From the Columbus-Dispatch

Ohioana finalists named

Twenty-eight finalists in five categories have been announced for the annual Ohioana Book Awards.

The winning writers of poetry, fiction, nonfiction, juvenile literature and works about Ohio or Ohioans will be revealed at the end of August, with recipients honored at the Ohioana Awards Ceremony in mid-October.

The finalists for fiction are Linda Castillo, Ernest Cline, Paula McLain, Donald Ray Pollock, Mary Doria Russell and Tom Wilson; and for nonfiction: Jill Bialosky, Peter Morton Coan, Jacqui Greene Haas, Gene Kritsky and Susan Orlean.

Finalists for books about Ohio or Ohioans: Dale Brown, Michael Charry, Tony Horwitz, Candice Millard and Don Heinrich Tolzmann.

Also: Arnold Adoff, Rae Carson, Andrea Cheng, Sandra Dutton, Sandra Markle, Ty Roth, Tracie Vaughn Zimmer, for juvenile audiences; and John Gallaher and G.C. Waldrep, Dave Lucas, Robert Miltner, Doug Ramspeck

So Shelly Honored by Ohioana Book Festival

So Shelly has been selected one of the six 2012 Ohioana Book Award finalists in the category of Juvenile books.

The mission of the Ohioana Library Association is to: recognize and encourage the creative accomplishments of Ohioans, preserve, and expand a permanent archive of books, sheet music, manuscripts, and other materials by Ohioans and about Ohio, and disseminate information about the work of Ohio writers, musicians, and other artists to researchers, schools, and the general public.

I am flattered by the selection. Added to being named on of the top New New Voices by the American Booksellers Association, and SHELLY being identifiied as one of the top YA books by the American Library Association, Bank Street College, and now by the Ohioana Library, I couldn’t be more humbled or proud.

The Bank Street College of Education Selects SO SHELLY as One of 2012’s Best

I was notified by my editor at Random house today that SO SHELLY has been named to the Bank Street College of Education’s Best Books of the Year list for 2012. In choosing books for the annual list, reviewers consider literary quality and e…xcellence of presentation as well as the potential emotional impact of the books on young readers. Other criteria include credibility of characterization and plot, authenticity of time and place, age suitability, positive treatment of ethnic and religious differences, and the absence of stereotypes. Nonfiction titles are further evaluated for accuracy and clarity. Each book accepted for the list is read and reviewed by at least two committee members and then discussed by the committee as a whole. I’m humbled and honored by the selection.

Days of Little Texas Thrills and Haunts

I just finished and highly recommend R. A. Nelson’s novel, Days of Little Texas. Ronald Earl, known as Little Texas, is a sixteen-year-old itinerant preacher and faith healer. Little Texas finds himself drawn into an apocalyptic battle between the forces of good and evil, both human and supernatural, after he is unable to save an attractive, similarly-aged girl who soon after begins to simultaneously seduce/haunt him and to enlist him in the aforementioned epic struggle. Nelson, an Alabama native, is a master of the Southern gothic and of dialect and setting. Typically averse to stories of the paranormal, I found myself completely buying into both the characters and premise. The novel subtly challenges the reader to examine his/her own most sacredly held beliefs regarding religion, spirituality, and all that inhabits the material and spiritual world. Nelson also bravely explores the notion of the communal sin that stains the inherited collective unconscious of white America for its longtime enslavement of Africans, an act worthy of perdition that the mere passing of time cannot expatiate and for which proper atonement or a day of reckoning has yet to take place. R.A. Nelson is a gifted storyteller and an important voice in fiction today, and Days of Little Texas is a smart, provocative, and beautifully-written narrative.