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Bemidji author Will Weaver named finalist for Minnesota Book Awards

Will Weaver

Bemidji author Will Weaver has been named a finalist in the Young People's Literature category for the 21st annual Minnesota Book Awards.

The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library, in consortium with the Saint Paul Public Library and the Mayor's Office of the City of Saint Paul, announced the finalists in eight categories on Saturday.

Weaver was selected for his book, "Saturday Night Dirt: A Motor Novel."

Award winners will be announced at the 21st Annual Minnesota Book Awards Gala on April 25 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in downtown Saint Paul.

All Minnesotans are invited to take part in voting for the Readers' Choice Award. During the month of March and early April, readers will be able to visit to choose one of the Minnesota Book Award finalists in all eight categories. The finalist with the most votes will be awarded the Readers' Choice Award at the Gala. The award is sponsored by the Pioneer Press and

Two special awards for contributions to the literary and artistic community in Minnesota will be given on April 25, as well. Paulette Myers-Rich is the recipient of the second annual Book Artist Award, presented with Minnesota Center for Book Arts. Myers-Rich won a Minnesota Book Award in 2000 for her fine press book Broder, an award she shared with poet Anna Reckin, as well as in 2006 for her book, Ghost Poems for the Living; she was named a finalist two other years. She is an active member of several arts organizations and teaches at MCBA and various colleges and universities. A reception featuring Ms. Myers-Rich's work will be held on Thursday, February 26, from 5:30 to 8 p.m., at Minnesota Center for Book Arts, in the Open Book Building. The Kay Sexton Award honors a lifetime contribution to the literary community, and will be announced in February.

For additional information on the 21st Annual Minnesota Book Awards or the Gala, visit or call 651-366-6497. The Minnesota Book Awards is a Capital City project, led by The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library, in consortium with the Saint Paul Public Library and the Office of the Mayor of Saint Paul. Outreach partners and supporting organizations include: MELSA, Minnesota Center for Book Arts, Minnesota Department of Education--State Library Services, Minnesota Educational Media Organization, Minnesota Library Association, and the Minnesota Library Foundation. Media sponsors include the Pioneer Press, Secrets of the City, and Saint Paul Neighborhood Network (SPNN). Funding for the Book Awards has been provided by the Boss Foundation, Harlan Boss Foundation, Huss Foundation, and The Katherine B. Andersen Fund of The Saint Paul Foundation.

Here are the finalists in the eight categories:

Young People's Literature:

- Black Box (Delacorte Press/Random House Children's Books) by Julie Schumacher

- Julia Gillian (and the Art of Knowing) (Scholastic Press/Scholastic Inc.) by Alison McGhee

- Saturday Night Dirt: A Motor Novel (Farrar, Straus and Giroux) by Will Weaver

- Twelve Long Months (Scholastic Press/Scholastic Inc.) by Brian Malloy

Children's Literature:

- My Friend, the Starfinder (Atheneum Books for Young Readers/Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing Division) by George Ella Lyon, Illustrated by Stephen Gammel

- Henry's Amazing Imagination (Viking/Penguin Group) by Nancy Carlson

- The House in the Night (Houghton Mifflin Company) by Susan Marie Swanson, Illustrated by Beth Krommes

- Monkey with a Tool Belt (Carolrhoda Books/Lerner Publishing Group, Inc.) by Chris Monroe

General Nonfiction:

- The Compassionate Carnivore: Or, How to Keep Animals Happy, Save Old MacDonald's Farm, Reduce Your Hoofprint, and Still Eat Meat (Da Capo Press/Perseus Books Group) by Catherine Friend

- A Hard-Water World: Ice Fishing and Why We Do It (Minnesota Historical Society Press) by Greg Breining, Photography by Layne Kennedy

- Potluck Paradise: Favorite Fare from Church and Community Cookbooks (Minnesota Historical Society Press) by Rae Katherine Eighmey and Debbie Miller

- "You Have Been Kind Enough to Assist Me": Herman Stern and the Jewish Refugee Crisis (North Dakota State University Institute for Regional Studies) by Terry Shoptaugh

Genre Fiction:

- A Carrion Death (Harper/HarperCollins Publishers) by Michael Stanley

- Phantom Prey (G. P. Putnam's Sons/Penguin Group) by John Sandford

- Red Knife (Atria Books/Simon & Schuster, Inc.) by William Kent Krueger

- Stalking Susan (Doubleday/The Doubleday Publishing Group) by Julie Kramer

Memoir & Creative Nonfiction:

- The Latehomecomer: A Hmong Family Memoir (Coffee House Press) by Kao Kalia Yang

- Madness: A Bipolar Life (Houghton Mifflin Company) by Marya Hornbacher

- Renaming the Earth: Personal Essays (The University of Arizona Press) by Ray Gonzalez

- Swallow the Ocean (Counterpoint) by Laura M. Flynn


- Crossing the Canal: An Illustrated History of Duluth's Aerial Bridge (X-communication) by Tony Dierckins

- Hard Work and a Good Deal: The Civilian Conservation Corps in Minnesota (Minnesota Historical Society Press) by Barbara W. Sommer

- Landscapes of Minnesota: A Geography (Minnesota Historical Society Press) by John Fraser Hart and Susy Svatek Ziegler

- Minnesota on the Map: A Historical Atlas (Minnesota Historical Society Press) by David A. Lanegran

Novel & Short Story:

- Famous Suicides of the Japanese Empire (Coffee House Press) by David Mura

- The Plague of Doves (HarperCollins Publishers) by Louise Erdrich

- Shelter Half (Holy Cow! Press) by Carol Bly

- The Soul Thief (Pantheon Books/Random House, Inc.) by Charles Baxter


- Milk and Tides (Nodin Press) by Margaret Hasse

- National Monuments (Michigan State University Press) by Heid E. Erdrich

- The Sound of It (New Rivers Press) by Tim Nolan

- Yellowrocket (W. W. Norton & Company, Inc.) by Todd Boss