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The Best Children’s Books of the Year, 2017 Edition Published

The Children’s Book Committee at Bank Street College of Education has published The Best Children’s Books of the Year, 2017 Edition, which includes more than 600 titles chosen by the committee as the best children’s books published in 2016.

In compiling the annual list, the committee strives to guide librarians, educators, parents, grandparents, and other interested adults to the best books for children published each year. The Best Children’s Books of the Year, 2017 Edition is available for purchase for $10 plus $3 shipping from the Children’s Book Committee at Bank Street College of Education at [email protected].

Penguin Random House Launches #ProjectReadathon

Penguin Random House has launched the #ProjectReadathon Million Minutes campaign to provide books for young readers in need in the U.S., Mexico, and Canada.  

Starting April 17, readers will be invited to visit a specially created reading platform where they can read free, timed excerpts from Penguin Random House books and authors. Based on how many minutes participants devote to reading, donations of up to 300,000 books will be given to kids in need through Save the Children.

#ProjectReadathon culminates on April 23 in honor of UNESCO’s World Book and Copyright Day, the same day and date as World Book Night in the U.K. and St. Jordi’s Day in Spain. To celebrate this confluence of reading events, Penguin Random House employees will take part in local celebrations across the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Spain, and the U.K.

To join #ProjectReadathon, visit

Johns Hopkins University Press to Support AAUP’s Residency Program  

The Association of American University Presses (AAUP) has secured funding to continue its residency program through 2021 with support from the Johns Hopkins University Press.

The AAUP’s residency program gives selected staff from member presses the chance to observe operations at another host press for up to one week. Since 1995, the program has provided 114 individuals with the opportunity to advance their professional knowledge, strengthen their home presses, and network with colleagues.

Johns Hopkins University Press, which has served as a host to residents in the past, has agreed to fund the program in honor of the AAUP’s retiring director, Kathleen Keane, who served the association as its president for 2009–2010 as well as on its board and various committees and task forces.

The association’s residency program was previously funded by the Mrs. Giles F. Whiting Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Books for a Better Life Award Winners Announced

The National Multiple Sclerosis Society announced the winners of the 21st Annual Books for a Better Life Awards during a ceremony at The TimesCenter in Manhattan on April 17.

The 2017 winners of the Books for a Better Life Awards are:

  • Childcare/Parenting: Untangled by Lisa Damour (Ballantine)
  • Cookbook: Vegan Vegetarian Omnivore by Anna Thomas (Norton)
  • First Book: Between Breaths by Elizabeth Vargas (Grand Central)
  • Green: The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben (Greystone Books)
  • Inspirational Memoir: Marrow by Elizabeth Lesser (Harper Wave)
  • Motivational: Grit by Angela Duckworth (Scribner)
  • Psychology: Emotional Agility by Susan David (Avery)
  • Relationships: Girls & Sex by Peggy Orenstein (Harper)
  • Spiritual: The Book of Joy by the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu with Douglas Abrams (Avery)
  • Wellness: The End of Dieting by Joel Fuhrman (HarperOne)

The awards, presented by the Southern New York Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, recognize self-improvement books published in 2016 whose messages are aligned with the chapter’s mission of inspiring people to live their best lives. The awards also raise money for the Society’s programs and research.

Patricia Spears Jones Wins Jackson Poetry Prize

Patricia Spears Jones is the 11th winner of the Jackson Poetry Prize, awarded by Poets & Writers to an American poet of exceptional talent who deserves wider recognition. The $50,000 prize awarded by the New York-based service organization for creative writers is designed to provide poets with the time and encouragement to write.

Poets are nominated by an anonymous panel of their peers, and three poet judges are charged with selecting the winner from a group of 20 nominees. In their citation, the judges said that Spears Jones “has steadily and quietly enriched the American poetic tradition with sophisticated and moving poems. More of us should know who she is, and even more should read her.”

Spears Jones is a Brooklyn-based African American poet. Her most recent collection of poems, A Lucent Fire: New and Selected Poems, published by White Pine Press in 2015, was a finalist for the Poetry Society of America’s 2016 William Carlos Williams Prize, as well as for the Paterson Poetry Prize. Her earlier books include Painkiller (Tia Chucha Press, 2010), Femme du Monde (Tia Chucha Press, 2006), and The Weather That Kills (Coffee House Press, 1995).

Poets & Writers will host a reading and reception in honor of Spears Jones in New York City on May 23.

2017 Southern Book Prize Finalists Announced

The Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance (SIBA) has announced the 2017 Southern Book Prize finalists, which were voted on by independent booksellers in the SIBA region.

This year, the Southern Book Prize, formerly known as the SIBA Book Award, features an expanded list of categories, including seven different fiction and three nonfiction categories. The winners will be chosen from the list of finalists by juried panels of SIBA booksellers.

The winners will be announced on July 4, “Independents Day.” See all 2017 Southern Book Prize finalists here.