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The Washington Center for the Book has announced the finalists for this year’s Washington State Book Awards, which honors books published in 2016 by Washington State authors (i.e., authors born here, or who currently live here and have maintained residence here for at least three years). Winners will be announced at a celebration at the Central Library on Oct. 14, to which the public is invited. Here are the nominees by category:

Adult categories: 


  • “The Solace of Monsters” by Laurie Blauner, of Seattle (Leapfrog Press)
  • “Stories of Your Life and Others” by Ted Chiang (Vintage Books; reissued 2016; original publication date 2002)
  • Barkskins” by Annie Proulx, of Carnation (Scribner)
  • Lovecraft Country” by Matt Ruff, of Seattle (HarperCollins Publishers)
  • Daredevils” by Shawn Vestal, of Spokane (Penguin Press)



  • “Hardly War” by Don Mee Choi, of Seattle (Wave Books)
  • “My, My, My, My, My” by Tara Hardy, of Seattle (Write Bloody Publishing)
  • “Imaginary Vessels” by Paisley Rekdal, who was born in Washington state and now lives in Salt Lake City, Utah (Copper Canyon Press)
  • “Blood Song” by Michael Schmeltzer, of Seattle (Two Sylvias Press)
  • “Wintering” by Megan Snyder-Camp, of Seattle (Tupelo Press)



  • “Inside: One Woman’s Journey through the Inside Passage” by Susan Marie Conrad, of Arlington (Epicenter Press)
  • “An Earlier Life” by Brenda Miller, of Bellingham (Judith Kitchen’s Ovenbird Books)
  • Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman” by Lindy West, of Seattle (Hachette Books)
  • My Old Man and the Mountain” by Leif Whittaker, of Bellingham (Mountaineers Books)


History/General Nonfiction


Youth categories:

Picture Books

  • “Thunder Boy Jr.” written by Sherman Alexie, of Seattle, and illustrated by Yuyi Morales (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers)
  • “A Ticket to the Pennant: A Tale of Baseball in Seattle” written by Mark Holtzen, of Seattle, and illustrated by John Skewes, of Seattle (Little Bigfoot, an imprint of Sasquatch Books)
  • “Are You an Echo? The Lost Poetry of Misuzu Kaneko” narrative written by David Jacobson, of Seattle with translation by Sally Ito and Michiko Tsuboi, and illustrated by Toshikado Hajiri (Chin Music Press)
  • “Journey: Based on the True Story of OR7, the Most Famous Wolf in the West” illustrated by Robin James, of Snohomish, and written by Emma Bland Smith (Little Bigfoot, an imprint of Sasquatch Books)


Books for Young Readers (ages 6 to 8)

  • “Narwhal: Unicorn of the Sea” by Ben Clanton of Tacoma (Tundra Books)
  • “Zach and Lucy and the Museum of Natural Wonders” written by the Pifferson Sisters — Jennifer Bradbury, of Burlington, and Stephanie Guerra, of Seattle (Simon Spotlight, an imprint of Simon & Schuster)
  • “Quackers” by Liz Wong, of Edmonds (Alfred A. Knopf)


Books for Middle Readers (ages 8 to 12)

  • “Cleo Edison Oliver: Playground Millionaire” by Sundee T. Frazier, of Renton (Arthur A. Levine Books, an imprint of Scholastic)
  • “Some Kind of Courage” by Dan Gemeinhart, of Cashmere (Scholastic Press)
  • “Audacity Jones to the Rescue” by Kirby Larson, of Kenmore (Scholastic Press)


Books for Young Adults (ages 13 and up)

  • “Useless Bay” by M.J. Beaufrand, of Seattle (Amulet Books, an imprint of Abrams)
  • “Essential Maps for the Lost” by Deb Caletti, of Seattle (Simon Pulse, an imprint of Simon & Schuster)
  • “Up to This Pointe” by Jennifer Longo, of Mercer Island (Random House)