Massachusetts Book Awards
Must Read Long Lists Announced
The press releases have just gone out, and we wanted you to be among the first to hear the news...
Massachusetts Center for the Book is pleased to announce the Must Reads (long lists) in the 20th Annual Massachusetts Book Awards.

The books were selected from among hundreds of estimable 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 writers among us in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

The Center, collaborating with our literary partners, will promote the titles throughout the Spring and Summer. In August we'll announce the award and honors titles selected from among them. We plan to celebrate the books at Fall events ( remember those? ) in Massachusetts and Washington, DC.

The lists are below, alphabetical by title. We'll feature two titles a day from mid-April through May, and you can help us spread the good word by linking (below) to one or more of the social media platforms we'll use.

Must-Read Fiction
The Age of Light by Whitney Scharer (Little, Brown and Co)
Big Giant Floating Head by Christopher Boucher (Melville House)
Blue Hours by Daphne Kalotay (Triquarterly Books)
Bunny by Mona Awad (Viking)
A Kind of Solitude by Dariel Suarez (Willow Spring)
Leading Men by Christopher Castellani (Viking)
The Lesson by Cadwell Turnbull (Blackstone)
The Limits of the World by Jennifer Acker (Delphinium)
On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong (Penguin)
Repentance by Andrew Lam (Tiny Fox)
This Is Not a Love Song by Brendan Mathews (Little, Brown and Co)
Wake Siren by Nina MacLaughlin (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

Must-Read Nonfiction
American Radicals by Holly Jackson (Crown)
Black Radical by Kerri K. Greenidge (Liveright)
The Body Papers by Grace Talusan (Restless)
City on a Hill by Alex Krieger (Belknap)
Once More to the Rodeo by Calvin Hennick (Pushcart)
The Optimist's Telescope by Bina Venkataraman (Riverhead)
Some of My Friends Are by Deborah L. Plummer (Beacon)
The Soul of Care by Arthur Kleinman (Viking)
Stony The Road by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. (Penguin)
Walk this Way by Geoff Edgers (Blue Rider)
What We Will Become by Mimi Lemay (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
Womanish by Kim McLarin (IG)

Must-Read Poetry
Battle Dress by Karen Skolfield (Norton)
The Boy in the Labyrinth by Oliver de la Paz (Akron)
Here All Night by Jill McDonough (Alice James)
Little-Known Operas by Patrick Donnelly (Four Way)
The Lord of Everywhere by John Hodgen (Lynx House)
Love and I by Fanny Howe (Graywolf)
Memento Mori by Charles Coe (Leapfrog)
Nightshade by Andrea Cohen (Four Way)
Soft Science by Franny Choi (Alice James)
Ugly Music by Diannely Antigua (YesYes)
Voices of Dogtown by James R. Scrimgeour (Loom)
Wonder Tissue by Hannah Larrabee (Airlie)

Must-Read Middle Grade/Young Adult Literature
1919 The Year That Changed America by Martin W. Sandler (Bloomsbury)
Cilla Lee-Jenkins: The Epic Story by Susan Tan (Roaring Brook)
Diary of an Awesome Friendly Kid by Jeff Kinney (Amulet)
Every Moment After by Joseph Moldover (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
Midsummer's Mayhem by Rajani LaRocca (Yellow Jacket)
The Next Great Paulie Fink by Ali Benjamin (Little, Brown)
Revenge of the Red Club by Kim Harrington (Aladdin)
Shouting at the Rain by Lynda Mullaly Hunt (Nancy Paulsen)
The Waning Age by S.E. Grove (Viking)
What Every Girl Should Know by J. Albert Mann (Atheneum)
White Rose by Kip Wilson (Versify)
XL by Scott Brown (Knopf)

Must-Read Picture Books/Early Readers
Because by Mo Willems (Hyperion)
Daniel's Good Day by Micha Archer (Nancy Paulsen)
Eek, You Reek! by Jane Yolen and Heidi E. Y. Stemple (Millbrook)
Follow Chester! by Gloria Respress-Churchwell (Charlesbridge)
Gittel's Journey by Lesléa Newman (Abrams)
Here and Now by Julia Denos (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
The Hundred-Year Barn by Patricia MacLachlan (Katherine Tegen)
Linus the Little Yellow Pencil by Scott Magoon (Hyperion)
Monument Maker by Linda Booth Sweeney (Tilbury House)
Tiny Feet Between the Mountains by Hanna Cha (Simon & Schuster)
¡Vamos! Let's Go to the Market by Raúl the Third (Versify)
What Miss Mitchell Saw by Hayley Barrett (Beach Lane)

You can support these writers and our larger literary economy by consulting the NEIBA Map to find a bookseller near you. Thanks in advance!

The Massachusetts Center for the Book is a public-private partnership, chartered as the Commonwealth affiliate of the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress and charged with developing, supporting and promoting cultural programming to advance the cause of books and reading in Massachusetts and throughout the nation.  
“A great book should leave you with many experiences, and slightly exhausted at the end. You live several lives while reading.” -- William Styron
Temporary Contact Info for Mass Center for the Book

Our physical office is closed during the Governor's stay-at-home/work-at-home order, but we are working remotely. Email is the most direct way to connect.

Press Inquiries: Ellen Flanagan Kenny,

Mass Book Awards: Michelle Hoover,

Letters About Literature (announcements/permission requests will go out next week) : Ellen Flanagan Kenny,

Executive Director: Sharon Shaloo, (all other inquiries)

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