Massachusetts Book Awards


  • Vuong, Ocean
    On earth we’re briefly gorgeous : a novel

    The Fiction Award winner is On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous (Penguin Press) by Ocean Vuong of Northampton. This debut novel from Vietnamese-American poet Vuong is written as a son’s letter to his single mother, addressing their relationship and immigrant experience in a tour de force coming-of-age narrative.


  • Boucher, Christopher
    Big giant floating head

    Fiction Honor is awarded to Big Giant Floating Head (Melville House) by Christopher Boucher of Northampton.


  • Acker, Jennifer
    The limits of the world : a novel

    Fiction Honor is awarded to The Limits of the World (Delphinium Books) by Jennifer Acker of Montague.


  • Talusan, Grace
    The body papers : a memoir

    The Nonfiction Award is The Body Papers (Restless Books) by Grace Talusan of Medford. This debut memoir explores a Filipino immigrant’s battle with cancer and childhood abuse, and voices the resilience and hope of a survivor.


  • Jackson, Holly
    American radicals : how nineteenth-century protest shaped the nation

    The Nonfiction Honor is awarded to American Radicals: How 19th-Century Protest Shaped the Nation (Crown) by Holly Jackson of Cambridge.


  • Greenidge, Kerri
    Black radical : the life and times of William Monroe Trotter

    The Nonfiction Honor is awarded to Black Radical: The Life and Times of William Monroe Trotter (Liverwright) by Kerri K. Greenidge of Westborough.


  • Skolfield, Karen
    Battle dress : poems

    The Poetry Award winner is Battle Dress: Poems (Norton) by Karen Skolfield of Amherst. A U.S. Army veteran and the current poet laureate of Northampton, Skolfield has written poems that share her experience as a female soldier, addressing physical training, mental preparation, and the effects of trauma over time.


  • de la Paz, Oliver
    The boy in the labyrinth

    Poetry Honor is awarded to The Boy in the Labyrinth (U of Akron Press) by Oliver de la Paz of Holden.


  • Cohen, Andrea
    Nightshade : poems

    Poetry Honor is awarded to Nightshade (Four Way Books) by Andrea Cohen of Watertown.


  • Raúl the Third
    ¡Vamos! Let’s go to the market

    The Award winner in the Picture Book/Early Reader category is ¡Vamos! Let’s Go to the Market (Versify) by Raúl the Third of Medford. This charming bilingual picture book takes readers to a busy border-town market, teaching them basic words in Spanish as Little Lobo delivers his wares.


  • Willems, Mo
    Because

    Picture Books and Early Readers Honor is awarded to Because (Hyperion) by Mo Willems of Northampton, with illustrations by Amber Ren.


  • Archer, Micha
    Daniel’s good day

    Picture Books and Early Readers Honor is awarded to Daniel’s Good Day (Nancy Paulsen) by Micha Archer of Leverett.


  • Hunt, Lynda Mullaly
    Shouting at the rain

    The Middle Grade/Young Adult Literature Award winner is Shouting at the Rain (Penguin Young Readers) by Lynda Mullaly Hunt of South Yarmouth. Set on Cape Cod, against the backdrop of its stormy weather, the book is an adolescent tale of family and friendship, loneliness, and standing up for what is right.


  • LaRocca, Rajani
    Midsummer’s mayhem

    Middle Grade/Young Adult Literature Honor is awarded to Midsummer’s Mayhem (Little Bee) by Rajani LaRocca of Concord.


  • Wilson, Kip
    White Rose

    Middle Grade/Young Adult Literature Honor is awarded to White Rose (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) by Kip Wilson of Melrose.