The Commonwealth Affiliate of the Center for the Book

Two Program Announcements:

Letters About Literature guidelines are now available HERE.
The deadlines for this year's program are as follows:
Level 3 (Grades 9-12), December 15, 2014
Levels 1 & 2 (Grades 4 through 8), January 15, 2015

Massachusetts Book Awards. The new guidelines (and a streamlined submission process) are going to help us make the book awards program more responsive to writers, readers, and publishers. READ MORE ABOUT IT HERE.

Center Funding Update: The line item (7000-9508) to fund Massachusetts Center for the Book, funded at 50% of our request, has passed. We thank you for your enthusiastic support of the Center. There is a transition period as we move to this new structure, but we be back in operations by October 1st.

National Book Festival 2014

An overflow crowd attended this year's festival at the Washington Convention Center on Labor Day weekend. The Center for the Book featured Jane Yolen's Letting Swift River Go as our Mass Reads book this year. Here are links to the Massachusetts authors and illustrators at the 14th annual event:

Jules Feiffer (Martha's Vineyard)
Jack Gantos (Boston)
Doris Kearns Goodwin (Concord)
Brian Lies (Duxbury)
Claire Messud (Cambridge)
Bob Staake (Festival Poster Illustrator!)
Letters about Literature event, during which Wellesley student Becky Miller read her award winning letter

Love this Commonwealth of writers & readers!

Massachusetts Book Awards

The award winners in the annual Massachusetts Book Awards were announced during the gala awards dinner at Massachusetts Library Association's annual conference, held this year at the DCU Center in Worcester.

Fiction: News from Heaven, Jennifer Haigh (Harper)
Nonfiction: Margaret Fuller: A New American Life, Megan Marshall (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) 
Poetry: Grass Whistle, Amy Dryansky (Salmon Poetry)
Children's/Young Adult Literature: The First Drawing, Mordicai Gerstein (Little Brown)

You can download information about the award winners and must-reads HERE.

Letters About Literature 2014

Massachusetts Letters About Literature 2014 honorees were celebrated at the State House on May 27th. Congratulations to all and thanks, again, to the 3,000 Massachusetts students who wrote letters this year. We received letters from 109 cities and towns, from schools and libraries and individual students who wanted to talk about the stake they have in books and reading. Read more about LAL HERE.

The Biennial Celebration of Massachusetts Book Awards

Thanks to the authors who attended and, as always, for their great work! Laura Harrington: Alice Bliss, Fiction Award 2012; Matthew Pearl, The Technologists, Fiction Award 2013; William Landay, Defending Jacob, Fiction Honors, 2013; Maryanne O'Hara,Cascade, Fiction Honors 2013; B. A. Shapiro, The Art Forger, Fiction Honors 2013; Maureen Stanton, Killer Stuff & Tons of Money, Nonfiction Award 2012; George Howe Colt, Brothers, Nonfiction Award 2013; Natalie Dykstra, Clover Adams: A Gilded and Heartbreaking Life, Nonfiction Honors 2013; Martin Espada, The Trouble Ball, Poetry Award 2012; Michael Cantor, Life in the Second Circle, Poetry Honors 2013; Sallie (Penny) Chisholm, Ocean Sunlight, Children's/Young Adult Award 2013;
Cynthia Levinson,We've Got a Job: The 1963 Birmingham Children's March, C/YA Honors 2013; Carol A. Peacock, Red Thread Sisters, C/YA Honors 2013; Matt Tavares,There Goes Ted Williams, The Greatest Hitter Who Ever Lived, C/YA Honors 2013.

Massachusetts Book Awards 2013

The Award Winners in the 2013 Massachusetts Book Awards:
Fiction: The Technologists by Matthew Pearl
Nonfiction: Brothers by George Howe Colt
Poetry: Place by Jorie Graham
Children's/YA Lit: Ocean Sunlight by Molly Bang & Penny Chisholm
Read about all of the Must-Read titles in this year's MassBooks HERE.
Preview the Must-Read Poster HERE.

Letters About Literature 2013

Massachusetts Letters About Literature, a program of the Massachusetts Center for the Book and the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress received nearly 3,400 letters letters from students in Grades 4 through 12. We celebrated the award winners on Tuesday, May 14th, in the Gardner Auditorium at the Massachusetts State House. Updates to the website will be completed soon.

Massachusetts Book Awards 2012

Fiction: Alice Bliss by Laura Harrington
Nonfiction: Killer Stuff and Tons of Money by Maureen P. Stanton
Poetry: The Trouble Ball by Martin Espada
Children's/Young Adult Literature: Chasing the Nightbird by Krista Russell

Read More About It!

11th Annual Massachusetts Book Awards Celebration

The annual meeting of the Massachusetts Center for the Book and Mass Book Awards Celebration was held on October 20th at the State House. What a great day for books and reading on the Hill! Read More ...

Letters About Literature 2011

We had a great day at the State House on May 3rd as students, teachers, librarians, parents, relatives, and supporters joined legislators in celebrating the Honors and Top Honors award winners in LAL 2011. Rep. Kate Hogan gave the leglislative welcome, M.T. Anderson was the featured speaker, the Library of Congress was represented, and we were able to announce a National Award for one of our Top Honors writers! Read the letters HERE.

Access the event photos by clicking -- HERE--.


10th Annual Massachusetts Book Awards

The award-winning and "Must Read" Books of 2010 were featured at the Mass Center for the Book table at Boston Book Festival on October 16.

Read more about it and get details on all the "Must Read" books HERE.


National Book Festival 2010

It was a terrific summer day in DC on Saturday, September 25, 2010, when well over 100,000 people gathered for the 10th annual National Book Festival, sponsored by the Library of Congress and co-hosted by President and Mrs Obama.

Massachusetts authors were well represented, with M.T. Anderson, Jules Feiffer, Julia Glass, Allegra Goodman, Norton Juster, Anita Silvey, and E. O. Wilson participating. Read more about it and look for photos and web links soon!

See Photos of the 2009 Festival.


New Works

Massachusetts poets with new books in 2009 read at the 2nd Massachusetts Poetry Festival, Lowell, Massachusetts. Go to the Webcast.


The Literary Map of Massachusetts

We are mapping the sites and sounds of books and reading in our commonwealth. Go to the Online Map.



Quote of Note:

'When you are growing up there are two institutional places that affect you most powerfully: the church, which belongs to God, and the public library, which belongs to you. The public library is a great equaliser. -- Keith Richards

(Yes, THAT Keith Richards. Thanks to Nancy Anthony, Salem State College, for the alert.) Read more.


What We Are Reading, City by City, in the United States

Check out this slide show at The Daily Beast. -- Go to Slide Show --