Heading Out Into the World
And Taking Our MassBooks With Us!
Dear Friends of Books and Reading:

This year has sometimes seemed like the long winter of our discontent, hasn't it? I imagine that you were as buoyed by books as we were during these many months.

That's why we are especially happy to send you this Mass Book Summer Reading Edition newsletter, with long-lists -- our "Must Reads" -- for the Mass Book Awards and celebrations of poetry with this year's Route 1 Reads program.

We're also sending you news about the Library of Congress/Massachusetts
Literacy Award and a follow up to our Letters About Literature email reminding you about the great letters posted at our site from this year's program.

I mean this sincerely and in all its many ways: Thanks for Reading!

All Best Wishes,
Sharon Shaloo, Executive Director
Massachusetts Book Awards
Must Read Long Lists Announced
Massachusetts Center for the Book is pleased to announce the Must Reads (long lists) in the 21st Annual Massachusetts Book Awards.

The books were selected from among hundreds of submissions to this annual recognition of significant achievements in fiction, nonfiction, poetry, middle grade/young adult literature, and picture books/early readers published by the talented writers among us in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

The Center will work with reading partners to promote these titles through the Summer. We'll announce and celebrate the award winners in the Fall. Details will follow once we learn what access we will have to our normal venues.

Must Read Fiction
The Bear by Andrew Krivak (Bellevue Literary Press)
The Boy in the Field by Margot Livesey (Harper/HarperCollins)
Everyone on the Moon is Essential Personnel by Julian K. Jarboe (Lethe)
Fabrications by Pamela Painter (Johns Hopkins UP)
Impersonation by Heidi Pitlor (Algonquin Books)
Inheritors by Asako Serizawa (Doubleday/Penguin Random House)
Master of Poisons by Andrea Hairston (Tor/Macmillan)
Monogamy by Sue Miller (Harper/HarperCollins)
Popol Vuh by Ilan Stavans (Restless Books)
The Resisters by Gish Jen (Knopf/Penguin Random House)
Saint X by Alexis Schaitkin (Celadon Books/Macmillan)
Separation Anxiety by Laura Zigman (Ecco/HarperCollins)
Survivor Song by Paul Tremblay (William Morrow/HarperCollins)
The Yellow Bird Sings by Jennifer Rosner (Flatiron Books/Macmillan)

Must Read Nonfiction
Bright Precious Thing by Gail Caldwell (Random House/Penguin Random House)
Cross of Snow by Nicholas A. Basbanes (Knopf/Penguin Random House)
Demagogue by Larry Tye (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
Finding Sanctuary by Barry Van Dusen (Mass Audubon)
Full Dissidence by Howard Bryant (Beacon)
A Furious Sky by Eric Jay Dolin (Liveright/Norton)
How to Make a Slave and Other Essays by Jerald Walker (Ohio State UP)
Is Rape a Crime? by Michelle Bowdler (Flatiron Books/Macmillan)
Money for Nothing by Thomas Levenson (Random House/Penguin Random House)
The Power Worshippers by Katherine Stewart (Bloomsbury)
Say I'm Dead by E. Dolores Johnson (Lawrence Hill Books/Chicago Review)
The Smallest Lights in the Universe by Sara Seager (Crown/Penguin Random House)
Spirit Run by Noé Alvarez (Catapult Books)
What Can a Body Do? by Sara Hendren (Riverhead Books/Penguin Random House)

Must Read Poetry
Between Lakes by Jeffrey Harrison (Four Way Books)
Field Light by Owen Lewis (Dos Madres)
First Generation by Krikor Der Hohannesian (Dos Madres)
Geode by Susan Barba (Black Sparrow/Godine)
Land's End by Gail Mazur (U of Chicago P)
Listen by Steven Cramer (MadHat)
Mesmerizingly Sadly Beautiful by Matthew Lippman (Four Way Books)
Now It's Dark by Peter Gizzi (Wesleyan UP)
On Earth Beneath Sky by Chath pierSath (Loom)
Petition by Joyce Peseroff (Carnegie Mellon UP)
Teaching While Black by Matthew E. Henry (Main Street Rag)
When My Body Was A Clinched Fist by Enzo Silon Surin (Black Lawrence)
Women in the Waiting Room by Kirun Kapur (Black Lawrence)
Wonder and Wrath by A.M. Juster (Paul Dry Books)

Must Read Middle Grade/Young Adult Literature
Beheld by TaraShea Nesbit (Bloomsbury)
The Colossus of Roads by Christina Uss (Margaret Ferguson Books/Penguin Random House)
The Degenerates by J. Albert Mann (Atheneum Books for Young Readers/Simon & Schuster)
Don't Ask Me Where I'm From by Jennifer De Leon (Caitlyn Dlouhy Books/Simon & Schuster)
Echo Mountain by Lauren Wolk (Dutton Books for Young Readers/Penguin Random House)
Flamer by Mike Curato (Holt Books for Young Readers/Macmillan)
Illegal by Francisco X. Stork (Scholastic)
The Maps of Memory by Marjorie Agosin (Caitlyn Dlouhy Books/Simon & Schuster)
Six Angry Girls by Adrienne Kisner (Feiwel & Friends/Macmillan)
Sources Say by Lori Goldstein (Razorbill/Penguin Random House)
The Witches of Willow Cove by Josh Roberts (Owl Hollow)
This Book Is Anti-Racist by Tiffany Jewell (Frances Lincoln Children's Books/Quarto)
Trowbridge Road by Marcella Pixley (Candlewick)
Where Dreams Descend by Janella Angeles (Wednesday Books/Macmillan)

Must Read Picture Books/Early Readers
Be You! by Peter H. Reynolds (Scholastic)
The Bear in My Family by Maya Tatsukawa (Dial Books/Penguin Random House)
Cozy by Jan Brett (Putnam's Books for Young Readers/Penguin Random House)
Geeger the Robot Goes to School by Jarrett Lerner (Aladdin/Simon & Schuster)
Hound Won't Go by Lisa Rogers (Albert Whitman)
How Long is Forever? by Kelly Carey (Charlesbridge)
I am the Storm by Jane Yolen & Heidi E.Y. Stemple (Rise x Penguin Workshop/Penguin Random House)
A Kid of Their Own by Megan Dowd Lambert (Charlesbridge)
Lali's Feather by Farhana Zia (Peachtree)
River Otter's Adventure by Linda Stanek (Arbordale)
Seven Golden Rings by Rajani LaRocca (Lee & Low Books)
Wherever I Go by Mary Wagley Copp (Atheneum Books for Young Readers/Simon & Schuster)
You're Invited to a Moth Ball by Loree Griffin Burns (Charlesbridge)
Zero Local: Next Stop: Kindness by Ethan Murrow and Vita Murrow (Candlewick)
Board Members Alexandra Marshall (middle) and Moying Li with Steve Yarbrough, 2019 Fiction award winner, at Massachusetts State House.
“Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.” ― Charles W. Eliot

Route 1 Is Reading Poetry in 2021!
Mass Center for the Book has selected Kirun Kapur's Women in the Waiting Room as its poetry selection in the seventh annual "Route 1 Reads" program, a reading promotion program of the East Coast Centers for the Book.

This year, Massachusetts Route 1 libraries are joining in the celebration of poetry along the path of this iconic highway through our commonwealth.

Please visit our website to read more about the program and watch short videos from Salisbury to Attleboro, kicking off with Kirun Kapur reading a poem beside the Merrimack River and stopping in to many of our Route 1 libraries to hear how poetry lives in their communities. You also can travel up and down the coast to encounter the other East Coast poets from our site.
Raising A Reader Massachusetts Presented 2021 State Literacy Award

In other news, Mass Center for the Book presented the 2021 Library of Congress/Massachusetts Literacy Award to Raising A Reader Massachusetts during a virtual event in April. Working with over 120 partners in Greater Boston and more than one-third of Commonwealth Gateway Cities, Raising A Reader Massachusetts creates informative, safe, and inclusive spaces for families to learn the dialogic reading methods at the foundation of its family literacy program. The organization was commended for "its important work of bringing young families from diverse backgrounds together and into the commonwealth of readers who will form our next generation of Massachusetts leaders."
On May 19, Mass Center for the Book hosted a virtual celebration of the 2021 Top Honor and Honors student writers in the Massachusetts Letters About Literature program.

Read more about this annual reading and writing initiative, MCB's signature program for young students, here.
Contact Us

Communications Associate: Ellen Flanagan Kenny, ellenfkenny@massbook.org
Executive Director: Sharon Shaloo, shaloo@massbook.org

There is no frigate like a book to take us lands away...