12th Annual Massachusetts Book Awards
Reading, Discussing & Celebrating Books Published in 2011
Alice Bliss tells the story of a remarkable fifteen-year-old girl whose father is deployed to Iraq. His absence from the family structure changes everything: responsibilities, reactions and relationships. This moving account of the effect of our wars on every level of one American family touches the reader on a visceral level. Alice Bliss portrays the heartbreak and uncertainty of those left at home during wartime. Harrington reveals Alice’s powerful story in a crossover book that will hit adults and young adults with equal force.
Killer Stuff and Tons of Money, a work of literary immersion journalism by Maureen P. Stanton, is an intimate insider's view of flea-markets, antiques, and one man's livelihood. Stanton accompanies and assists an old college friend as he buys and sells antiques at Brimfield flea-markets, auctions, estate sales, and on The Antiques Road Show, convincingly conveying his passion for and knowledge of antiques and their lasting value.
The Trouble Ball by Martín Espada treats themes as varied as baseball, the poet’s childhood in Brooklyn, and the nightmares of Pinochet’s Chile, weaving narrative poetry that focuses the mind on the injustices of life, while somehow revealing its small glories. In this magnificent collection, Espada has crafted poems that consider the individual and the universal, the unjust and the just. By tackling his own, personal experiences and mining the history of countless others, he paints unforgettable pictures, narrating what the world has shown to him and, therefore, what the world can reveal to us all.
Children's/Young Adult Award
Chasing the Nightbird by Krista Russell follows a feisty fourteen-year old boy, Lucky Valera, as he grapples with kidnappings, moral dilemma and escapes on the 1851 New Bedford waterfront. This adventure tale grabs us with the familiar lore of whale ships, textile mills and the Underground Railroad; yet, it is the twists and turns of family betrayal, unexpected friendships, and the Cape Verdean immigrant experience which hold our attention long after Lucky finishes his chase.
MassBook Judges for the 12th Annual Awards
Fiction Judges 2012
Leane Ellis, Lucius Beebe Memorial Library, Wakefield
Rebecca Freer, Norwell Public Library
Eric Warren, Springfield Technical Community College
Committee Convener: Janeen Resnick, Library Commissioner, South Hadley
Nonfiction Judges 2012
Mary Bell, Wilbraham Public Library
Nathalie Harty, Langley-Adams Library, Groveland
Cecilia F. Roberts, Bunker Hill Community College
Committee Convener: James R. Kelly, U Mass Amherst Libraries
Poetry Judges 2012
Lauren Lepanto, Boston Public Library , West End Branch
Maria Touet, Pope John XXIII High School, Everett
Claudia P. White, Fairview Veterans Memorial Middle School, Chicopee
Committee Convener: Peter Thornell, Hingham Public Library
Children's/Young Adult Literature 2012
Cindy Erle, Luther Burbank Middle School Library, Lancaster
Kara Schaff Dean, Walpole Public Library
Peter Struzziero, Scituate Town Library
Committee Convener: Katie Baxter, Library Consultant, Scituate