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WORD: ABA announces finalists for 2009 Indies Choice Book Awards
Press Release

The American Booksellers Association unveiled the finalists for the inaugural Indies Choice Book Awards, reflecting the spirit of independent bookstores and the IndieBound movement. Voting to choose the winners in seven categories is now open to the owners and staff at all ABA member bookstores.

The categories for this year's inaugural Indies Choice Book Awards are Best Indie Buzz Book (fiction), Best Conversation Starter (nonfiction), Best Author Discovery (debut), Best New Picture Book, Best YA Buzz Book, Most Engaging Author, and the Picture Book Hall of Fame.

The 2009 Indies Choice Book Awards finalists are: Best Indie Buzz Book (Fiction) * City of Thieves, by David Benioff (Viking) * The Given Day, by Dennis Lehane (Morrow) * The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, by Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows (Dial) * Netherland, by Joseph O'Neill (Pantheon) * People of the Book, by Geraldine Brooks (Viking) * Unaccustomed Earth, by Jhumpa Lahiri (Knopf)

Best Conversation Starter (Nonfiction) * American Buffalo, by Steven Rinella (Spiegel & Grau) * The Forever War, by Dexter Filkins (Knopf) * Hurry Down Sunshine, by Michael Greenberg (Other Press) * A Voyage Long and Strange, by Tony Horwitz (Holt) * What I Talk About When I Talk About Running, by Haruki Murakami (Knopf) * The Wordy Shipmates, by Sarah Vowell (Riverhead)

Best Author Discovery (Debut) * Child 44, by Tom Rob Smith (Grand Central) * The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, by Stieg Larsson (Knopf) * Mudbound, by Hillary Jordan (Algonquin) * The Story of Edgar Sawtelle, by David Wroblewski (Ecco) * The Story of Forgetting, by Stefan Merrill Block (Random House) * White Tiger, by Aravind Adiga (Free Press)

Best Indie Young Adult Buzz Book (Fiction) * Graceling, by Kristin Cashore (HMH) * The Graveyard Book, by Neil Gaiman (HarperCollins) * Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins (Scholastic) * Little Brother, by Cory Doctorow (Tor) * My Most Excellent Year, by Steve Kluger (Dial) * Savvy, by Ingrid Law (Dial)

Best New Picture Book * Bats at the Library, by Brian Lies (Houghton Mifflin) * Louise, the Adventures of a Chicken, by Kate DiCamillo & Harry Bliss (HarperCollins) * Monkey and Me, by Emily Gravett (Simon & Schuster) * The Pout Pout Fish, by Deborah Diesen & Dan Hanna (FSG) * Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes, by Mem Fox & Helen Oxenbury (Harcourt) * Wave, by Suzi Lee (Chronicle)

Most Engaging Author (The author who is an in-store star with a strong sense of the importance of indie booksellers to their local communities.) * Sherman Alexie * Michael Chabon * Ann Patchett * John Scieszka * David Sedaris * Terry Tempest Williams

Picture Book Hall of Fame * Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, by Judith Viorst & Ray Cruz (Atheneum) * Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, by Bill Martin, Jr. and John Archambault & Lois Ehlert (Simon & Schuster) * Corduroy, by Don Freeman (Viking) * Curious George, by H.A. Rey (Houghton Mifflin) * Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus, by Mo Willems (Hyperion) * Goodnight Gorilla, by Peggy Rathmann (Putnam) * The Little Engine That Could, by Watty Piper (Grosset & Dunlap/Philomel) * Madeline, by Ludwig Bemelmans (Viking) * Make Way for Ducklings, by Robert McCloskey (Viking) * Napping House, by Audrey Wood (Harcourt) * Stellaluna, by Janelle Cannon (Harcourt) * The Story of Ferdinand the Bull, by Munro Leaf & Robert Lawson (Viking) * Where the Wild Things Are, by Maurice Sendak (HarperCollins)

Booksellers will be voting in these categories throughout the month of March. The winners will be announced in late April and will be honored at an awards ceremony at ABA's Celebration of Bookselling Luncheon at BookExpo America 2009 in New York City. Jury members selecting the 2009 finalists were Carla Jimenez of Inkwood Books in Tampa, Florida; Mitch Kaplan of South Florida and the Cayman Islands' Books & Books; Arsen Kashkashian of Colorado's Boulder Book Store; Valerie Koehler of Houston's Blue Willow Bookshop; Collette Morgan of Minneapolis' Wild Rumpus; and Matt Norcross of McLean & Eakin Booksellers in Petosky, Michigan. The jury was chaired by ABA Board member Cathy Langer of Tattered Cover Book Store in Denver, Colorado.

Finalists in the first five categories were selected by the jury from titles appearing on the 2008 Indie Next Lists, which launched last July, and on the Book Sense Picks Lists from the first half of the year. Finalists for the Most Engaging Author Award were chosen from among authors who are not only engaging at in-store appearances, but who also have a strong sense of the importance of independent booksellers to their communities at large. Three books will be recognized for the Picture Book Hall of Fame, and all other categories will produce one winner.


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