The Nebraska Center for the Book

AWARDS

Nebraska Book Award Winners

The Nebraska Book Awards program, sponsored by the Nebraska Center for the Book (NCB), recognizes and honors books that are written by Nebraska authors, published by Nebraska publishers, set in Nebraska, or concerning Nebraska.

2014 (15th annual) for books published in 2013

Anthology
The Untidy Season: An Anthology of Nebraska Women Poets, edited by Heidi Hermanson, Liz Kay, Jen Lambert, and Sarah McKinstry-Brown
Publisher: The Backwaters Press
Anthology Honor
The Northwoods Hymnal, by Luke A. Hawley
Publisher: River Otter Press
Children's Picture Book
Simpson’s Sheep Won’t Go to Sleep!, Bruce Arant
Publisher: Peter Pauper Press
Cover/Design/Illustration
Simpson’s Sheep Won’t Go to Sleep!, Bruce Arant
Publisher: Peter Pauper Press
Fiction
Stranded, Alex Kava
Publisher: Doubleday
Fiction Honor
Haven’s Wake, Ladette Randolph
Publisher: University of Nebraska Press
Nonfiction: Biography
Black Print with a White Carnation: Mildred Brown and the Omaha Star Newspaper, 1938-1989, Amy Helene Forss
Publisher: University of Nebraska Press
Nonfiction: History
The Last Days of the Rainbelt, David J. Wishart
Publisher: University of Nebraska Press
Nonfiction: Natural History
Yellowstone Wildlife: Ecology and Natural History of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, Paul A. Johnsgard, photographs by Thomas D. Mangelsen
Publisher: University Press of Colorado
Nonfiction: Reference
Witness: A Húnkpapȟa Historian’s Strong-Heart Song of the Lakotas, Josephine Waggoner and Emily Levine
Publisher: University of Nebraska Press
Poetry
Saving Singletrees, Leo Dangel
Publisher: WSC Press
Young Adult Fiction
Eleanor & Park, Rainbow Rowell
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin

2013 (14th annual) for books published in 2012

Anthology
Artifacts & Illuminations: Critical Essays on Loren Eiseley, edited by Tom Lynch and Susan N. Maher
Publisher: University of Nebraska Press
Children's Picture Book
House Held Up by Trees, Ted Kooser
Publisher: Candlewick
Cover/Design/Illustration
Nebraska's Post Office Murals: Born of the Depression, Fostered by the New Deal, L. Robert Puschendorf
Publisher: Nebraska State Historical Society Books
Designer: Nathan Putens
Cover/Design/Illustration Book Arts Award
In Times of Considerable Wars and Interludes, Don Welch
Publisher: All Along Press
Design, Illustration and Production: Elysia Mann
Fiction
Hell or High Water, Joy Castro
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books
Fiction Honor
Lake Country: A Novel, Sean Doolittle
Publisher: Bantam
Nonfiction: Autobiography
Backstage: Stories from My Life in Public Television, Ron Hull
Publisher: Bison Books, University of Nebraska Press
Nonfiction: Autobiography
Called to Justice: The Life of a Federal Trial Judge (Law in the American West), Hon. Warren K. Urbom and William Jay Riley
Publisher: Bison Books, University of Nebraska Press
Nonfiction: Biography
Free Radical: Ernest Chambers, Black Power, and the Politics of Race, Tekla Agbala Ali Johnson and Quintard Taylor
Publisher: Texas Tech University Press
Nonfiction: Essay
What the River Carries: Encounters with the Mississippi, Missouri, and Platte, Lisa Knopp
Publisher: University of Missouri
Nonfiction: History
Standing Firmly by the Flag: Nebraska Territory and the Civil War, 1861-1867, James E. Potter
Publisher: Bison Books, University of Nebraska Press
Nonfiction: Nebraska as Place
Nebraska's Post Office Murals: Born of the Depression, Fostered by the New Deal, L. Robert Puschendorf
Publisher: Nebraska State Historical Society Books
Poetry
Stray Cat Blues, Hal Sirowitz
Publisher: The Backwaters Press
Young Adult Fiction
The Miseducation of Cameron Post, emily m. danforth
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Youth Nonfiction
Light on the Prairie: Solomon D. Butcher, Photographer of Nebraska's Pioneer Days, Nancy Plain
Publisher: Bison Books, University of Nebraska Press

2012 (13th annual) for books published in 2011

Anthology
Aspects of Robinson: Homage to Weldon Kees, edited by Christopher Buckley and Christopher Howell
Publisher: The Backwaters Press
Anthology Honor
Women on the North American Plains, edited by Renee Laegreid and Sandra K. Mathews
Publisher: Texas Tech University Press 
Cover/Design/Illustration
First Telegraph Line across the Continent: Charles Brown’s 1861 Diary, edited by Dennis Mihelich and James E. Potter
Publisher: Nebraska State Historical Society Books
Designer: Reigert Graphics
Cover/Design/Illustration Honor
Flushed During Play: 51 Pet Rodent Deaths, compiled by Jeff Lacey
Artwork: Calvin Banks
Fiction
To Be Sung Underwater, Tom McNeal
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Nonfiction: Biography
Rattlesnake Daddy: A Son's Search for His Father, Brent Spencer
Publisher: The Backwaters Press
Nonfiction: History
The Rhythm Boys of Omaha Central: High School Basketball at the ‘68 Racial Divide, Steve Marantz
Publisher: University of Nebraska Press 
Nonfiction: Nebraska as Place
Portraits Of The Prairie: The Land That Inspired Willa Cather, Richard Schilling
Publisher: University of Nebraska Press 
Nonfiction: Reference
Field Guide to Wildflowers of Nebraska and the Great Plains, by Jon Farrar 
Publisher: University of Iowa Press 
Poetry
Dirt Songs: A Plains Duet, Twyla M. Hansen and Linda M. Hasselstrom
Publisher: The Backwaters Press

2011 (12th annual) for books published in 2010

Cover/Design/Illustration
The Flower Girl/The Ring Bear, N.L. Sharp
Illustrator: Tim Hantula
Publisher: Prairieland Press
Designer: Lynn Gibney
Cover/Design/Illustration Honor
Belle Boy, Anne Fuller
Publisher: Fuller Minds LLC
Designer: Gary James Withrow
Fiction
Lamb Bright Saviors, Robert Vivian
Publisher: University of Nebraska Press
Fiction Honor
Stolen Horses, Dan O'Brien
Publisher: University of Nebraska Press
Nonfiction
Life is What You Make It, Peter Buffet
Publisher: Harmony Books
Nonfiction Honor
North American Journals of Prince Maximilian of Wied: Volume 2, April-September 1833, Stephen S. Witte and Marsha V. Gallagher, Editors
Publisher: University of Oklahoma Press
Poetry
Cradling Monsoons, Sarah McKinstry-Brown
Publisher: Blue Light Press
Young Adult Fiction
The Red Umbrella, Christina Diaz Gonzalez
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf
Young Adult Nonfiction
Sky Sailors: True Stories of the Balloon Era, David L. Bristow
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

2010 (11th annual) for books published in 2009

View the book award submissions list [pdf]
Anthology
African Americans on the Great Plains: An Anthology
Publisher: University of Nebraska Press
Editors: Bruce A. Glasrud and Charles A. Braithwaite
Anthology Honor
The Loren Eiseley Reader, Loren C. Eiseley
Publisher: Abbatia Press/Infusionmedia Publishing
Forward: Ray Bradbury
Cover art and illustrations: Aaron Franco
Editor: The Loren Eiseley Society
Cover/Design/Illustration
“I Do Not Apologize for the Length of This Letter”: The Mari Sandoz Letters on Native American Rights, 1940-1965, Mari Sandoz and Kimberli A. Lee
Publisher: Texas Tech University Press
Designer: Lindsay Starr
Cover photos: Courtesy Caroline Sandoz Pifer Collection, Mari Sandoz High Plains Heritage Center, Chadron State College
Cover/Design/Illustration Honor
Great Plains: America’s Lingering Wild, Michael Forsberg
Publisher: The University of Chicago Press
Fiction
A Sandhills Ballad, Ladette Randolph
Publisher: University of New Mexico Press
Nonfiction
“I Am a Man”: Chief Standing Bear’s Journey for Justice, Joe Starita
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Nonfiction Honor
Louise Pound: Scholar, Athlete, Feminist Pioneer, Robert Cochran
Publisher: University of Nebraska Press
Poetry
Garden of Stars, Dwaine Spieker
Publisher: All Along Press
Young Adult
Some Girls Bite, Chloe Neill
Publisher: New American Library

2009 (10th annual) for books published in 2008

Cover/Design/Illustration
BVH Architects: Forty Years, Suzanne Smith Arney
Publisher: Omaha Books, a division of Eventive Marketing, LLC
Designer: Elizabeth Murphy
Cover photo: Fashid Assassi
Cover/Design/Illustration Honor
The Death of Raymond Yellow Thunder, Stew Magnuson
Publisher: Texas Tech University Press
Designer: Lindsay Starr
Cover photo: John Vachon
Fiction
Exiles, Ron Hansen
Publisher: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux
Nonfiction
The Death of Raymond Yellow Thunder, Stew Magnuson
Publisher: Texas Tech University Press
Nonfiction Honor
Nebraska’s Cowboy Trail, Keith Terry
Publisher: University of Nebraska Press
Poetry
Geographia, James Magorian
Publisher: Black Oak Press

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2008 (9th annual) for books published in 2008

Anthology
The Big Empty: Contemporary Nebraska Nonfiction Writers
Publisher: University of Nebraska Press
Editors: Ladette Randolph and Nina Shevchuk-Murray
Anthology Honor
Nebraska Presence: An Anthology of Poetry
Publisher: The Backwaters Press
Editors: Greg Kosmicki and Mary K. Stillwell
Cover/Design/Illustration
Husker Numbers: A Nebraska Number Book, Rajean Luebs Shepherd
Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press
Illustrator: Sandy Appleoff
Fiction
Dead Ex, Harley Jane Kozak
Publisher: Doubleday
Nonfiction
150: A Commemoration of the Sesquicentennial of Hall County, Nebraska
Publisher: Grand Island Independent
Editor: Pete Letheby
Nonfiction Honor
Africa on Six Wheels: A Semester on Safari, Betty Levitov
Publisher: University of Nebraska Press
Poetry
Book of Grass, JV Brummels
Publisher: Grizzly Media

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2007 (8th annual) for books published in 2006

Children/Young Adult
Tomorrow, the River, Dianne E. Gray
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Company
Cover/Design/Illustration
Things We Don’t Know We Don’t Know, Matt Mason
Publisher: The Backwaters Press
Fiction
The Floor of the Sky, Pamela Carter Joern
Publisher: University of Nebraska Press Flyover Fiction Series
Fiction Honor
The Cleanup, Sean Doolittle
Publisher: Bantam Dell, a Division of Random House, Inc.
Nonfiction
The National Grasslands: A Guide to America’s Undiscovered Treasures, Francis Moul
Publisher: University of Nebraska Press Bison Books
Photography: Georg Joutras
Nonfiction Honor
Toast to Omaha: A Cookbook, Junior League of Omaha
Publisher: Omaha Books
Poetry
Things We Don’t Know We Don’t Know, Matt Mason
Publisher: The Backwaters Press

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2006 (7th annual) for books published in 2005

Anthology
Slamma Lamma Ding Dong: An Anthology of Nebraska’s Slam Poets
Publisher: iUniverse, Inc.
Editors: J.M. Huscher, Matt Mason, Dan Leamen
Children/Young Adult
The Nebraska Adventure, Jean A. Lukesh
Publisher: Gibbs Smith
Cover/Design/Illustration
These Trespasses, Jim Reese
Publisher: The Backwaters Press
Fiction
This is Not the Tropics, Ladette Randolph
Publisher: University of Wisconsin Press
Nonfiction
Impertinences: Selected Writings of Elia Peattie, A Journalist In The Gilded Age, Elia W. Peattie
Publisher: University of Nebraska Press
Editor: Susanne George-Bloomfield
Nonfiction Honor
Rainmakers: A Photographic Story of Center Pivots
Publisher: Groundwater Foundation
Poetry
No Accident, Aaron Anstett
Publisher: The Backwaters Press

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2005 (6th annual) for books published in 2004

Anthology
A Different Plain: Contemporary Nebraska Fiction Writers
Publisher: University of Nebraska Press
Editor: Ladette Randolph
Children
Going North, Janice N. Harrington
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Illustrator: Jerome Lagarrigue
Children Honor
Effie’s Image, N. L. Sharp
Publisher: Prairieland Press
Illustrator: Dorothia Rohner
Young Adult Honor
Worth, A. LaFaye
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Cover/Design/Illustration
On Ancient Wings, Michael Forsberg
Publisher: Michael Forsberg Photography
Cover/Design/Illustration Honor
Mirror of the Wood, Karen Kunc and Jukka Partanen
Publisher: Blue Heron Press
Fiction
Dating Dead Men, Harley Jane Kozak
Publisher: Doubleday, a division of Random House, Inc.
Fiction Honor
Little Men, Gerald Shapiro
Publisher: Ohio State University Press
Nonfiction
A Life with Dogs, Roger Welsch
Publisher: MBI Publishing Company
Nonfiction Honor
On Ancient Wings, Michael Forsberg
Publisher: Michael Forsberg Photography
Poetry
How Much Our Dancing Has Improved, Barbara Schmitz
Publisher: The Backwaters Press

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2004 (5th annual) for books published in 2003

Anthology
Road Trip: Conversations with Writers
Publisher: The Backwaters Press
Editors: Shelly Clark and Marjorie Saiser
Children
The Ring Bear, N. L. Sharp
Publisher: Dageforde Publishing, Inc.
Illustrator: Michael T. Hassler Jr.
Cover/Design/Illustration
Road Trip: Conversations with Writers
Publisher: The Backwaters Press
Cover photo: Randy Barger
Cover design: Chris Bristol
Fiction
Acts of Love on Indigo Road, Jonis Agee
Publisher: Coffee House Press
Nonfiction
Restoring the Burnt Child: A Primer, William Kloefkorn
Publisher: University of Nebraska Press
Poetry
Potato Soup, Twyla Hansen
Publisher: The Backwaters Press
Young Adult
Free to Drink the Wind, Ruth Foreman
Publisher: Beaver Books

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2003 (4th annual) for books published in 2002

Children/Young Adult
Together Apart, Dianne E. Gray
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Company
Children/Young Adult Honor
Prairie Summer, Bonnie Geisert
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Company
Cover/Design/Illustration
Times of Sorrow, Times of Grace: Writing by Women of the Great Plains/High Plains
Publisher: The Backwaters Press
Editors: Marjorie Saiser, Greg Kosmicki, and Lisa Sandlin
Cover/Design/Illustration Book Arts Production Honor
A Year at the Sorbonne: A Proustian Life, Oliver B. Pollak
Publisher: The Yellow Barn Press
Fiction
The Phantom Limbs of the Rollow Sisters, Timothy Schaffert
Publisher: Blue Hen Books/Penguin Putnam
Fiction Short Story Collection Honor
Night Sounds and Other Stories, Karen Gettert Shoemaker
Publisher: Dufour Editions Inc.
Nonfiction
Local Wonders: Seasons in the Bohemian Alps, Ted Kooser
Publisher: University of Nebraska Press
Poetry
Muse, Susan Aizenberg
Publisher: Crab Orchard Review & Southern Illinois University Press
Poetry Honor
Times of Sorrow, Times of Grace: Writing by Women of the Great Plains/High Plains
Publisher: The Backwaters Press
Editors: Marjorie Saiser, Greg Kosmicki, and Lisa Sandlin

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2002 (3rd annual) for books published in 2001

Cover/Design/Illustration
All the Horses that He’d Rode, Charles E. Hunt and Daryl Poulin
Publisher: Dageforde Publishing
Fiction
A Cafecito Story: El Cuento Del Cafecito, Julia Alvarez, Belkis Ramirez, Bill Eichner
Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing
Nonfiction
Cold Snap as Yearning, Robert Vivian
Publisher: University of Nebraska Press
Nonfiction Honor
The Nature of Nebraska, Paul A. Johnsgard
Publisher: University of Nebraska Press
Poetry
Bullroarer: A Sequence, Ted Genoways
Publisher: Northeastern University Press
Poetry Honor
Lost in Seward County, Marjorie Saiser
Publisher: The Backwaters Press
Poetry Honor
Translation, Hilda Raz
Publisher: Wesleyan University Press

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2001 (2nd annual) for books published in 2000

Children/Young Adult
Places in Time: A New Atlas of American History, Susan Buckley, Elspeth Leacock, Randy Jones
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Company
Cover/Design/Illustration
Homefield: Sonata in Rural Voice, Robert Richter
Publisher: The Backwaters Press
Editors: Marjorie Saiser, Greg Kosmicki, and Lisa Sandlin
Fiction
Troublemakers, Robert Richter
Publisher: University of Iowa Press
Nonfiction
Entering Howard County: A History of the People and the Land of Howard County, Nebraska, Marion Bahensky, Ron Sack
Publisher: Howard County Historical Society
Nonfiction Honor
Black Elk Lives: Conversations with the Black Elk Family, Esther Black Elk DeSersa, Olivia Black Elk Pourier, Aaron DeSersa Jr., Clifton DeSersa
Publisher: University of Nebraska Press
Editors: Hilda Neihardt, Lori Utecht
Poetry
Winter Morning Walks: One Hundred Postcards to Jim Harrison, Ted Kooser
Publisher: Carnegie Melon University Press

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2000 (1st annual) for books published in 1999

Cover/Design/Illustration
Abilene Lawmen, Larry D. Underwood
Publisher: Dageford Publishing
Fiction
The Weight of Dreams, Jonis Agee
Publisher: Viking Penguin
Nonfiction
The Frontier Army and the Settlement of the West, Michael L. Tate
Publisher: University of Oklahoma Press
Nonfiction Honor
Spans in Time: A History of Nebraska Bridges, James Potter and Robert Puschendorf
Publisher: Nebraska State Historical Society
Poetry
Bones of a Very Fine Hand, Marjorie Saiser
Publisher: The Backwaters Press

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