2005 Book Sense Book of the Year Award Winners Announced

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On Tuesday, April 12, the American Booksellers Association announced the winners of the 2005 Book Sense Book of the Year Awards. The winners in both adult and children's categories are those titles independent booksellers most enjoyed handselling during the past year, as voted by the owners and staff of ABA member bookstores.

The 2005 Book Sense Book of the Year winners are:

  • Adult Fiction -- Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke (Bloomsbury)

  • Adult Nonfiction -- Shadow Divers: The True Adventure of Two Americans Who Risked Everything to Solve One of the Last Mysteries of World War II by Robert Kurson (Random House)

  • Children's Literature -- Chasing Vermeer by Blue Balliett, illustrated by Brett Helquist (Scholastic Press)

  • Children's Illustrated -- Duck for President, by Doreen Cronin, illustrated by Betsy Lewin (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers)

The winners will be feted at ABA's annual Celebration of Bookselling at BookExpo America on Friday, June 3, in New York City. The gala event is open to all badged trade show attendees.

"We are looking forward to presenting the Book Sense Book of the Year Awards to these outstanding authors at the Celebration of Bookselling," said ABA CEO Avin Mark Domnitz. "These books are representative of what independent booksellers do best -- recommend and handsell wonderful books to their customers."

Now in its sixth year, the Book Sense Book of the Year Awards include, for the first time this year, four Book Sense Honor Books in each category. These are:

Adult Fiction: Eventide by Kent Haruf (Knopf); The Birth of Venus by Sarah Dunant (Random House); The Plot Against America by Philip Roth (Houghton Mifflin); and The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon (Penguin Press).

Adult Nonfiction: Candyfreak by Steve Almond (Algonquin and Harcourt); The Complete Cartoons of The New Yorker, Robert Mankoff (Ed.) (Black Dog & Leventhal); Magical Thinking by Augusten Burroughs (St. Martin's); Truth & Beauty by Ann Patchett (HarperCollins).

Children's Literature: Becoming Naomi Leon by Pam Munoz Ryan (Scholastic); Ida B ... and Her Plans to Maximize Fun, Avoid Disaster, and (Possibly) Save the World by Katherine Hannigan (Greenwillow/HarperCollins); Peter and the Starcatchers by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson (Disney Editions); and The Sea of Trolls by Nancy Farmer (Richard Jackson/Antheneum/Simon & Schuster).

Children's Illustrated: Kitten's First Full Moon by Kevin Henkes (Greenwillow/HarperCollins); Knuffle Bunny by Mo Willems (Hyperion Books for Young Readers); Mister Seahorse by Eric Carle (Philomel/Penguin USA); and Wild About Books by Judy Sierra, illustrated by Marc Brown (Knopf Books for Young Readers).

The Book Sense Book of the Year winners and honor books were selected by booksellers from titles most often nominated for the Book Sense Picks recommendation lists in 2004. Booksellers were also able to write-in titles on the ballot. Only books published in 2004 were eligible.

Winners will receive a plaque, as well as a gift from Book Sense partner Levenger, Inc., a catalog and Internet seller of high-quality tools for reading and writing. The Celebration of Bookselling brings together independent booksellers, publishers, and the media to toast the spirit of independent bookselling in America.

Many of the honor book recipients will be among the dozens of authors being recognized at ABA's Book Sense Picks Author Luncheon on Friday, June 3, at BEA. This year's event, sponsored by The Quills Literacy Foundation, is being emceed by bookseller and Book Sense Picks author Betsy Burton of The King's English in Salt Lake City, Utah. The luncheon, which is only open to stores with Book Sense, requires an e-mail confirmation of reservation for admittance. Confirmations will be sent to registered booksellers by May 16. Reservations are still open, but space is limited. Booksellers should contact Book Sense Marketing Director Mark Nichols at mark@booksense.com if they are interested in attending.

BookExpo America 2005 will be held at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City from Thursday, June 2, through Sunday, June 5. The Celebration of Bookselling will be held on Friday, June 3, at 5:30 p.m. For complete show details, go to www.bookweb.org/aba/convention/.

Watch for profiles of the 2005 Book Sense Book of the Year winners in upcoming editions of Bookselling This Week. For past winners, go to www.bookweb.org/read/3433.

To help booksellers promote the 2005 winners, ABA is making "Book Sense Book of the Year Winner" stickers available free to ABA member bookstores on a first-come, first-served basis.

One roll of 250 stickers, or a smaller quantity, may be requested by sending an e-mail to info@bookweb.org or by calling (800) 637-0037, ext. 1292 or 1293. Requests must include the bookseller's name, the store's name, mailing address, and desired quantity.