Minnesota Book Awards: the winners for 2012

The 24th Annual Minnesota Book Awards were presented Saturday night; 270 books were nominated for awards this year, and 32 books were selected as finalists. Here are the winners:


The Tanglewood Terror by Kurtis Scaletta is this year’s winner of the Readers’ Choice Award

Image: The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library

Children’s Literature

BookSpeak! Poems About Books

by Laura Purdie Salas

published by Clarion Books/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company

A collection of wild and weird, wacky and winsome poems about all the magic to be found on a bookshelf.

General Nonfiction

Fool Me Twice: Fighting the Assault on Science in America

by Shawn Lawrence Otto

published by Rodale

An exposé on anti-science views in modern-day America and the ramifications misinformation is having on our society.

Genre Fiction

Big Wheat

by Richard A. Thompson

published by Poisoned Pen Press

Jilted by his childhood sweetheart and estranged from his father, Charlie Krueger leaves home to seek employment in North Dakota’s booming wheat threshing industry in the fall of 1919. There, he witnesses the notorious Windmill Man serial killer committing the most recent in a string of murders, and becomes a target himself.

Memoir & Creative Nonfiction

A Song at Twilight: Of Alzheimer’s and Love

by Nancy Paddock

published by Blueroad Press

Paddock’s memoir chronicles her parents’ descent into Alzheimer’s and the challenges and choices she and her sisters face while confronting this most baffling and tragic of diseases.

About Minnesota

Pioneer Modernists: Minnesota’s First Generation of Women Artists

by Julie L’Enfant

published by Afton Press

L’Enfant uses a host of sources, including previously unpublished papers, to tell the untold story of a groundbreaking generation of Minnesota female artists who played a significant, yet often-overlooked role in the development of art schools, galleries, and other institutions that make the Twin Cities the major cultural center it is today.

Novel & Short Story

The Law of Miracles and Other Stories

by Gregory Blake Smith

published by University of Massachusetts Press

A collection of short stories in which characters navigate between the everyday and the extraordinary.



by Ed Bok Lee

published by Coffee House Press

Whorled confronts and celebrates the many complications of globalism through meditations on war, migration and culture.

Young People’s Literature

With or Without You

by Brian Farrey

published by Simon Pulse/Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Division

A friendship becomes strained from two directions as Evan struggles to tell Davis about his secret, long-term boyfriend, Erik, and Davis gets caught up in a mysterious fringe crowd.

Readers’ Choice Award

The Tanglewood Terror

by Kurtis Scaletta

published by Alfred A. Knopf/Random House Children’s Books

When Eric Parrish comes across glowing mushrooms in the woods behind his house, he’s sure there’s a scientific explanation.


In addition to the above awards, Coffee House Press’ Allan Kornblum received the Kay Sexton Award for his contributions to the state’s literary community, and Cave Paper – run by Bridget O’Malley and Amanda Degener – earned the 2012 Book Artist Award. Mary Lethert Wingerd won the inaugural Minnesota History award for her book North Country: the Making of Minnesota, published by University of Minnesota Press.

270 books were nominated for awards this year, and 32 books were selected as finalists.