NAACP Image Awards Winners and Nominees

NAACP Image Award LogoIn 2019, the NAACP celebrtates the 50th anniversary of Image Awards. Awards are given in the following literature categories; Biography/Autobiography, Children, Debut Author, Fiction, Instructional, Nonfiction, Poetry, and Youth/Teens

Print a list of all the award winning and nominated books (a list of all the prior years is being compiled). Learn more at the NAACP Image Awards website.


39 Image Award Winning and Nominated Books for 2015

Winner - Biography/Autobiography

Breaking Ground: My Life in Medicine
by David Chanoff and Louis Sullivan

Publication Date:
List Price: $29.95
Format: Hardcover
Classification: Nonfiction
Page Count: 288
ISBN13: 9780820346632
Imprint: University of Georgia Press
Publisher: University of Georgia Press
Parent Company: University of Georgia

Read a Description of Breaking Ground: My Life in Medicine


Book Description: While Louis W. Sullivan was a student at Morehouse College, Morehouse president Benjamin Mays said something to the student body that stuck with him for the rest of his life. The tragedy of life is not failing to reach our goals, Mays said. It is not having goals to reach. In Breaking Ground, Sullivan recounts his extraordinary life beginning with his childhood in Jim Crow south Georgia and continuing through his trailblazing endeavors training to become a physician in an almost entirely white environment in the Northeast, founding and then leading the Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta, and serving as secretary of Health and Human Services in President George H. W. Bush’s administration. Throughout this extraordinary life Sullivan has passionately championed both improved health care and increased access to medical professions for the poor and people of color. At five years old, Louis Sullivan declared to his mother that he wanted to be a doctor. Given the harsh segregation in Blakely, Georgia, and its lack of adequate schools for African Americans at the time, his parents sent Louis and his brother, Walter, to Savannah and later Atlanta, where greater educational opportunities existed for blacks. After attending Booker T. Washington High School and Morehouse College, Sullivan went to medical school at Boston University he was the sole African American student in his class. He eventually became the chief of hematology there until Hugh Gloster, the president of Morehouse College, presented him with an opportunity he couldn’t refuse: Would Sullivan be the founding dean of Morehouse’s new medical school? He agreed and went on to create a state-of-the-art institution dedicated to helping poor and minority students become doctors. During this period he established long-lasting relationships with George H. W. and Barbara Bush that would eventually result in his becoming the secretary of Health and Human Services in 1989. Sullivan details his experiences in Washington dealing with the burgeoning AIDS crisis, PETA activists, and antismoking efforts, along with his efforts to push through comprehensive health care reform decades before the Affordable Care Act. Along the way his interactions with a cast of politicos, including Thurgood Marshall, Jack Kemp, Clarence Thomas, Jesse Helms, and the Bushes, capture vividly a particular moment in recent history. Sullivan’s life from Morehouse to the White House and his ongoing work with medical students in South Africa is the embodiment of the hopes and progress that the civil rights movement fought to achieve. His story should inspire future generations of all backgrounds to aspire to great things.

Winner - Biography/Autobiography

Book Description: 

In this instant New York Times bestseller, Misty Copeland makes history as the only African American soloist dancing with the prestigious American Ballet Theatre. But when she first placed her hands on the barre at an after-school community center, no one expected the undersized, anxious thirteen-year-old to become a groundbreaking ballerina.

When she discovered ballet, Misty was living in a shabby motel room, struggling with her five siblings for a place to sleep on the floor. A true prodigy, she was dancing en pointe within three months of taking her first dance class and performing professionally in just over a year: a feat unheard of for any classical dancer. But when Misty became caught between the control and comfort she found in the world of ballet and the harsh realities of her own life (culminating in a highly publicized custody battle), she had to choose to embrace both her identity and her dreams, and find the courage to be one of a kind.

Life in Motion is an insider s look at the cutthroat world of professional ballet, as well as a moving story of passion and grace for anyone who has dared to dream of a different life.





Nominee - Biography/Autobiography

Handbook For An Unpredictable Life: How I Survived Sister Renata And My Crazy Mother, And Still Came Out Smiling (With Great Hair)
by Rosie Perez

Publication Date:
List Price: $26.00
Format: Hardcover
Classification: Nonfiction
Page Count: 336
ISBN13: 9780307952394
Imprint: Knopf
Publisher: Penguin Random House
Parent Company: Bertelsmann and Pearson PLC

Read Our Review of Handbook For An Unpredictable Life: How I Survived Sister Renata And My Crazy Mother, And Still Came Out Smiling (With Great Hair)


Read a Description of Handbook For An Unpredictable Life: How I Survived Sister Renata And My Crazy Mother, And Still Came Out Smiling (With Great Hair)


Book Description: 
Oscar-nominated actress Rosie Perez’s never-before-told story of surviving a harrowing childhood and of how she found success—both in and out of the Hollywood limelight.

Rosie Perez first caught our attention with her fierce dance in the title sequence of Do the Right Thing and has since defined herself as a funny and talented actress who broke boundaries for Latinas in the film industry. What most people would be surprised to learn is that the woman with the big, effervescent personality has a secret straight out of a Dickens novel. At the age of three, Rosie’s life was turned upside down when her mentally ill mother tore her away from the only family she knew and placed her in a Catholic children’s home in New York’s Westchester County. Thus began her crazily discombobulated childhood of being shuttled between “the Home,” where she and other kids suffered all manners of cruelty from nuns, and various relatives’ apartments in Brooklyn.

Many in her circumstances would have been defined by these harrowing experiences, but with the intense determination that became her trademark, Rosie overcame the odds and made an incredible life for herself. She brings her journey vividly to life on each page of this memoir—from the vibrant streets of Brooklyn to her turbulent years in the Catholic home, and finally to film and TV sets and the LA and New York City hip-hop scenes of the 1980s and 90s.

More than a page-turning read, Handbook for an Unpredictable Life is a story of survival. By turns heartbreaking and funny, it is ultimately the inspirational story of a woman who has found a hard-won place of strength and peace.

Nominee - Biography/Autobiography

Stand Up Straight and Sing!
by Jessye Norman

Publication Date:
List Price: $27.00
Format: Hardcover
Classification: Nonfiction
Page Count: 336
ISBN13: 9780544003408
Imprint: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Parent Company: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Read a Description of Stand Up Straight and Sing!


Book Description: One of America’s most admired and decorated artists tells her amazing story, from her childhood in the South to the world’s greatest stages. Jessye Norman is not only one of the world’s most admired and beloved singers, she is an American icon whose life story is as moving and dramatic as the great operatic roles she has performed on stage. Born and raised in Augusta, Georgia, nurtured in a close family and tight-knit community centered around the church, she studied the piano and sang the songs of her childhood, not dreaming that this passion for music might lead to her life’s profession. In Stand Up Straight and Sing!, Jessye Norman recalls in rich detail the strong women who were her role models, from her ancestors to family friends, relatives, and teachers. She hails the importance of her parents in her early learning and experiences in the arts. And she describes coming face-to-face with racism, not just as a child living in the segregated South, but also as an adult out and about in the world. She speaks of the many who have inspired her and taught her essential life lessons. A special interlude on her key relationship with the pioneering African American singer Marian Anderson reveals the lifelong support that this great predecessor provided through her example of dignity and grace at all times. The story of one woman’s astonishing life, Stand Up Straight And Sing! is not just for lovers of music, but for everyone.

Nominee - Biography/Autobiography

Mayor For Life: The Incredible Story of Marion Barry Jr.
by Marion Barry Jr. and Omar Tyree

Publication Date:
Format: Hardcover
Classification: Nonfiction
Page Count: 336
ISBN13: 9781593095055
Imprint: Strebor Books
Publisher: Simon & Schuster, Inc.
Parent Company: CBS Corporation

Read a Description of Mayor For Life: The Incredible Story of Marion Barry Jr.


Book Description: 

Four-time mayor of Washington, DC, Marion Barry, Jr. tells his shocking and courageous life story, beginning in the cotton fields in Mississippi to the executive offices of one of the most powerful cities in the world.

Known nationally as the disgraced mayor caught on camera smoking crack cocaine in a downtown hotel room with a mistress, Marion Barry Jr. has led a controversial career. This provocative, captivating narrative follows the Civil Rights activist, going back to his Mississippi roots, his Memphis upbringing, and his academic school days, up through his college years and move to Washington, DC, where he became actively involved in Civil Rights, community activism, and bold politics.

In Mayor for Life, Marion Barry, Jr. tells all—including the story of his campaigns for mayor of Washington, his ultimate rise to power, his personal struggles and downfalls, and the night of embarrassment, followed by his term in federal prison and ultimately a victorious fourth term as mayor. From the man who, despite the setbacks, boldly served the community of Washington, DC, this is his full story of courage, empowerment, hope, tragedy, triumph, and inspiration





Winner - Children

Dork Diaries 8: Tales from a Not-So-Happily Ever After
by Rachel Ren´s Russell

Publication Date:
List Price: $13.99
Format: Hardcover
Classification: Children’s
Page Count: 304
ISBN13: 9781481421843
Imprint: Aladdin
Publisher: Simon & Schuster, Inc.
Parent Company: CBS Corporation

Read a Description of Dork Diaries 8: Tales from a Not-So-Happily Ever After


Book Description: Nikki Maxwell’s favorite fairy tales get dork-tastic twists in the eighth book of the #1 New York Times bestselling Dork Diaries series! After a bump on the head in gym class on April Fool’s Day, Nikki has a wild dream in which she, her BFFs Chloe and Zoey, her crush Brandon, and mean girl Mackenzie all end up playing the roles of some familiar classic fairy tale characters. Of course, the stories don’t go quite as expected because they each have a very special Dork Diaries spin! The Dork Diaries series has more than 13 million copies in print worldwide!

Nominee - Children

Searching For Sarah Rector: The Richest Black Girl In America
by Tonya Bolden

Publication Date:
List Price: $21.95
Format: Hardcover
Classification: Nonfiction
Page Count: 80
ISBN13: 9781419708466
Imprint: Abrams Books
Publisher: Abrams
Parent Company: La Martinière Groupe

Read a Description of Searching For Sarah Rector: The Richest Black Girl In America


Book Description: 
Sarah Rector was once famously hailed as ?the richest black girl in America.” Set against the backdrop of American history, her tale encompasses the creation of Indian Territory, the making of Oklahoma, and the establishment of black towns and oil-rich boomtowns.
Rector acquired her fortune at the age of eleven. This is both her story and that of children just like her: one filled with ups and downs amid bizarre goings-on and crimes perpetrated by greedy and corrupt adults. From a trove of primary documents, including court and census records and interviews with family members, author Tonya Bolden painstakingly pieces together the events of Sarah’s life and the lives of those around her.
The book includes a glossary, a bibliography, and an index.

Praise for Searching for Sarah Rector
STARRED REVIEWS
"This handsome volume with its many photographs is carefully sourced and has a helpful glossary, illustration credits and index. Bolden admirably tells a complex story while modeling outstanding research strategy, as her insightful author’s note attests."
—Kirkus Reviews, starred review

"This book will be extremely useful to teachers and librarians seeking material to align with Common Core State Standards dealing with the craft of writing of informational text."
—School Library Journal, starred review

"Bolden’s remarks on tracking down Sarah’s story will appeal to those who enjoy untangling historical mysteries."
—The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

Nominee - Children

Beautiful Moon
by Tonya Bolden, Illustrated by Eric Velasquez

Publication Date:
List Price: $16.95
Format: Hardcover
Classification: Children’s
Page Count: 32
ISBN13: 9781419707926
Imprint: Abrams Books
Publisher: Abrams
Parent Company: La Martinière Groupe

Read a Description of Beautiful Moon


Book Description: 
A young boy wakes. He has forgotten to say his prayers. Outside his window, a beautiful harvest moon illuminates the city around him and its many inhabitants. As the moon slowly makes its way across the heavens, the boy offers a simple prayer for the homeless, the hungry, and others.Critically acclaimed author Tonya Bolden teams up with award?winning illustrator Eric Velasquez to create a richly painted and emotionally complex book that celebrates prayer and kindness while recognizing the diversity of the world around us.

Nominee - Children

Little Melba And Her Big Trombone
by Katheryn Russell-Brown, Illustrated by Frank Morrison

Publication Date:
List Price: $18.95
Format: Hardcover
Classification: Children’s
Age: 6 - 10
Page Count: 40
ISBN13: 9781600608988
Imprint: Lee & Low Books
Publisher: Lee & Low Books
Parent Company: Lee & Low Books

Read a Description of Little Melba And Her Big Trombone


Book Description: 

A biography of African American jazz virtuoso Melba Doretta Liston, a pioneering twentieth-century trombone player, composer, and music arranger at a time when few women, of any race, played brass instruments and were part of the jazz scene.



Nominee - Children

Malcolm Little: The Boy Who Grew Up To Become Malcolm X
by Ilyasah Al-Shabazz

Publication Date:
List Price: $17.99
Format: Hardcover
Classification: Children’s
Page Count: 48
ISBN13: 9781442412163
Imprint: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Publisher: Simon & Schuster, Inc.
Parent Company: CBS Corporation

Read a Description of Malcolm Little: The Boy Who Grew Up To Become Malcolm X


Book Description: 
Malcolm X grew to be one of America’s most influential figures. But first, he was a boy named Malcolm Little. Written by his daughter, this inspiring picture book biography celebrates a vision of freedom and justice.

Bolstered by the love and wisdom of his large, warm family, young Malcolm Little was a natural born leader. But when confronted with intolerance and a series of tragedies, Malcolm’s optimism and faith were threatened. He had to learn how to be strong and how to hold on to his individuality. He had to learn self-reliance.

Together with acclaimed illustrator AG Ford, Ilyasah Shabazz gives us a unique glimpse into the childhood of her father, Malcolm X, with a lyrical story that carries a message that resonates still today—that we must all strive to live to our highest potential.

Winner - Debut Author

Book Description: 

What if overcoming the legacy of American slavery meant bringing back that very institution? A young black attorney is thrown headlong into controversial issues of race and power in this page-turning and provocative new novel.

Martin Grey, a smart, talented black lawyer working out of a storefront in Queens, becomes friendly with a group of some of the most powerful, wealthy, and esteemed black men in America. He’s dazzled by what they’ve accomplished, and they seem to think he has the potential to be as successful as they are. They invite him for a weekend away from it all—no wives, no cell phones, no talk of business. But far from home and cut off from everyone he loves, he discovers a disturbing secret that challenges some of his deepest convictions…

Martin finds out that his glittering new friends are part of a secret society dedicated to the preservation of the institution of slavery—but this time around, the black men are called “Master.” Joining them seems to guarantee a future without limits; rebuking them almost certainly guarantees his death. Trapped inside a picture-perfect, make-believe world that is home to a frightening reality, Martin must find a way out that will allow him to stay alive without becoming the very thing he hates.

A novel of rage and compassion, good and evil, trust and betrayal, Forty Acres is the thought-provoking story of one man’s desperate attempt to escape the clutches of a terrifying new moral order.





Nominee - Debut Author

Remedy for a Broken Angel
by Toni Ann Johnson

Publication Date:
List Price: $17.95
Format: Paperback
Classification: Fiction
Page Count: 280
ISBN13: 9781940503028
Imprint: Nortia Press
Publisher: Nortia Media Ltd
Parent Company: Nortia Media Ltd

Read a Description of Remedy for a Broken Angel


Book Description: Nominated, 2015 NAACP Image Award, Outstanding Literary Work -- Debut Author Winner, 2015 Beverly Hills Book Award --Multicultural Fiction Award Winner, 2015 International Latino Book Award -- Most Inspirational Fiction Book Finalist, Forward Reviews 2014 IndieFab Book of the Year Award -- Multicultural Fiction 'Remedy for a Broken Angel is an extraordinary novel about digging out from years of suppression to find forgiveness and to forgive. Johnson deftly exposes the many faces of patterns of abuse and how the 'unseen hand' perpetuates and feeds the demons within. Author, Toni Ann Johnson writes with authority about the world in which the characters in her novel, Remedy for a Broken Angel, live as they endure an endless struggle for the truth. As you read this work, you might just hear the strains of jazz composer Charles Mingu’ music seeping throughout Johnson’s novel in its refrains and riffs of the complications of relationships.'--Chanticleer Book Reviews Serena is a Bermudan jazz singer whose demons lead her to abandon her daughter Artie. Artie’s anger eventually drives her to Serena’s younger lover, Jamie L’Heureux, a jazz superstar. The spirit of Charles Mingus thrums throughout the story as these two women tangle in a syncopated mother-daughter relationship.

Nominee - Debut Author

The 16th Minute of Fame: An Insider’s Guide for Maintaining Success Beyond 15 Minutes of Fame
by Darrell Miller

Publication Date:
List Price: $14.99
Format: Paperback
Classification: Nonfiction
Page Count: 176
ISBN13: 9781939447753
Imprint: Dunham Books
Publisher: Dunham Group Inc
Parent Company: Dunham Group Inc

Read a Description of The 16th Minute of Fame: An Insider’s Guide for Maintaining Success Beyond 15 Minutes of Fame


Book Description: In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes. Andy Warhol coined that prophetic line in 1968. Ironically, in today’s modern society, Warhol’s statement is arguably more famous than its author. Forty-plus years after he made his seemingly outrageous pronouncement, most people would probably agree that his prediction appears to have in fact, come true. It has become possible, in large part, due to the vast audiences of hundreds of channels of scripted television and unscripted reality TV shows, the new media digital revolution dominated by YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, countless blogs and seemingly infinite legions of websites. Author Darrell Miller characterizes fame as that defining point in your life or career-whether you are a celebrity or not-that has the potential and capacity to actually take you to a higher level of success and to reach your personal or business goals. Throughout his career as an entertainment attorney, the author has observed many celebrity artists, athletes and other high profile people who have achieved or exceeded their financial and personal dreams. As an entertainment attorney in Los Angeles, he has worked with or studied many non-celebrities who became instantly famous as a result of being on reality TV, winning a lottery or getting a big promotion at their job. Miller’s primary goal is to make people stop and give real consideration to some of these issues in an effort to motivate them to understand that once they have reached a certain level of fame and fortune, it is extremely important to spend quality time, energy and research on developing basic plans and strategies in order to sustain their success. As Mr. Miller writes, there are serious perils to blindly embracing and enjoying the fleeting fun of celebrity fame and fast money. The tabloids, newspapers, blogs and social media are littered with the ruins of shooting stars-celebrities, politicians, sports figures and executives-all have come and gone in the blink of the public’s eye. The concept driving The 16th Minute of Fame is that it is vital to avoid embracing the superficial, popularized concept of fame. The core theme explored in this book will largely center on how a person can achieve and sustain fame in the entertainment industry. However, the issues of fame, fortune and success are universal, and they inevitably affect most professions. Miller uses the entertainment industry as the backdrop for much of the discussions in this book because that is the industry that he knows best. However, the information presented will also be directly applicable to most non-entertainment related athletes, professionals, business owners and entrepreneurs who are pursuing goals to advance their personal life and/or business.

Nominee - Debut Author

Time of the Locust: A Novel
by Morowa Yejide

Publication Date:
List Price: $25.00
Format: Hardcover
Classification: Fiction
Page Count: 256
ISBN13: 9781476731353
Imprint: Atria Books
Publisher: Simon & Schuster, Inc.
Parent Company: CBS Corporation

Read a Description of Time of the Locust: A Novel


Book Description: Travel into the heart and mind of an extraordinary autistic boy in this deeply imaginative debut novel of a mother’s devotion, a father’s punishment, and the power of love. Sephiri is an autistic boy who lives in a world of his own making, where he dwells among imagined sea creatures that help him process information in the real world in which he is forced to live. But lately he has been having dreams of a mysterious place, and he starts creating fantastical sketches of this strange, inner world. Brenda, Sephiri’s mother, struggles with raising her challenged child alone. Her only wish is to connect with him a smile on his face would be a triumph. Meanwhile, Sephiri’s father, Horus, is sentenced to life in prison, making life even lonelier for Brenda and Sephiri. Yet prison is still not enough to separate father and son. In the seventh year of his imprisonment and the height of his isolation, Horus develops supernatural mental abilities that allow him to reach his son. Memory and yearning carry him outside his body, and through the realities of their ordeals and dreamscape, Horus and Sephiri find each other and find hope in ways never imagined. Deftly portrayed by the remarkable and talented up-and-comer Morowa Yejid , Time of the Locust is a brilliant narrative about the psychological realms of solitude, youth, and wonder. At its heart, this is a harrowing, surreal, and redemptive journey to the union of a family.



Nominee - Debut Author

Queen Sugar
by Natalie Baszile

Publication Date:
Format: Hardcover
Classification: Fiction
Page Count: 384
ISBN13: 9780670026135
Imprint: Knopf
Publisher: Penguin Random House
Parent Company: Bertelsmann and Pearson PLC

Read a Description of Queen Sugar


Book Description: 

A mother-daughter story of reinvention—about an African American woman who unexpectedly inherits a sugarcane farm in Louisiana

Why exactly Charley Bordelon’s late father left her eight hundred sprawling acres of sugarcane land in rural Louisiana is as mysterious as it was generous. Recognizing this as a chance to start over, Charley and her eleven-year-old daughter, Micah, say good-bye to Los Angeles.

They arrive just in time for growing season but no amount of planning can prepare Charley for a Louisiana that’s mired in the past: as her judgmental but big-hearted grandmother tells her, cane farming is always going to be a white man’s business. As the sweltering summer unfolds, Charley must balance the overwhelming challenges of her farm with the demands of a homesick daughter, a bitter and troubled brother, and the startling desires of her own heart.

Penguin has a rich tradition of publishing strong Southern debut fiction—from Sue Monk Kidd to Kathryn Stockett to Beth Hoffman. In Queen Sugar, we now have a debut from the African American point of view. Stirring in its storytelling of one woman against the odds and intimate in its exploration of the complexities of contemporary southern life, Queen Sugar is an unforgettable tale of endurance and hope.





Winner - Fiction

A Wanted Woman
by Eric Jerome Dickey

Publication Date:
Format: Hardcover
Classification: Fiction
Page Count: 384
ISBN13: 9780525954279
Imprint: Knopf
Publisher: Penguin Random House
Parent Company: Bertelsmann and Pearson PLC

Read a Description of A Wanted Woman


Book Description: 

The twenty-first novel from New York Times bestselling author Eric Jerome Dickey, a steamy thriller set in tropical Barbados

She is a woman of a thousand faces, an assassin who could be anyone, anywhere.

The Trinidad contract was supposed to be simple: to make a living man become a dead man. When the job goes bad under the watchful eye of a bank security camera, there is nowhere for agent MX-401, known as Reaper, to hide from the fearsome local warlords, the Laventille Killers.

Her employers, the Barbarians, send her to Barbados, the next island over, barely two hundred miles away, with the LK’s in hot pursuit of the woman who took many of their own. With the scant protection of a dank safe house, no passport, and no access to funds, an island paradise becomes her prison.

While she trawls for low-profile assignments to keep her skills sharp and a few dollars in her pocket, Reaper discovers that family ties run deep, on both sides of the fight. Will the woman everyone wants, who has lived countless lives in the service of others, finally discover who she really is?

In A Wanted Woman, New York Times bestselling author Eric Jerome Dickey delivers an adrenaline-pumping rush of a read.





Nominee - Fiction

An Untamed State
by Roxane Gay

Publication Date:
Format: Paperback
Classification: Fiction
Page Count: 368
ISBN13: 9780802122513
Imprint: Grove Press
Publisher: Grove Atlantic, Inc.
Parent Company: Grove Atlantic, Inc.

Read a Description of An Untamed State


Book Description: 

Roxane Gay is a powerful new literary voice whose short stories and essays have already earned her an enthusiastic audience. In An Untamed State, she delivers an assured debut about a woman kidnapped for ransom, her captivity as her father refuses to pay and her husband fights for her release over thirteen days, and her struggle to come to terms with the ordeal in its aftermath.

Mireille Duval Jameson is living a fairy tale. The strong-willed youngest daughter of one of Haiti’s richest sons, she has an adoring husband, a precocious infant son, by all appearances a perfect life. The fairy tale ends one day when Mireille is kidnapped in broad daylight by a gang of heavily armed men, in front of her father’s Port au Prince estate. Held captive by a man who calls himself The Commander, Mireille waits for her father to pay her ransom. As it becomes clear her father intends to resist the kidnappers, Mireille must endure the torments of a man who resents everything she represents.

An Untamed State is a novel of privilege in the face of crushing poverty, and of the lawless anger that corrupt governments produce. It is the story of a willful woman attempting to find her way back to the person she once was, and of how redemption is found in the most unexpected of places. An Untamed State establishes Roxane Gay as a writer of prodigious, arresting talent.





Nominee - Fiction

Momma: Gone
by Nina Foxx

Publication Date:
Format: Paperback
Classification: Fiction
Page Count: 330
ISBN13: 9781625174499
Imprint: Brown Girls Books
Publisher: Brown Girls Books
Parent Company: Brown Girls Books

Read Our Review of Momma: Gone


Read a Description of Momma: Gone


Book Description: 

"Momma set me on the jukebox." So begins the personal story of Denise (Sweetie) Wooten, set between a post-civil rights era New York City and a growing, but stale rural Alabama. We are thrust in the midst of a family longing for normalcy, but instead struggling with illness and all that comes with it; denial, anger and misunderstanding and love. As cultures clash, we see the family through a child s eyes and walk with her as she makes sense of war fought far away, but with effects close to home, and a tragedy that changes her life forever. More truth than not, Momma: Gone is a story of survival, where all the lessons are taught by the child who must eventually lead them through and a classic American story of overcoming life s misfortunes to find the bloom on the other side. -Shortlisted for a Doctorow Award in Innovative Fiction



Nominee - Fiction

Another Womans Man (A Gibbons Gold Digger Novel)
by Shelly Ellis

Publication Date:
List Price: $31.99
Format: Hardcover
Classification: Fiction
Page Count: 401
ISBN13: 9781410470713
Imprint: Thorndike Press
Publisher: Thorndike Press
Parent Company: Thorndike Press

Read a Description of Another Womans Man (A Gibbons Gold Digger Novel)


Book Description: Dawn Gibbons is shocked when her long-lost father reappears in her life. His dying wish is to reconnect with her. But for Dawn, it?s complicated ? her wealthy father comes complete with jealous relatives and handsome young lawyer Xavier Hughes, who Dawn finds dangerously sexy. Dangerous because he?s engaged ? to her newfound half-sister. And one thing a Gibbons woman does not do is steal her sister?s man.

Nominee - Fiction

The Prodigal Son (Reverend Curtis Black #11)
by Kimberla Lawson Roby

Publication Date:
Format: Hardcover
Classification: Fiction
Page Count: 336
ISBN13: 9781455526130
Imprint: Grand Central Publishing
Publisher: Hachette Book Group
Parent Company: Hachette Livre

Read a Description of The Prodigal Son (Reverend Curtis Black #11)


Book Description: 

Kimberla Lawson Roby’s Thoughts on Concluding Her Reverend Curtis Black Series, July 2018 After 15 Books


The new book in the bestselling Reverend Curtis Black series! The Reverend Curtis Black hasn't spoken to his son, Matthew, in over a year-not since Matthew dropped out of Harvard to marry his girlfriend, Racquel, and be a full-time father to their infant son. Curtis knows that it was he and his wife, Charlotte, who drove Matthew away, but he prays that one day his son will forgive them and come home. Matthew, however, can't seem to forget the pain his parents caused him and Racquel. Still, he wonders if maybe they'd been right, as fatherhood is not what he expected, and Racquel's behavior has become increasingly erratic. Matthew genuinely wants to be a good husband, though, and swears he'll never repeat his parents' mistakes. But when an old friend expresses her desire for Matthew, the temptation may be too great to resist... Then, there's Dillon Whitfield-Curtis's long-lost-son-who has settled in as a member of the Black family. Yet the transition has been anything but easy. Charlotte, convinced he's only after Curtis's money, wishes he would move back to where he came from. Dillon, however, has no intention of going anywhere. After a lifetime in the shadows, he's determined to take his rightful place as Curtis's first-born son and heir, and he'll do whatever it takes to win his father's affection-even if it means playing dirty... As jealousy builds and secrets pile up, both of Curtis's sons will be pushed over the edge and forced to take drastic action. Can these two troubled young men find their way back into the Black family fold, or will their family ties be undone once and for all?



Winner - Instructional

Promises Kept: Raising Black Boys to Succeed in School and in Life
by Joe Brewster, Michele Stephenson, and Hilary Beard

Publication Date:
List Price: $18.00
Format: Paperback
Classification: Nonfiction
Page Count: 384
ISBN13: 9780812984897
Imprint: Spiegel & Grau
Publisher: Penguin Random House
Parent Company: Bertelsmann and Pearson PLC

Read a Description of Promises Kept: Raising Black Boys to Succeed in School and in Life


Book Description: As seen on PBS’s POV An unprecedented guide to helping black boys achieve success at every stage of their lives at home, at school, and in the world

Regardless of how wealthy or poor their parents are, all black boys must confront and surmount the achievement gap : a divide that shows up not only in our sons test scores, but in their social and emotional development, their physical well-being, and their outlook on life. As children, they score as high on cognitive tests as their peers, but at some point, the gap emerges. Why?

This is the question Joe Brewster, M.D., and Michae Stephenson asked when their own son, Idris, began struggling in a new school. As they filmed his experiences for their award-winning documentary American Promise, they met an array of researchers who had not only identified the reasons for the gap, but had come up with practical, innovative solutions to close it. In Promises Kept, they explain

– how to influence your son’s brain before he’s even born – how to tell the difference between authoritarian and authoritative discipline and why it matters – how to create an educational program for your son that matches his needs – how to prepare him for explicit and implicit racism in school and in the wider world – how to help your child develop resilience, self-discipline, emotional intelligence, and a positive outlook that will last a lifetime

Filled with innovative research, practical strategies, and the voices of parents and children who are grappling with these issues firsthand, Promises Kept will challenge your assumptions and inspire you to make sure your child isn’t lost in the gap. Praise for Promises Kept

The authors offer a plethora of information and advice geared toward the specific developmental needs of black boys. . . . Thorough and detailed, this guidebook is also a call to action. As Brewster sees it, when people of color remain complacent, they not only break a tacit promise to future generations to achieve social equity, they also imperil the futures of both the nation and the planet. A practical and impassioned parenting guide. Kirkus Reviews

A penetrating look at the standard practices, at school and at home, that contribute to the achievement gap between the races and the sexes that seems to put black boys at a disadvantage. [Brewster and Stephenson] debunk myths and offer ten parenting and education strategies to improve the prospects for black boys to help them overcome racial stereotypes and low expectations. . . . This is a practical and insightful look at the particular challenges of raising black males. Booklist

Nominee - Instructional

Justice While Black: Helping African-American Families Navigate and Survive the Criminal Justice System
by Robbin Shipp and Nick Chiles

Publication Date:
Format: Paperback
Classification: Nonfiction
Page Count: 160
ISBN13: 9781932841909
Imprint: Agate Bolden
Publisher: Agate Publishing, Inc
Parent Company: Agate Publishing, Inc

Read Our Review of Justice While Black: Helping African-American Families Navigate and Survive the Criminal Justice System


Read a Description of Justice While Black: Helping African-American Families Navigate and Survive the Criminal Justice System


Book Description: 

Justice While Black is a must-read for every young black male in America—and for everyone else who cares about their survival and well-being. This is a first-of-its-kind essential guide for African-American families about how to understand the criminal justice system, and about why that system continues to see black men as targets—and as dollar signs.

The book provides practical, straightforward advice on how to deal with specific legal situations: the threat of arrest, being arrested, being in custody, preparing for and undergoing a trial, and navigating the appeals and parole process. The primary goal of this book is to become a primer for African Americans on how to avoid becoming ensnared in the criminal justice system.

While the precarious safely of black males has received renewed interest in the past year because of the deaths of teenagers Trayvon Martin and Jordan Davis, the fact is that this group has always been under threat from the armed guardians of the white social order. The tactics have been modernized, but the impact is still devastating—we are witnessing an epic criminalization of the African-American community at levels never before seen since the end of slavery.



Nominee - Instructional

101 Scholarship Applications - 2015 What It Takes To Obtain A Debt-Free College Education
by Gwen Richardson

Publication Date:
List Price: $12.00
Format: Paperback
Classification: Nonfiction
Page Count: 164
ISBN13: 9780692360286
Imprint: Cushcity Communications
Publisher: Cushcity Communications
Parent Company: Cushcity Communications

Read a Description of 101 Scholarship Applications - 2015 What It Takes To Obtain A Debt-Free College Education


Book Description: 
We have all read headlines featuring a fortunate college-bound student who has received $100,000 or more in scholarship awards. Assuming that the scholarships were renewable annually, this amount could easily pay for four years of college at any American college or university. However, these success stories are the exception, not the rule. They are aberrations among the pool of millions of aspiring college students who submit scholarship applications to the hundreds of companies, foundations and non-profit groups that offer them. The reality is a much different, and sobering, picture. According to the 2014 edition of Peterson’s Scholarships, Grants and Prizes, nearly every student who earns a four-year degree graduates with student loan debt, which currently averages about $23,300. 101 Scholarship Applications: What It Takes to Obtain a Debt-Free College Education was written specifically to address the issue of college loan debt, and help students and their parents identify scholarship opportunities, as well as develop strategies for submitting applications and winning awards. This book’s author, Gwen Richardson, is a parent who spent nearly two years carefully researching scholarship sources for her teenage daughter, who entered college debt-free as a freshman. The highlight of this book is a comprehensive listing of more than 200 scholarship sources, including award amounts, eligibility requirements and direct web site links. All sources have been vetted and researched for accuracy.

Nominee - Instructional

Afro-Vegan: Farm-Fresh African, Caribbean, and Southern Flavors Remix
by Bryant Terry

Publication Date:
Format: Hardcover
Classification: Nonfiction
Page Count: 224
ISBN13: 9781607745310
Imprint: Knopf
Publisher: Penguin Random House
Parent Company: Bertelsmann and Pearson PLC

Read a Description of Afro-Vegan: Farm-Fresh African, Caribbean, and Southern Flavors Remix


Book Description: 

African, Caribbean, and southern food are all known and loved as vibrant and flavor-packed cuisines. In Afro-Vegan, renowned chef and food justice activist Bryant Terry reworks and remixes the favorite staples, ingredients, and classic dishes of the African Diaspora to present wholly new, creative culinary combinations that will amaze vegans, vegetarians, and omnivores alike.

Blending these colorful cuisines results in delicious recipes like Smashed Potatoes, Peas, and Corn with Chile-Garlic Oil, a recipe inspired by the Kenyan dish irio, and Cinnamon-Soaked Wheat Berry Salad with dried apricots, carrots, and almonds, which is based on a Moroccan tagine. Creamy Coconut-Cashew Soup with Okra, Corn, and Tomatoes pays homage to a popular Brazilian dish while incorporating classic Southern ingredients, and Crispy Teff and Grit Cakes with Eggplant, Tomatoes, and Peanuts combines the Ethiopian grain teff with stone-ground corn grits from the Deep South and North African zalook dip. There’s perfect potluck fare, such as the simple, warming, and intensely flavored Collard Greens and Cabbage with Lots of Garlic, and the Caribbean-inspired Cocoa Spice Cake with Crystallized Ginger and Coconut-Chocolate Ganache, plus a refreshing Roselle-Rooibos Drink that will satisfy any sweet tooth.

With more than 100 modern and delicious dishes that draw on Terry’s personal memories as well as the history of food that has traveled from the African continent, Afro-Vegan takes you on an international food journey. Accompanying the recipes are Terry’s insights about building community around food, along with suggested music tracks from around the world and book recommendations. For anyone interested in improving their well-being, Afro-Vegan’s groundbreaking recipes offer innovative, plant-based global cuisine that is fresh, healthy, and forges a new direction in vegan cooking.





Winner - Nonfiction

Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption
by Bryan Stevenson

Publication Date:
Format: Hardcover
Classification: Nonfiction
Page Count: 352
ISBN13: 9780812994520
Imprint: Knopf
Publisher: Penguin Random House
Parent Company: Bertelsmann and Pearson PLC

Read a Description of Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption


Book Description: 

A powerful true story about the potential for mercy to redeem us, and a clarion call to fix our broken system of justice—from one of the most brilliant and influential lawyers of our time Bryan Stevenson was a young lawyer when he founded the Equal Justice Initiative, a legal practice dedicated to defending those most desperate and in need: the poor, the wrongly condemned, and women and children trapped in the farthest reaches of our criminal justice system. One of his first cases was that of Walter McMillian, a young man who was sentenced to die for a notorious murder he insisted he didn’t commit. The case drew Bryan into a tangle of conspiracy, political machination, and legal brinksmanship—and transformed his understanding of mercy and justice forever. Just Mercy is at once an unforgettable account of an idealistic, gifted young lawyer’s coming of age, a moving window into the lives of those he has defended, and an inspiring argument for compassion in the pursuit of justice.





Nominee - Nonfiction

Who We Be: The Colorization of America
by Jeff Chang

Publication Date:
Format: Hardcover
Classification: Nonfiction
Page Count: 416
ISBN13: 9780312571290
Imprint: St. Martin’s Press
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Parent Company: Verlagsgruppe Georg von Holtzbrinck

Read Our Review of Who We Be: The Colorization of America


Read a Description of Who We Be: The Colorization of America


Book Description: 

Race. A four-letter word. The greatest social divide in American life, a half-century ago and today. During that time, the U.S. has seen the most dramatic demographic and cultural shifts in its history, what can be called the colorization of America. But the same nation that elected its first Black president on a wave of hope--another four-letter word--is still plunged into endless culture wars. How do Americans see race now? How has that changed--and not changed--over the half-century? After eras framed by words like "multicultural" and "post-racial," do we see each other any more clearly? Who We Be remixes comic strips and contemporary art, campus protests and corporate marketing campaigns, Martin Luther King, Jr. and Trayvon Martin into a powerful, unusual, and timely cultural history of the idea of racial progress. In this follow-up to the award-winning classic Can't Stop Won't Stop: A History of the Hip-Hop Generation, Jeff Chang brings fresh energy, style, and sweep to the essential American story.





Nominee - Nonfiction

Bad Feminist: Essays
by Roxane Gay

Publication Date:
Format: Paperback
Classification: Nonfiction
Page Count: 336
ISBN13: 9780062282712
Imprint: Amistad
Publisher: HarperCollins
Parent Company: News Corporation

Read a Description of Bad Feminist: Essays


Book Description: 

A collection of essays spanning politics, criticism, and feminism from one of the most-watched young cultural observers of her generation, Roxane Gay.

“Pink is my favorite color. I used to say my favorite color was black to be cool, but it is pink—all shades of pink. If I have an accessory, it is probably pink. I read Vogue, and I’m not doing it ironically, though it might seem that way. I once live-tweeted the September issue.”

In these funny and insightful essays, Roxane Gay takes us through the journey of her evolution as a woman (Sweet Valley High) of color (The Help) while also taking readers on a ride through culture of the last few years (Girls, Django in Chains) and commenting on the state of feminism today (abortion, Chris Brown). The portrait that emerges is not only one of an incredibly insightful woman continually growing to understand herself and our society, but also one of our culture.

Bad Feminist is a sharp, funny, and spot-on look at the ways in which the culture we consume becomes who we are, and an inspiring call-to-arms of all the ways we still need to do better.





Nominee - Nonfiction

The Bill of the Century: The Epic Battle for the Civil Rights Act
by Clay Risen

Publication Date:
List Price: $28.00
Format: Hardcover
Classification: Nonfiction
Page Count: 320
ISBN13: 9781608198245
Imprint: Bloomsbury Press
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Parent Company: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC

Read a Description of The Bill of the Century: The Epic Battle for the Civil Rights Act


Book Description: The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was the single most important piece of legislation passed by Congress in American history. This one law so dramatically altered American society that, looking back, it seems preordained

•as Everett Dirksen, the GOP leader in the Senate and a key supporter of the bill, said, ""no force is more powerful than an idea whose time has come."" But there was nothing predestined about the victory: a phalanx of powerful senators, pledging to ""fight to the death"" for segregation, launched the longest filibuster in American history to defeat it. The bill’s passage has often been credited to the political leadership of President Lyndon Johnson, or the moral force of Martin Luther King. Yet as Clay Risen shows, the battle for the Civil Rights Act was a story much bigger than those two men. It was a broad, epic struggle, a sweeping tale of unceasing grassroots activism, ringing speeches, backroom deal-making and finally, hand-to-hand legislative combat. The larger-than-life cast of characters ranges from Senate lions like Mike Mansfield and Strom Thurmond to NAACP lobbyist Charles Mitchell, called ""the 101st senator"" for his Capitol Hill clout, and industrialist J. Irwin Miller, who helped mobilize a powerful religious coalition for the bill. The ""idea whose time had come"" would never have arrived without pressure from the streets and shrewd leadership in Congress--all captured in Risen’s vivid narrative. This critical turning point in American history has never been thoroughly explored in a full-length account. Now, New York Times editor and acclaimed author Clay Risen delivers the full story, in all its complexity and drama.

Nominee - Nonfiction

Place, Not Race: A New Vision of Opportunity in America
by Sheryll Cashin

Publication Date:
List Price: $25.95
Format: Hardcover
Classification: Nonfiction
Page Count: 176
ISBN13: 9780807086148
Imprint: Beacon Press
Publisher: Beacon Press
Parent Company: Unitarian Universalist Association

Read a Description of Place, Not Race: A New Vision of Opportunity in America


Book Description: From a nationally recognized expert, a fresh and original argument for bettering affirmative action

Race-based affirmative action had been declining as a factor in university admissions even before the recent spate of related cases arrived at the Supreme Court. Since Ward Connerly kickstarted a state-by-state political mobilization against affirmative action in the mid-1990s, the percentage of four-year public colleges that consider racial or ethnic status in admissions has fallen from 60 percent to 35 percent. Only 45 percent of private colleges still explicitly consider race, with elite schools more likely to do so, although they too have retreated. For law professor and civil rights activist Sheryll Cashin, this isn’t entirely bad news, because as she argues, affirmative action as currently practiced does little to help disadvantaged people. The truly disadvantaged black and brown children trapped in high-poverty environs are not getting the quality schooling they need in part because backlash and wedge politics undermine any possibility for common-sense public policies. Using place instead of race in diversity programming, she writes, will better amend the structural disadvantages endured by many children of color, while enhancing the possibility that we might one day move past the racial resentment that affirmative action engenders. In Place, Not Race, Cashin reimagines affirmative action and champions place-based policies, arguing that college applicants who have thrived despite exposure to neighborhood or school poverty are deserving of special consideration. Those blessed to have come of age in poverty-free havens are not. Sixty years since the historic decision, we’re undoubtedly far from meeting the promise of Brown v. Board of Education, but Cashin offers a new framework for true inclusion for the millions of children who live separate and unequal lives. Her proposals include making standardized tests optional, replacing merit-based financial aid with need-based financial aid, and recruiting high-achieving students from overlooked places, among other steps that encourage cross-racial alliances and social mobility.

A call for action toward the long overdue promise of equality, Place, Not Race persuasively shows how the social costs of racial preferences actually outweigh any of the marginal benefits when effective race-neutral alternatives are available.

Winner - Poetry

Citizen: An American Lyric
by Claudia Rankine

Publication Date:
List Price: $20.00
Format: Paperback
Classification: Poetry
Page Count: 160
ISBN13: 9781555976903
Imprint: Graywolf Press
Publisher: Graywolf Press
Parent Company: Graywolf Press

Read a Description of Citizen: An American Lyric


Book Description: 
* Finalist for the National Book Award in Poetry *
* Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award in Poetry * Finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award in Criticism * Winner of the NAACP Image Award * Winner of the L.A. Times Book Prize * Winner of the PEN Open Book Award *

ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR:
The New Yorker, Boston Globe, The Atlantic, BuzzFeed, NPR. Los Angeles Times, Publishers Weekly, Slate, Time Out New York, Vulture, Refinery 29, and many more . . .

A provocative meditation on race, Claudia Rankine’s long-awaited follow up to her groundbreaking book Don’t Let Me Be Lonely: An American Lyric.

Claudia Rankine’s bold new book recounts mounting racial aggressions in ongoing encounters in twenty-first-century daily life and in the media. Some of these encounters are slights, seeming slips of the tongue, and some are intentional offensives in the classroom, at the supermarket, at home, on the tennis court with Serena Williams and the soccer field with Zinedine Zidane, online, on TV-everywhere, all the time. The accumulative stresses come to bear on a person’s ability to speak, perform, and stay alive. Our addressability is tied to the state of our belonging, Rankine argues, as are our assumptions and expectations of citizenship. In essay, image, and poetry, Citizen is a powerful testament to the individual and collective effects of racism in our contemporary, often named "post-race" society.

Nominee - Poetry

Digest (Stahlecker Selections)
by Gregory Pardlo

Publication Date:
List Price: $15.95
Format: Paperback
Classification: Nonfiction
Page Count: 84
ISBN13: 9781935536505
Imprint: Four Way
Publisher: Four Way
Parent Company: Four Way

Read a Description of Digest (Stahlecker Selections)


Book Description: 
From Epicurus to Sam Cooke, the Daily News to Roots, Digest draws from the present and the past to form an intellectual, American identity. In poems that forge their own styles and strategies, we experience dialogues between the written word and other art forms. Within this dialogue we hear Ben Jonson, we meet police K-9s, and we find children negotiating a sense of the world through a father’s eyes and through their own.

Nominee - Poetry

The New Testament
by Jericho Brown

Publication Date:
List Price: $17.00
Format: Paperback
Classification: Nonfiction
Page Count: 110
ISBN13: 9781556594571
Imprint: Copper Canyon Press
Publisher: Copper Canyon Press
Parent Company: Copper Canyon Press

Read a Description of The New Testament


Book Description: Honored as a ""Best Book of 2014"" by Library JournalHonored as a ""Standout Book of 2014"" by American Poet magazineWinnner of the Thom Gunn Award for Gay PoetryPaterson Award for Literary Excellence, 2015 NPR.org writes: In his second collection, The New Testament, Brown treats disease and love and lust between men, with a gentle touch, returning again and again to the stories of the Bible, which confirm or dispute his vision of real life. ‘Every last word is contagious,’ he writes, awake to all the implications of that phrase. There is plenty of guilt—survivor’s guilt, sinner’s guilt—and ever-present death, but also the joy of survival and sin. And not everyone has the chutzpah to rewrite The Good Book. —NPR.org Brown’s is a necessary art in an era that has seen lingering racial conflict and growing acceptance of gays in America, as well as extreme intolerance and homophobia in many countries overseas. These poems work because while they emanate from an intimately personal place, social concerns loom as large as the barber in Bonnat’s painting. To merge the private with the public so seamlessly is an enviable feat. —The Antioch Review""Erotic and grief-stricken, ministerial and playful, Brown offers his reader a journey unlike any other in contemporary poetry.""—Rain Taxi""To read Jericho Brown’s poems is to encounter devastating genius.""—Claudia RankineIn the world of Jericho Brown’s second book, disease runs through the body, violence runs through the neighborhood, memories run through the mind, trauma runs through generations. Almost eerily quiet in even the bluntest of poems, Brown gives us the ache of a throat that has yet to say the hardest thing—and the truth is coming on fast.Fairy TaleSay the shame I see inching like steam Along the streets will never seep Beneath the doors of this bedroom, And if it does, if we dare to breathe, Tell me that though the world ends us, Lover, it cannot end our love Of narrative. Don’t you have a story For me?—like the one you tell With fingers over my lips to keep me From sighing when—before the queen Is kidnapped—the prince bows To the enemy, handing over the horn Of his favorite unicorn like those men Brought, bought, and whipped until They accepted their masters names. Jericho Brown worked as the speechwriter for the mayor of New Orleans before earning his PhD in creative writing and literature from the University of Houston. His first book, PLEASE (New Issues), won the American Book Award. He currently teaches at Emory University and lives in Atlanta, Georgia.

Nominee - Poetry

The Poetry of Derek Walcott 1948-2013
by Derek Walcott

Publication Date:
List Price: $40.00
Format: Hardcover
Classification: Poetry
Page Count: 640
ISBN13: 9780374125615
Imprint: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publisher: Macmillan
Parent Company: Verlagsgruppe Georg von Holtzbrinck

Read a Description of The Poetry of Derek Walcott 1948-2013


Book Description: A collection spanning the whole of Derek Walcott’s celebrated, inimitable, essential career "‘He gives us more than himself or a world’; he gives us a sense of infinity embodied in the language."" Alongside Joseph Brodsky’s words of praise one might mention the more concrete honors that the renowned poet Derek Walcott has received: a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship; the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry; the Nobel Prize in Literature. The Poetry of Derek Walcott 1948–2013 draws from every stage of the poet’s storied career. Here are examples of his very earliest work, like ""In My Eighteenth Year,"" published when the poet himself was still a teenager; his first widely celebrated verse, like ""A Far Cry from Africa,"" which speaks of violence, of loyalties divided in one’s very blood; his mature work, like ""The Schooner Flight"" from The Star-Apple Kingdom; and his late masterpieces, like the tender ""Sixty Years After,"" from the 2010 collection White Egrets. Across sixty-five years, Walcott grapples with the themes that have defined his work as they have defined his life: the unsolvable riddle of identity; the painful legacy of colonialism on his native Caribbean island of St. Lucia; the mysteries of faith and love and the natural world; the Western canon, celebrated and problematic; the trauma of growing old, of losing friends, family, one’s own memory. This collection, selected by Walcott’s friend the English poet Glyn Maxwell, will prove as enduring as the questions, the passions, that have driven Walcott to write for more than half a century.

Nominee - Poetry

We Didn’t Know Any Gangsters
by Brian Gilmore

Publication Date:
Format: Paperback
Classification: Fiction
Page Count: 82
ISBN13: 9780692273272
Imprint: Cherry Castle Publishing, LLC
Publisher: Cherry Castle Publishing, LLC
Parent Company: Cherry Castle Publishing, LLC

Read a Description of We Didn’t Know Any Gangsters


Book Description: 

ldquo;Brian Gilmore’s We Didn’t Know Any Gangsters weds the wily clarity of Lucille Clifton to the cultural acuity of James Baldwin. "Res ipsa loquitur" ("The thing speaks for itself"), Gilmore says in one poem, recasting William Carlos Williams’ dictum: "no ideas but in things," as a statement of self-determination and witness. Stereotypes, and clichés about African-American life are obliterated by poems that are vibrant, distinct and unequivocally American. Political, personal, exceptional—this is a remarkable book about what it means to be us.”

E. Ethelbert Miller, award-winning poet and Director of Howard University’s African-American Resource Center

“In We Didn’t know Any Gangsters, Brian Gilmore creates a work of architecture, populating it with people we’ll never forget. Novelists and playwrights do this all the time, but when a poet creates a big stage with fascinating characters, that is technique and that is triumph. Meet a young man growing up, meet his family, see a society sometimes unsafe—and experience real life, expertly drawn, with pulsating, fast-moving, innovative, lyricism. The motor inside his poetry hums with prophecy and politics, but there is even more—there is a beautiful heart at the center of his writing, and poems are messages torn from it, sorted out, and, put all together to make up our human history. Brian Gilmore proves he was obviously born to write, and it’s our good fortune.”

Terrance Hayes, MacArthur Fellow, 2010 National Book Award Winner



Winner - Youth/Teens

Brown Girl Dreaming
by Jacqueline Woodson

Publication Date:
Format: Hardcover
Classification: Children’s
Page Count: 336
ISBN13: 9780399252518
Imprint: Nancy Paulsen Books
Publisher: Penguin Random House
Parent Company: Bertelsmann and Pearson PLC

Read a Description of Brown Girl Dreaming


Book Description: 

“Ms. Woodson writes with a sure understanding of the thoughts of young people, offering a poetic, eloquent narrative that is not simply a story… but a mature exploration of grown-up issues and self-discovery.”—The New York Times Book Review

Jacqueline Woodson, one of today's finest writers, tells the moving story of her childhood in mesmerizing verse.

Raised in South Carolina and New York, Woodson always felt halfway home in each place. In vivid poems, she shares what it was like to grow up as an African American in the 1960s and 1970s, living with the remnants of Jim Crow and her growing awareness of the Civil Rights movement. Touching and powerful, each poem is both accessible and emotionally charged, each line a glimpse into a child’s soul as she searches for her place in the world. Woodson’s eloquent poetry also reflects the joy of finding her voice through writing stories, despite the fact that she struggled with reading as a child. Her love of stories inspired her and stayed with her, creating the first sparks of the gifted writer she was to become.





Nominee - Youth/Teens

Because They Marched: The People’s Campaign for Voting Rights That Changed America
by Russell Freedman

Publication Date:
List Price: $20.00
Format: Hardcover
Classification: Nonfiction
Page Count: 96
ISBN13: 9780823429219
Imprint: Holiday House
Publisher: Holiday House
Parent Company: Holiday House, Inc.

Read a Description of Because They Marched: The People’s Campaign for Voting Rights That Changed America


Book Description: For the 50th anniversary of the march for voting rights from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, Newbery Medalist Russell Freedman has written a riveting account of this pivotal event in the history of civil rights. In the early 1960s, tensions in the segregated South intensified. Tired of reprisals for attempting to register to vote, Selma’s black community began to protest. The struggle received nationwide attention when Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. led a voting rights march in January, 1965, and was attacked by a segregationist. In February, the shooting of an unarmed demonstrator by an Alabama state trooper inspired a march from Selma to the state capital of Montgomery. The march got off to a horrific start on March 7 as law officers attacked peaceful demonstrators. Broadcast throughout the world, the violence attracted widespread outrage and spurred demonstrators to complete the march at any cost. On March 25, after several setbacks, protesters arrived at the end of the fifty-four-mile march to a cheering crowd of 25,000 supporters. Illustrated with more than forty photographs, this is an essential chronicle of events every American should know. Includes timeline, source notes, photo credits, bibliography, index.

Nominee - Youth/Teens

Revolution (The Sixties Trilogy)
by Deborah Wiles

Publication Date:
List Price: $19.99
Format: Hardcover
Classification: Fiction
Page Count: 544
ISBN13: 9780545106078
Imprint: Scholastic Press
Publisher: Scholastic Inc.
Parent Company: Scholastic Inc.

Read a Description of Revolution (The Sixties Trilogy)


Book Description: *A 2014 NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST*

It’s 1964, and Sunny’s town is being invaded. Or at least that’s what the adults of Greenwood, Mississippi, are saying. All Sunny knows is that people from up north are coming to help people register to vote. They’re calling it Freedom Summer.

Meanwhile, Sunny can’t help but feel like her house is being invaded, too. She has a new stepmother, a new brother, and a new sister crowding her life, giving her little room to breathe. And things get even trickier when Sunny and her brother are caught sneaking into the local swimming pool -- where they bump into a mystery boy whose life is going to become tangled up in theirs.

As she did in her groundbreaking documentary novel COUNTDOWN, award-winning author Deborah Wiles uses stories and images to tell the riveting story of a certain time and place -- and of kids who, in a world where everyone is choosing sides, must figure out how to stand up for themselves and fight for what’s right.

Nominee - Youth/Teens

The Freedom Summer Murders
by Don Mitchell

Publication Date:
List Price: $18.99
Format: Hardcover
Classification: Nonfiction
Page Count: 256
ISBN13: 9780545477253
Imprint: Scholastic Press
Publisher: Scholastic Inc.
Parent Company: Scholastic Inc.

Read a Description of The Freedom Summer Murders


Book Description: To coincide with the 50th anniversary of the Freedom Summer murders, this will be the first book for young adults to explore the harrowing true story of three civil rights workers slain by the KKK. In June of 1964, three idealistic young men (one black and two white) were lynched by the Ku Klux Klan in Mississippi. They were trying to register African Americans to vote as part of the Freedom Summer effort to bring democracy to the South. Their disappearance and murder caused a national uproar and was one of the most significant incidents of the Civil Rights Movement, and contributed to the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. THE FREEDOM SUMMER MURDERS will be the first book for young people to take a comprehensive look at the brutal murders of James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner, through to the conviction in 2005 of mastermind Edgar Ray Killen.

Nominee - Youth/Teens

The Red Pencil
by Andrea Davis Pinkney

Publication Date:
List Price: $17.00
Format: Hardcover
Classification: Children’s
Page Count: 336
ISBN13: 9780316247801
Imprint: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publisher: Hachette Book Group
Parent Company: Hachette Livre

Read a Description of The Red Pencil


Book Description: ""Amira, look at me,"" Muma insists.She collects both my hands in hers.""The Janjaweed attack without warning.If ever they come-- run."" Finally, Amira is twelve. Old enough to wear a toob, old enough for new responsibilities. And maybe old enough to go to school in Nyala-- Amira’s one true dream. But life in her peaceful Sudanese village is shattered when the Janjaweed arrive. The terrifying attackers ravage the town and unleash unspeakable horrors. After she loses nearly everything, Amira needs to dig deep within herself to find the strength to make the long journey-- on foot-- to safety at a refugee camp. Her days are tough at the camp, until the gift of a simple red pencil opens her mind-- and all kinds of possibilities. New York Times bestselling and Coretta Scott King Award-winning author Andrea Davis Pinkney’s powerful verse and Coretta Scott King Award-winning artist Shane W. Evans’s breathtaking illustrations combine to tell an inspiring tale of one girl’s triumph against all odds.