Read Local: 2017 Washington Book Award winners

Here’s to the finalists and winners of the 2017 Washington State Book Awards, celebrating books and their creators that speak to the creative talent and literary legacy of our state. More than 200 books were considered for this year’s awards.

Taking home the top awards on October 14, 2017, in eight categories were:

Daredevils by Shawn Vestal, of Spokane

Eruption: The Untold Story of Mount St. Helens by Steve Olson, of Seattle

My, My, My, My, My by Tara Hardy, of Seattle

An Earlier Life by Brenda Miller, of Bellingham

Thunder Boy Jr. by Sherman Alexie, of Seattle (illustrated by Yuyi Morales)

YOUNG READERS (ages 6 to 8):
Narwhal: Unicorn of the Sea by Ben Clanton, of Tacoma

MIDDLE GRADE (ages 9 to 12):
Some Kind of Courage by Dan Gemeinhart, of Cashmere

YOUNG ADULT (ages 13 and up):
Useless Bay by M.J. Beaufrand, of Seattle

I am immensely proud to live in a state that celebrates reading in so many ways, and in a state that also happens to have a high percentage of creative writers. It’s always an extra selling point when we, as librarians, are talking about a book and then slip in, “Oh, and she’s a local author.” That just proves again and again that we’re strengthening the connection of readers and writers throughout the state.

We received a lovely note from a local reader that gives a variation of what we often hear from patrons:

“Thank you for honoring our local authors and creating opportunities to highlight great writing and increase the likelihood that the books will find plenty of readers. My passion is children’s literature and I’m working my way through the finalists. This morning, I was reading Some kind of Courage (by Dan Gemeinhart) and it had me crying on the bus on the way to work. I’m looking forward to working my way back through the prior years’ lists.”

This was the third year that a novelist from Spokane won the Fiction award, a fact highlighted in Carolyn Lamberson’s feature in The Spokesman-Review: Vestal’s novel ‘Daredevils’ claims top prize at Washington State Book Awards.

Find the complete list of finalists for this year’s awards in our catalog: 2017 Washington State Book Awards finalists for adults and the finalists and winners in the four youth categories. Find out more about Washington State Book Awards’ history, judging criteria and process here. The awards are produced by the Washington Center for the Book, a partnership of The Seattle Public Library and the Washington State Library. The awards are funded by The Seattle Public Library Foundation, with additional sponsorship this year from Elliott Bay Book Co. (Seattle), Village Books (Bellingham), and Third Place Books (Seattle).

And Washington authors with a 2017 book release — be sure to submit your book for consideration for the 2018 Washington State Book Award by February 1, 2018. We want to celebrate you and your work!

Posted by Linda J.


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