2017 Indies Choice/E.B. White Read-Aloud Award Finalists Announced: Voting Opens to ABA Members

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Indies Choice Book Awards 2017 logoOn Wednesday, April 5, the American Booksellers Association announced the finalists for the 2017 Indies Choice Book Awards and the E.B. White Read-Aloud Awards. Booksellers at ABA member stores across the country will choose the winners in eight categories in online balloting between now and midnight EDT on Sunday, May 7.

(Note - Deadline to vote has been extended to Sunday, May 7.)

All of this year’s finalists represent the types of books that indie booksellers champion best. The E.B. White Read-Aloud finalists also reflect the playful, well-paced language, the engaging themes, and the universal appeal to a wide range of ages embodied by E.B. White’s collection of beloved books.

Every bookseller at an ABA member store is encouraged to vote; one ballot per person will be accepted. One book in each category will be declared the winner, with the exception of the Picture Book Hall of Fame, where booksellers will choose three inductees. The winners will be announced on Wednesday, May 3, and will be feted along with the honor book recipients at ABA’s Celebration of Bookselling and Author Awards Lunch on Wednesday, May 31, at BookExpo 2017 at the Javits Convention Center in New York City.

E.B. White Read Aloud Award medallionThe finalists in the Indies Choice Book Award categories of Adult Fiction, Adult Nonfiction, and Adult Debut were chosen by a jury of five ABA member booksellers from titles appearing on the 2016 Indie Next Lists. The finalists for the Indies Choice Book Award in the Young Adult category and for the E.B. White Read-Aloud Middle Reader and Picture Book awards were chosen by a jury of six children’s booksellers from the ABC Children’s Group at ABA. Finalists were chosen from titles appearing on the 2016 Kids’ Indie Next Lists, with additional titles for the E.B. White awards nominated by ABC Group members. The finalists for the 2017 Indie Champion Award were chosen by both juries.

This year’s finalists are:


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


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


  • Be Frank With Me: A Novel, by Julia Claiborne Johnson (William Morrow)
  • Homegoing: A Novel, by Yaa Gyasi (Knopf)
  • 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)


  • The Sun Is Also a Star, by Nicola Yoon (Delacorte Press)
  • Salt to the Sea, by Ruta Sepetys (Philomel Books)
  • 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)


  • As Brave As You, by Jason Reynolds (Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books)
  • The Girl Who Drank the Moon, by Kelly Barnhill (Algonquin Young Readers)
  • 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)


  • 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)
  • Du Iz Tak?, by Carson Ellis (Candlewick)
  • When Green Becomes Tomatoes: Poems for All Seasons, by Julie Fogliano, Julie Morstad (Illus.) (Roaring Brook Press)


  • Freight Train, by Donald Crews (Greenwillow Books)
  • I Have a Dream, by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Kadir Nelson (Illus.) (Schwartz & Wade)
  • 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)
  • Swimmy, by Leo Lionni (Knopf Books for Young Readers)
  • Tar Beach, by Faith Ringgold (Knopf Books for Young Readers)
  • Tikki Tikki Tembo, by Arlene Mosel, Blair Lent (Illus.) (Henry Holt and Co. Books for Young Readers)
  • Tuesday, by David Wiesner (Clarion Books)
  • Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People’s Ears: A West African Tale, by Verna Aardema, Leo and Diane Dillon (Illus.) (Dial Books)
  • Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge, by Mem Fox, Julie Vevas (illus.) (Kane Miller)


The Indie Champion Award is presented to the author, illustrator, or group that, in the opinion of booksellers, 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. ABA invites readers to learn more about the finalists by clicking on their names below:

To help booksellers promote the finalists in newsletters and other marketing materials, the Indies Choice and E.B. White awards logos are available in BookWeb’s Designs and Downloads.

Members of this year’s Indies Choice Book Awards jury for the adult categories were Chris Morrow of Northshire Bookstore in Manchester Center, Vermont, and Saratoga Springs, New York (Chair); Billie Bloebaum of Third Street Books in McMinnville, Oregon; Janet Geddis of Avid Bookshop in Athens, Georgia; Deon Stonehouse of Sunriver Books in Sunriver, Oregon; and Kristin Bates of McLean & Eakin Booksellers in Petoskey, Michigan.

The 2017 jury members for the children’s categories were Drew Sieplinga of Wild Rumpus in Minneapolis, Minnesota (Chair); Chris Rose of Hugo BookStores in Marblehead, Massachusetts; Molly Olivo of Barstons Child’s Play in Washington, D.C.; Carol Moyer of Quail Ridge Books in Raleigh, North Carolina; Janelle Smith of Auntie’s Bookstore in Spokane, Washington; and Meghan Goel of BookPeople in Austin, Texas.

All ABA member booksellers are invited to cast their ballots now.

Reservations for the Celebration of Bookselling and Author Awards Lunch will open on Wednesday, April 19, and will be limited to a maximum of four booksellers per ABA member store location.