Every year a handful of Kansas book lovers have the difficult job of choosing their favorite books written by Kansans or about Kansas. This group of representatives from the Kansas Center for the Book, choose a list of the best books published the previous year by Kansas authors or about our state and then forward this list to the State Librarian for the final selections.
They must consider many titles including fiction, nonfiction, adult and young adult books. In early July the 2012 list was announced. Yesterday, the winning authors were awarded medals at the Kansas Book Festival in Topeka. The following titles were chosen as the winners of the seventh Kansas Notable Book list.
8 Wonders of Kansas! Guidebook by Marci Penner
The 8 Wonders of Kansas Guidebook is a 272-page book filled with over 800 beautiful photos of the 216 entries in the 8 Wonders of Kansas contests. Author Marci Penner has created another useful tour guide to help us enjoy our state’s highlights.
The Afterlives of Trees by Wyatt Townley
This new collection of poems by Wyatt Townley uses trees as a motif to explore the theme of transformation.
Amelia Lost: The Life and Disappearance of Amelia Earhart by Candace Fleming
This is the thrilling story of America’s most celebrated female flyer, Amelia Earhart, who was born in Atchison. It is told alternating between Amelia’s life from childhood up until her last flight and the exhaustive search for her and her missing plane. Level: middle graders.
Bent Road: A Novel by Lori Roy
Arthur Scott tries to escape the race riots of 1967 Detroit by returning with his family to the tiny Kansas town he left 25 years ago after the violent death of his sister.
Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Murder of a President by Candice Millard
For a man forced into the presidency, the legacy of James Garfield extended far beyond his lifetime, Destiny of the Republic revisits his meteoric rise within the military and government with meticulous research and intimate focus.
Doc: A Novel by Mary Doria Russell
Dr. John Henry Holliday, an ailing Southern gentleman, arrives in Dodge City with a prostitute who helps him find high-stakes poker games that will support them both in high style. The unlikely friendship of Doc Holliday and a fearless lawman named Wyatt Earp begins here.
The Door in the Forest by Roderick Townley
Roderick Townley spins a magical tale of lies and truths, of secrets kept and secrets revealed in this adventure story for youth or the adventurous at heart.
Liar’s Moon by Elizabeth C. Bunce
One of Kirkus Blog’s Favorite YA Novels of 2011, Liar’s Moon is a sequel to StarCrossed. These are high-fantasy, forbidden magic with castles, prisons, poisons and passion.
My Ruby Slippers: The Road Back to Kansas by Tracy Seeley
At 39, settled in San Francisco, a midlife crisis shakes Seely to her roots — she tells the story of a search for Kansas roots, the tale of a woman with an impassioned if vague sense of mission: to find the meaning of home.
The Northern Cheyenne Exodus in History and Memory
by James N. Leiker and Ramon Powers
The Northern Cheyenne in 1878, attempted to flee from Indian Territory back to their Montana homeland. This important event in American Indian history is equally important in the history of towns like Oberlin, Kan., where Cheyenne warriors killed more than 40 settlers and in turn suffered great losses through violent encounters with the U.S. Army.
Osa and Martin: For the Love of Adventure by Kelly Enright
Legendary filmmakers and adventurers Osa and Martin Johnson, via film, brought the jungles of Africa and the South Pacific to millions of Americans from the 1910s to 1940s. Kelly Enright brings this amazing couple fully to life, chronicling their journey from a honeymoon among cannibals to safari camps in lion country.
Prairie Fire: A Great Plains History by Julie Courtwright
This traces the history of both natural and intentional fires from Native American practices to the current use of controlled burns as an effective land management tool, along the way sharing the personal accounts of people whose lives have been touched by fire.
Rode by Thomas Fox Averill
This is the imagined story behind Jimmy Driftwood’s ballad “Tennessee Stud”, a story of the legendary exploits of the greatest horse that ever lived and his owner.
Send Me Work: Stories by Katherine Karlin
In this collection of short stories, Karlin offers rare insight into the place of work in the lives of women.
Tapped Out: Rear Naked Chokes, the Octagon, and the Last Emperor: An Odyssey in Mixed Martial Arts by Matthew Polly
At the age of 36, author Matthew Polly decides to immerse himself in Mixed Martial Arts training and competition in order to write a book about it.
This 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.