INDIANAPOLIS - The 2008 Best Books of Indiana were named this afternoon at an awards ceremony at the Indiana State Library. The state book award contest was started in 2005 by the Indiana Center for the Book to strengthen interest in Indiana's strong literary heritage.
The competition consists of four categories, children's/young adult, fiction, nonfiction and poetry. A panel of judges in each category considered all entries and granted awards at their discretion. Entries were judged on the quality of writing, with organization and interpretation also considered. Books by Indiana authors or about Indiana, published between January 1 and December 31 of the previous year were eligible.
The following books and authors received the state's highest book honor:
Best Book of Indiana - Fiction
Breathing Out the Ghost by Kirk Curnutt (Montgomery, Ala.). River City Publishing, Montgomery, Ala.
Best Book of Indiana - Nonfiction
Sailing the Inland Sea by Susan Neville (Indianapolis). Quarry Books, Bloomington, Ind.
Best Book of Indiana - Children's Literature
When I Crossed No-Bob by Margaret McMullan (Evansville). Houghton Mifflin, Boston, Mass.
State Librarian's Award for Excellence in Nontraditional Literature
Day Dreamer to Dream Catcher by Joe Cooper (Indianapolis) as told to Suzanne Bailer Smith (Noblesville). Self-published.
"It is always a privilege to recognize, promote and honor Indiana authors," said Roberta Brooker, Indiana State Librarian. "This year's finalists will join the works of great Hoosier authors like Gene Stratton Porter, Meredith Nicholson, James Whitcomb Riley and Kurt Vonnegut, among many others, in their new permanent home within Indiana Authors room."
In addition, each category's winning title and author will be engraved on a plaque in the Indiana Authors Room. Two copies of all 2008 competition entries have been added to the State Library's collection. One copy of each entry will circulate. Indiana citizens can borrow any Best Books of Indiana title at the State Library or request it via interlibrary loan at their local public library.
A complete listing of this year's finalists and past winners and finalists is available on the Indiana Center for the Book's website.
About the Indiana Center for the Book:
The Indiana Center for the Book is a program of the Indiana State Library and an affiliate of the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress. The Indiana Center for the Book promotes interest in reading, writing, literacy, libraries, and Indiana's literary heritage by sponsoring events and serving as an information resource at the state and local level. The Center supports both the professional endeavors and the popular pursuits of Indiana's residents toward reading and writing. To learn more, visit us online at: http://www.in.gov/library/
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