ Her wish comes true when her impractical father quits his job to write a novel, plunging the family into poverty. This is a deeply human story about the importance of community and friendship, and it reminds us that a large and steady income is not essential for a strong and happy family life. Simply wonderful!”

— Rich Rennicks, Malaprop’s Bookstore/Cafe, Asheville, NC

From Kate:

At the Chicago Art Institute there is a most fascinating exhibit – 68 exquisitely crafted miniature rooms. Each Room is set in a different historic period, every detail is perfect. Is there also just a little bit of magic in the rooms too? On a class field trip Jack and Ruthie discover the Thorne Rooms, and they also discover a key which leads them down the path of a historical mystery. A wonderful thrilling read for fans of From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler and Chasing Vermeer. Keep an eye out for the sequel Stealing Magic in 2012.

Most Engaging Author Honor Award

  • Mitali Perkins

We love author Mitali Perkins here at RAOR. She wrote a memorable follow-up post to Lauren’s “Multicultural books in the Marketplace” piece, and the two posts had some of our highest page views ever! Mitali’s books Secret Keeper and Monsoon Summer give teen readers a fascinating glimpse into Indian culture and Mitali’s website offers readers “a safe place to think, chat and read about life between cultures.”

Congratulations to all of our winners!


3 Comments leave one →
  1. April 11, 2011 11:15 am

    I’ve yet to read REVOLUTION, but if it is anything like A NORTHERN LIGHT, it must be amazing.

    Ever since reading about BECAUSE OF MR. TERUPT here on this blog, I’ve wanted this book. I even requested that my library system get a copy, but so far, no luck. As a former teacher, I am a huge softie when it comes to teacher books and have a number of favorites (TO SIR, WITH LOVE; UP THE DOWN STAIRCASE; THE YEAR OF MISS AGNES; TISHA; to name a few).

  2. April 11, 2011 2:53 pm

    I loved “The Sixty-Eight Rooms” by Marianne Malone and being curious about the rooms, I went to the The Art Institute of Chicago website to the Museum Shop and bought the book,
    “Miniature Rooms: The Thorne Rooms at the Art Institute of Chicago”. It has over 160 illustrations and I recommend it for anyone who loved Sixty-Eight Rooms – it makes a great companion book.


  1. An Evening With Our Fall Rep Pick Author Laurel Snyder « Random Acts of Reading

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