2016 Indies Choice and E.B. White Read-Aloud Award Winners Announced

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Today, the American Booksellers Association announces the winners of the 2016 Indies Choice Book Awards and the E.B. White Read-Aloud Awards, as voted by independent booksellers nationwide.

“ABA member booksellers have once again chosen an outstanding array of titles as the winners of the Indies Choice and E.B. White Read-Aloud awards. The winners and each of the 2016 honor books are representative of the outstanding titles hand-sold every day at independent bookstores nationwide,” said ABA CEO Oren Teicher. “We look forward to honoring their authors and illustrators at this year’s Celebration of Bookselling and Author Awards Lunch at BEA.”

The 2016 Indies Choice Book Award winners, reflecting the spirit of independent bookstores nationwide, are:


  • Fates and Furies: A Novel, by Lauren Groff (Riverhead)


  • Between the World and Me, by Ta-Nehisi Coates (Spiegel & Grau)


  • Kitchens of the Great Midwest: A Novel, by J. Ryan Stradal (Pamela Dorman Books/Viking)

Due to a tie in the voting, there are two winners this year for Young Adult Book of the Year:

  • Anna and the Swallow Man, by Gavriel Savit (Knopf Books for Young Readers)
  • Nimona, by Noelle Stevenson (HarperTeen)

The winners of the E.B. White Read-Aloud Awards, reflecting the playful, well-paced language, the engaging themes, and the universal appeal embodied by E.B. White’s collection of beloved books, are:


  • The Thing About Jellyfish, by Ali Benjamin (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers)


  • Mother Bruce, by Ryan T. Higgins (Disney-Hyperion)

The Indie Champion Award is presented to the author or illustrator who booksellers feel has the best sense of the importance of independent bookstores to their communities at large and the strongest personal commitment to foster and support the mission and passion of independent booksellers. This year’s winner is:

  • Richard Russo

Indie booksellers choose three classic picture books each year for induction into the Picture Book Hall of Fame. This year, due to a tie in the voting, four titles will be inducted:

  • Eloise, by Kay Thompson, Hilary Knight (Illus.) (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers)
  • Olivia, by Ian Falconer (Atheneum Books for Young Readers)
  • Strega Nona, by Tomi dePaola (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers)
  • Sylvester and the Magic Pebble, by William Stieg (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers)

In addition to the winners, five honorees were named today in each category, with the exception of Picture Book Hall of Fame.

Adult Fiction Honor Books

  • City on Fire: A Novel, by Garth Risk Hallberg (Knopf)
  • Get in Trouble: Stories, by Kelly Link (Random House)
  • A Little Life: A Novel, by Hanya Yanagihara (Doubleday)
  • The Sympathizer: A Novel, by Viet Thanh Nguyen (Grove Press)
  • Welcome to Braggsville: A Novel, by T. Geronimo Johnson (William Morrow)

Adult Nonfiction Honor Books

  • Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania, by Erik Larson (Crown)
  • Don’t Suck, Don’t Die: Giving Up Vic Chesnutt, by Kristin Hersh (University of Texas Press)
  • H Is for Hawk, by Helen Macdonald (Grove Press)
  • Hold Still: A Memoir With Photographs, by Sally Mann (Little, Brown & Company)
  • Where the Dead Pause, and the Japanese Say Goodbye: A Journey, by Marie Mutsuki Mockett (W.W. Norton & Company)

Adult Debut Honor Books

  • Between You & Me: Confessions of a Comma Queen, by Mary Norris (W.W. Norton & Company)
  • Dragonfish:  A Novel, by Vu Tran (W.W. Norton & Company)
  • The Meursault Investigation: A Novel, by Kamel Daoud (Other Press)
  • Our Endless Numbered Days: A Novel, by Claire Fuller (Tin House Books)
  • The Turner House: A Novel, by Angela Flournoy (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

Young Adult Honor Books

  • Dumplin’, by Julie Murphy (Balzer + Bray)
  • More Happy Than Not, by Adam Silvera (Soho Teen)
  • Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, by Becky Albertalli (Balzer + Bray)
  • Symphony for the City of the Dead: Dmitri Shostakovich and the Siege of Leningrad, by M.T. Anderson (Candlewick)

E.B. White Read-Aloud – Middle Reader Honor Books

  • The Blackthorn Key, by Kevin Sands (Aladdin)
  • Crenshaw, by Katherine Applegate (Feiwel & Friends)
  • George, by Alex Gino (Scholastic Press)
  • Roller Girl, by Victoria Jamieson (Dial Books for Young Readers)
  • Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer, by Kelly Jones (Knopf Books for Young Readers)

E.B. White Read-Aloud – Picture Book Honor Books

  • Leo: A Ghost Story, by Mac Barnett, Christian Robinson (Illus.) (Chronicle Books)
  • The Princess and the Pony, by Kate Beaton (Arthur A. Levine Books)
  • Red: A Crayon’s Story, by Michael Hall (Greenwillow)
  • Toys Meet Snow: Being the Wintertime Adventures of a Curious Stuffed Buffalo, a Sensitive Plush Stingray, and a Book-Loving Rubber Ball, by Emily Jenkins, Paul O. Zelinsky (Illus.) (Schwartz & Wade)
  • Waiting, by Kevin Henkes (Greenwillow)

Indie Champion Honorees

  • Dave Eggers
  • Louise Erdrich
  • Loren Long
  • Celeste Ng
  • Maggie Stiefvater

The winners and honor books in all categories with the exceptions of Indie Champion and Picture Book Hall of Fame were chosen from titles appearing on the Indie Next Lists in 2015, with additional titles for the E.B. White Read-Aloud Awards nominated by bookseller members of the ABC Children’s Group at ABA.

All of the Indies Choice and E.B. White winners and honor recipients will be invited both to the Celebration of Bookselling and Author Awards Lunch on Thursday, May 12, at BookExpo America and to autograph their books in the ABA Booksellers Lounge immediately following the lunch.

Up to three booksellers per ABA member store location can make a reservation for the Celebration Lunch. Space at this popular, free event, which is open exclusively to ABA members, is limited and will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis until April 29 or the event reaches capacity, whichever comes first. Table assignments will be sent the week of May 2. Questions about the lunch should be addressed to ABA Development Officer Mark Nichols.

The Indies Choice and E.B. White logos are available to ABA members in the Bookseller DIY  for use in promoting the winners and finalists in newsletters and other marketing materials.

Complete details about ABA programming at BEA are available on BookWeb.org.