2019 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 2019 Indies Choice Book Awards and the E.B. White Read-Aloud Awards, as voted on by independent booksellers nationwide.

Indies Choice Book Awards logoThe winning authors and illustrators will be honored at the upcoming ABA Indies Choice Awards ceremony, to be held at this year’s BookExpo from May 29–31 at the Javits Convention Center in New York City. The event will take place on Thursday, May 30, from 1:15 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. on the Javits Center’s Choice Stage.

Formerly the Celebration of Bookselling Lunch, this year’s awards will be presented in a new format on the trade show floor. Featured authors will be signing books in the ABA Member Lounge (Booth 2962) exclusively for ABA members following the event.

EBW logoThe 2019 Indies Choice Book Award winners, reflecting the spirit of independent bookstores nationwide, are:


  • Circe: A Novel by Madeline Miller (Lee Boudreaux Books)


  • Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover (Random House)


  • There There: A Novel by Tommy Orange (Knopf)


  • Circe: A Novel by Madeline Miller, read by Perdita Weeks (Hachette Audio)


  • The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo (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:


  • Ghost Boys by Jewell Parker Rhodes (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers)


  • We Don’t Eat Our Classmates by Ryan T. Higgins (Disney-Hyperion)

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

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

  • The Circus Ship by Chris Van Dusen (Candlewick)
  • Grandfather’s Journey by Allen Say (HMH Books for Young Readers)
  • Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People’s Ears by Verna Aardema, Leo and Diane Dillon (illus.) (Dial Books)

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

  • An American Marriage: A Novel by Tayari Jones (Algonquin Books)
  • Convenience Store Woman: A Novel by Sayaka Murata, Ginny Tapley Takemori (Trans.) (Grove Press)
  • The Overstory: A Novel by Richard Powers (W.W. Norton & Company)
  • Tin Man: A Novel by Sarah Winman (G.P. Putnam’s Sons)
  • Waiting for Eden: A Novel by Elliot Ackerman (Knopf)

Adult Nonfiction Honor Books

  • All You Can Ever Know: A Memoir by Nicole Chung (Catapult)
  • Heartland: A Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke in the Richest Country on Earth by Sarah Smarsh (Scribner)
  • Heavy: An American Memoir by Kiese Laymon (Scribner)
  • The Library Book by Susan Orlean (Simon & Schuster)
  • The Recovering: Intoxication and Its Aftermath by Leslie Jamison (Little, Brown Company)

Adult Debut Honor Books

  • Friday Black: Stories by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah (Mariner Books)
  • My Sister, the Serial KillerA Novel by Oyinkan Braithwaite (Doubleday)
  • Only Killers and Thieves: A Novel by Paul Howarth (Harper)
  • The Line Becomes a River: Dispatches from the Border by Francisco Cantú (Riverhead)
  • The Tattooist of Auschwitz: A Novel by Heather Morris (Harper Paperbacks)

Audiobook Honor Books

Because of the growing popularity of audiobooks, the American Booksellers Association debuted the new Audiobook of the Year category in 2018.

  • Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover, read by Julia Whelan (Random House Audio)
  • Kill the Farm Boy: The Tales of Pell by Kevin Hearne, Delilah S. Dawson, read by Luke Daniels (Random House Audio)
  • Once Upon a River: A Novel by Diane Setterfield, read by Juliet Stevenson (Simon & Schuster Audio)
  • The Secrets Between Us: A Novel by Thrity Umrigar, read by Sneha Mathan (HarperAudio)
  • There There: A Novel by Tommy Orange, read by Darrell Dennis, Shaun Taylor-Corbett, Alma Cuervo, and Kyla Garcia (Random House Audio)

Young Adult Honor Books

  • Darius the Great Is Not Okay by Adib Khorram (Dial Books)
  • The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert (Flatiron Books)
  • Hey, Kiddo by Jarrett J. Krosoczka (Graphix)
  • The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang (First Second)
  • Undead Girl Gang: A Novel by Lily Anderson (Razorbill)

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

  • The Creature of the Pines (Unicorn Rescue Society) by Adam Gidwitz, Hatem Aly (Illus.) (Dutton Books for Young Readers)
  • Front Desk by Kelly Yang (Arthur A. Levine Books)
  • Love Sugar Magic: A Dash of Trouble by Anna Meriano, Mirelle Ortega (Illus.) (Walden Pond Press)
  • The Serpent’s Secret (Kiranmala and the Kingdom Beyond #1) by Sayantani DasGupta (Scholastic Press)
  • Sweep: The Story of a Girl and Her Monster by Jonathan Auxier (Amulet Books)

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

  • The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson, Rafael López (Illus.) (Nancy Paulsen Books)
  • Harriet Gets Carried Away by Jessie Sima (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers)
  • How to Be a Lion by Ed Vere (Doubleday Books for Young Readers)
  • The Rabbit Listened by Cori Doerrfeld (Dial Books)
  • Thank You Omu by Oge Mora (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers)

Indie Champion Honorees

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 2018, 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 in attendance will be invited both to the ABA Indies Choice Book Awards on Thursday, May 30, at BookExpo and to autograph their books at a happy hour from 4:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. in the ABA Member Lounge immediately following the ceremony. Select Indies Introduce authors will also be signing books at the happy hour.

No tickets are required at this popular, free event. Questions about the awards 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 Marketing Assets section on BookWeb.org for use in promoting the winners and finalists in newsletters and other marketing materials.

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