2019 Indies Choice/E.B. White Read-Aloud Award Finalists Announced

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On Wednesday, April 3, the American Booksellers Association announced the finalists for the 2019 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 nine categories in online balloting between now and Wednesday, April 24. The winners will be announced in Bookselling This Week on Wednesday, May 1.

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 fêted along with the honor book recipients at the new Indies Choice and E.B. White Awards ceremony on Thursday, May 30, at 1:15 p.m., which will take place on the Choice Stage on the showroom floor at BookExpo 2019 at the Javits Convention Center in New York City.

The 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 2018 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 five children’s booksellers from the ABC Children’s Group at ABA. Finalists were chosen from titles appearing on the 2018 Kids’ Indie Next Lists, with additional titles for the E.B. White awards nominated by ABC Group members. The finalists for the 2019 Indie Champion Award were chosen by both juries. The finalists for the audiobook category were chosen by a jury of three indie booksellers.

This year’s finalists are:

Book of the Year – Adult Fiction

An American Marriage: A Novel by Tayari Jones (Algonquin Books)
Circe: A Novel by Madeline Miller (Lee Boudreaux 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)

Book of the Year – Adult Nonfiction

All You Can Ever Know: A Memoir by Nicole Chung (Catapult)
Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover (Random House)
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 and Company)

Book of the Year – Adult Debut

Friday Black: Stories by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah (Mariner Books)
My Sister, the Serial Killer: A 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)
There There: A Novel by Tommy Orange (Knopf)

Book of the Year – Young Adult

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 Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo (HarperTeen)
The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang (First Second)
Undead Girl Gang: A Novel by Lily Anderson (Razorbill)

E.B. White Read-Aloud Award – Picture Book

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

E.B. White Read-Aloud Award – Middle Reader

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

Picture Book Hall of Fame

The Circus Ship by Chris Van Dusen (Candlewick)
Freight Train by Donald Crews (Greenwillow Books)
Grandfather’s Journey by Allen Say (HMH Books for Young Readers)
Otis and the Tornado by Loren Long (Philomel Books)
The Patchwork Quilt by Valerie Flournoy, Jerry Pinkney (illust.) (Dial Books)
Tar Beach by Faith Ringgold (Knopf Books for Young Readers)
Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People’s Ears by Verna Aardema, Leo and Diane Dillon (illus.) (Dial Books)
Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge by Mem Fox, Julie Vevas (illus.) (Kane Miller)

Audiobook of the Year

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

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

Indie Champion Award

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:

Hanif Abdurraqib
Walter Isaacson
Tayari Jones
A.S. King
Dav Pilkey
Jacqueline Woodson

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 Marketing Assets.

Members of this year’s Indies Choice Book Awards jury for the adult categories were:

Bill Cusumano, Square Books (Oxford, MS)

Stephanie Crowe, Page and Palette (Fairhope, AL)
David Enyeart, Common Good Books (St. Paul, MN)
Lauren Peugh, Powell’s Books (Portland, OR)
Nancy Simpson-Brice, Book Vault (Oskaloosa, IA)

The 2019 jury members for the children’s categories were:

Kathy Burnette, The Brain Lair (South Bend, IN)
Cecilia Cackley, East City Bookshop (Washington, DC)
Gibran Graham, The Briar Patch (Bangor, ME)
Jessica Hahl, Country Bookshelf (Bozeman, MT)
Heather Hebert, Children’s Book World (Haverford, PA)

The 2019 jury members for the audiobook category were:

BrocheAroe Fabian, River Dog Book Co (Beaver Dam, WI)
Bob Sommer, Changing Hands (Tempe, AZ)
Angie Tally, The Country Bookshop (Southern Pines, NC)

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