Each year the Society of Midland Authors honors the best books by Midwest authors published in the previous year. Congratulations to the winners and finalists of books published in 2014, but especially to Books for Youth Senior Editor, Ilene Cooper, a finalist in the category of children’s nonfiction for her book, A Woman in the House (and Senate): How Women Came to the United States Congress, Broke Down Barriers, and Changed the Country. The Society of Midland Authors celebrates its 100th anniversary this spring. At the celebration on May 2nd, you can catch Ilene as a speaker at one of the society’s many literary events that weekend. For more information about their centennial celebration click here. Below are the winning authors and finalists of 2014, with information about each author from the press release. Booklist reviews are linked when available:
Robert Hellenga, The Confessions of Frances Godwin, Bloomsbury. (Author grew up in Three Oaks, Mich., spent childhood summers in Milwaukee and now lives in Galesburg, Ill. He has also lived in Chicago and Italy.)
Kathleen Rooney, O, Democracy!, Fifth Star Press. (Author grew up in Woodridge, Ill., and lives in Chicago.)
Lin Enger, The High Divide, Algonquin. (Author lives in Moorhead, Minn.)
The judges for Adult Fiction were Mark Eleveld, Bayo Ojikutu and Tony Romano.
Jonathan Eig, The Birth of the Pill: How Four Crusaders Reinvented Sex and Launched a Revolution, W.W. Norton. (Author lives in Chicago.)
Michael McCarthy, Ashes Under Water: The SS Eastland and the Shipwreck That Shook America, Lyons Press. (Author lives in South Haven, Mich., and has lived in Chicago.)
The judges for Adult Nonfiction were Ray E. Boomhower, Gregory Harms and Davis Schneiderman.
Biography & Memoir
David Stuart MacLean, The Answer to the Riddle Is Me: A Memoir of Amnesia, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. (Author lives in Chicago and grew up in central Ohio.)
Ken S. Mueller, Senator Benton and the People: Master Race Democracy on the Early American Frontiers, Northern Illinois University Press. (Author lives in Lafayette, Ind., and attended St. Louis University.)
The judges for Biography & Memoir were John Hallwas, Re’Lynn Hansen and Bob Remer.
Margi Preus, West of the Moon, Amulet Books. (Author lives in Duluth, Minn.)
Margaret Willey, Beetle Boy, Lerner Books. (Author lives in Grand Haven, Mich.)
Crystal Chan, Bird, Atheneum Books for Young Readers. (Author lives in Chicago.)
John David Anderson, Minion, Walden Pond Press. (Author lives in Indianapolis.)
The judges for Children’s Fiction were Lisa Bigelow, Laurie Lawlor and Gary Schmidt.
Ann Bausum, Stubby the War Dog: The True Story of World War I’s Bravest Dog, National Geographic Children’s Books. (Author lives in Janesville, Wis.)
Don Mitchell, The Freedom Summer Murders, Scholastic Press. (Author was raised in Iowa, Illinois and Ohio, and now lives in Arlington, Va.)
Ilene Cooper, A Woman in the House (and Senate): How Women Came to the United States Congress, Broke Down Barriers, and Changed the Country, Abrams Books for Young Readers. (Author lives in Highland Park, Ill.)
The judges for Children’s Nonfiction were Patricia Kummer, Andrew Medlar and Christine Taylor-Butler.
Grace Bauer, Nowhere All At Once, Stephen F. Austin State University Press. (Author lives in Lincoln, Neb.)
The judges for Poetry were Anne-Marie Cusac, Alice Friman and Martha Modena Vertreace-Doody.