2017 Indies Choice and E.B. White Read-Aloud Award Winners Announced

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T2017 Indies Choice Book Award logooday, the American Booksellers Association announces the winners of the 2017 Indies Choice Book Awards and the E.B. White Read-Aloud Awards, as voted by independent booksellers nationwide.

“The winners of the Indies Choice and E.B. White Read-Aloud awards, and all of the 2017 honor books, are representative of the engaging and thought-provoking titles hand-sold every day by booksellers at independent bookstores across the country,” said ABA CEO Oren Teicher. “ABA members look forward to honoring their authors and illustrators at this year’s Celebration of Bookselling and Author Awards Lunch on Wednesday, May 31, at BookExpo.”

The 2017 Indies Choice Book Award winners, reflecting the spirit of independent bookstores nationwide, are:


  • The Underground Railroad: A Novel, by Colson Whitehead (Doubleday)


  • The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate — Discoveries From a Secret World, by Peter Wohlleben (Greystone Books)


  • Homegoing: A Novel, by Yaa Gyasi (Knopf)


  • Salt to the Sea, by Ruta Sepetys (Philomel Books)

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 Girl Who Drank the Moon, by Kelly Barnhill (Algonquin Young Readers)


  • Du Iz Tak?, by Carson Ellis (Candlewick)

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:

  • Louise Erdrich

Indie booksellers chose these three classic picture books for induction into the Picture Book Hall of Fame.

  • Jumanji, by Chris Van Allsburg (HMH Books for Young Readers)
  • Kitten’s First Full Moon, by Kevin Henkes (Greenwillow Books)
  • Millions of Cats, by Wanda Gag (G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers)

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

Adult Fiction Honor Books

  • A Gentleman in Moscow: A Novel, by Amor Towles (Viking)
  • Britt-Marie Was Here: A Novel, by Fredrik Backman (Atria Books)
  • Commonwealth: A Novel, by Ann Patchett (Harper)
  • Darktown: A Novel, by Thomas Mullen (Atria/37 INK)
  • LaRose: A Novel, by Louise Erdrich (Harper)

Adult Nonfiction Honor Books

  • Born a Crime: Stories From a South African Childhood, by Trevor Noah (Spiegel & Grau)
  • Hero of the Empire: The Boer War, a Daring Escape, and the Making of Winston Churchill, by Candice Millard (Doubleday)
  • The Glass Universe: How the Ladies of the Harvard Observatory Took the Measure of the Stars, by Dava Sobel (Viking)
  • The Hour of Land: A Personal Topography of America’s National Parks, by Terry Tempest Williams (Sarah Crichton Books)
  • Truevine: Two Brothers, a Kidnapping, and a Mother’s Quest: A True Story of the Jim Crow South, by Beth Macy (Little, Brown & Company)

Adult Debut Honor Books

  • Be Frank With Me: A Novel, by Julia Claiborne Johnson (William Morrow)
  • Lab Girl, by Hope Jahren (Knopf)
  • The Atomic Weight of Love: A Novel, by Elizabeth J. Church (Algonquin Books)
  • The Girls: A Novel, by Emma Cline (Random House)
  • When Breath Becomes Air, by Paul Kalanithi (Random House)

Young Adult Honor Books

  • The Sun Is Also a Star, by Nicola Yoon (Delacorte Press)
  • The Serpent King, by Jeff Zentner (Crown Books for Young Readers)
  • Girl in the Blue Coat, by Monica Hesse (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers)
  • Kids of Appetite, by David Arnold (Viking Books for Young Readers)
  • The Reader, by Traci Chee (G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers)

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

  • As Brave As You, by Jason Reynolds (Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books)
  • The Inquisitor’s Tale: Or, The Three Magical Children and Their Holy Dog, by Adam Gidwitz, Hatem Aly (Illus.) (Dutton Books for Young Readers)
  • All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook, by Leslie Connor (Katherine Tegen Books)
  • The Best Man, by Richard Peck (Dial Books)
  • When the Sea Turned to Silver, by Grace Lin (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers)

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

  • School’s First Day of School, by Adam Rex, Christian Robinson (Illus.) (Roaring Brook Press)
  • Preaching to the Chickens: The Story of Young John Lewis, by Jabari Asim, E.B. Lewis (Illus.) (Nancy Paulsen Books)
  • There’s a Bear on My Chair, by Ross Collins (Nosy Crow)
  • Ada’s Violin: The Story of the Recycled Orchestra of Paraguay, by Susan Hood, Sally Wern Comport (Illus.) (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers)
  • When Green Becomes Tomatoes: Poems for All Seasons, by Julie Fogliano, Julie Morstad (Illus.) (Roaring Brook Press)

Indie Champion Honorees

  • Isabel Allende
  • Marla Frazee
  • Gene Luen Yang
  • Jason Reynolds
  • Salman Rushdie

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 2016, 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 Wednesday, May 31, at BookExpo and to autograph their books in the ABA Booksellers Lounge immediately following the lunch.

Up to four 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 May 15 or the event reaches capacity, whichever comes first. Table assignments will be sent the week of May 22. Questions about the lunch should be addressed to ABA Director of Development and Publisher Relations Matthew Zoni.

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.