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Kansas Notable Books 2010

The Kansas Notable Books List is the annual recognition of 15 outstanding titles by Kansas authors or about Kansas. It is the only honor for Kansas books by Kansans, highlighting our lively contemporary writing community and encouraging readers to enjoy some of the best writing of the authors among us.

A committee of KCFB Affiliates, Fellows, and authors of previous Notable Books identifies these titles from among those published the previous year, and the State Librarian makes the selection for the final List. A reception and medal awards ceremony honor the books and their authors and illustrators.

Throughout the award year, KCFB promotes all the titles on that year's List electronically, at literary events, and among librarians and booksellers.

Kansas Public Radio featured interviews with several Notable Books authors on their KPR Presents... program. Part 1 aired December 12 and Part 2 on December 19.

Please view the current year's list below; prior years' lists (2006-2009) can be seen at the archive link to the right on this page.

"Notable Books awards benefit not only the authors, but also all Kansas citizens. They bring attention to distinctly Kansas experiences and geographies. They promote a deeper literacy through encouragement of the literary arts. Their message to readers is to get involved in lifelong learning." -Denise Low, author, Words of a Prairie Alchemist (Notable Book 2007) and editor, To The Stars: Kansas Poets of the Ad Astra Project (Notable Book 2010)

"Having a book named a Kansas Notable Book was a humbling but validating experience-and continues to be so. It's taught me new appreciation for the considerable work done for literacy in our state by the Kansas Center for the Book as well. The Notable Book program empowers authors to continue to do their best-and to let Kansas provide inspiration." -Beverley O. Buller, author, From Emporia: The Story of William Allen White (Notable Book 2008)

book jacket for Addie of the Flint Hills

Addie of the Flint Hills: A Prairie Child During the Depression by Adaline Sorace as told to Deborah Sorace Prutzman (both New York, NY)

Adaline Sorace's vivid memories are the basis for this autobiography of a small-town girl whose life is played out against the turbulent economic times of the 1920s and 1930s. Addie's hardscrabble life was typical for her generation; her struggles transcend time and are similar to modern family situations and current economic times.

book jacket for Blue Shoe

The Blue Shoe: A Tale of Thievery, Villainy, Sorcery, and Shoes by Roderick Townley (Shawnee Mission), illustrated by Mary GrandPre (St Paul, MN)

In a remote mountain village the cobbler's shop window displays a jewel-encrusted blue shoe. When the shoe's largest jewel goes missing, the cobbler's assistant is blamed and banished to the dreaded Mount Xexnax. This fairy tale is enhanced by the illustrations of Mary GrandPre who also illustrated the Harry Potter books.

book jacket for Carter Finally Gets It

Carter Finally Gets It by Brent Crawford (Kansas City)

Join Will Carter as he navigates his first year of high school, especially when it comes to girls. Carter's teenage preoccupation with girls leads to situations where he almost kills a trombone player, faces off with his greatest nemesis, runs from the cops (not once, but twice), and meets his match in the form of a curvy drill teamer. This laugh-out-loud novel holds nothing back.

book jacket for Evolution of Shadows

The Evolution of Shadows by Jason Quinn Malott (Wichita)

This debut novel explores the1995 Bosnian war zone disappearance of news photographer Gray Banick. He left behind three people who loved him. In 2000, those three people have met in Sarajevo to search for Gray, or Gray's remains.

book jacket for Ghost Town

Ghost Town by Richard W. Jennings (Overland Park)

Spencer Adams Honesty may be the last best hope for Paisley, Kansas -- and for lonely kids everywhere. Spencer and his mom are the only people left in Paisley. Their unexpected story involves a catalog called Uncle Milton's Thousand Things You Thought You'd Never Find, a poetry deal gone awry, and a ghost camera that promises to take pictures of the past (just be sure not to photograph yourself).

book jacket for A Kansas Year

A Kansas Year by Mike Blair (Pratt)

Veteran naturalist Mike Blair calendars the wonders to be found in Kansas, month by month. A breathtaking journey through the seasons, A Kansas Year features dazzling color photographs, and is chronicled with 120 journal entries that capture the beauty of the Sunflower State's wild places.

book jacket for Lisa's Flying Electric Piano

Lisa's Flying Electric Piano by Kevin Rabas (Emporia), edited by Dennis Etzel, Jr. (Topeka)

Kevin Rabas' second book features poetry and musings about jazz, romance, nature and chalk drawings. The title relates to an electric piano which flew out of a pickup truckbed at 47th and Main in Kansas City. Rabas teaches poetry and other forms of creative writing at Emporia State University.

book jacket for Nothing Right

Nothing Right: Short Stories by Antonya Nelson (Houston, TX)

A contemporary master of the short story, Antonya Nelson writes with uncommon grace and unflinching insight about the remarkable realities of everyday existence. Eleven stories are set in Kansas, and resonate with deep familiarity. Nelson's writing encompasses the complexity, ambiguity, and beauty of daily life including comforting rituals and unexpected disruptions.

book jacket for One Kansas Farmer

One Kansas Farmer: A Kansas Number Book by Devin & Corey Scillian (Grosse Point, MI), illustrated by Doug Bowles (Lenexa)

An entertaining and educational travelogue of Kansas history, geography, famous people and places provides the backdrop for this elementary number book, including dancing prairie chickens, hot air balloons, and the invention of the microchip.

book jacket for Our Boys

Our Boys: A Perfect Season on the Plains with the Smith Center Redmen by Joe Drape (New York, NY)

Holders of the nation's longest high-school winning streak can be found in Smith Center, Kansas. This book embraces the philosophy of life taught by their legendary coach, Roger Barta. New York Times sportswriter Joe Drape moved his family across the country to discover the inspiration of the Smith Center Redmen.

book jacket for Silver Shoes

Silver Shoes by Paul Miles Schneider (Lawrence)

When Donald Gardner's mother acquires a pair of silver shoes while on a trip through Kansas, incredible things start to happen. Donald finds out there is more than he imagined to L. Frank Baum's book, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.

"As a self-published author, the Notable Books selection has already proven to be encouraging and beneficial." -Paul Miles Schneider

book jacket for Storm in the Barn

The Storm in the Barn written and illustrated by Matt Phelan (Philadelphia, PA)

This graphic novel shares the story of Jack Clark as he faces his share of ordinary 11-year-old challenges. He also is dealing with the effects of the Dust Bowl in Kansas, including rising tensions in his small town and the spread of a new illness - "dust dementia." In a land where it never rains, it's hard to trust what you see - and harder still to take heart and be a hero when necessary.

book jacket for To the Stars

To the Stars: Kansas Poets of the Ad Astra Poetry Project edited and with commentary by Denise Low (Lawrence)

Former Kansas poet laureate Low uses this unique opportunity to present poetry on the Kansas experience. Each entry features a biography, poem and commentary about the poem on two pages. Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, present Kansas poet laureate, adds writing prompts for each poem, making this ideal for classes, poetry readings and fans of the state's poetry.

book jacket for Under Siege!

Under Siege!: Three Children at the Civil War Battle for Vicksburg by Andrea Warren (Prairie Village)

In this dramatic nonfiction book for young readers, the author brings to life the 47-day siege of Vicksburg and the battles leading up to it. Three children, including General Ulysses S. Grant's 12-year-old son, Frederick, experience the horrors of war during this crucial Civil War battle.

book jacket for Years of Dust

Years of Dust: The Story of the Dust Bowl by Albert Marrin (Riverdale, NY)

In the 1930s, dangerous black storms swept through the Great Plains. The results of reckless farming and drought, these lethal storms were an environmental, economic, and human catastrophe that changed the course of American history. An acclaimed historian explains for young people, the causes behind the disaster and explores the Dust Bowl's impact.

"While having my book selected as a Kansas Notable Book was an honor in itself, it also opened up new opportunities for me, including meeting other authors and gaining a wider audience." -Richard E. Wood, author, Survival of Rural America (Notable Book 2009)

Download the press release (.pdf)
Download the bookmarks (.pdf)
Download the poster (.pdf)


|     Last modified: Oct 24, 2013