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20 Years of Celebrating IPPY

The May Issue

Next Tuesday, May 10th, we will ascend to the 99th floor of the Willis Tower in Chicago, an appropriately lofty perch for celebrating the 20th Annual Independent Book Awards and presenting medals to the winners. It's my favorite day of the year, gathering with 300 of my favorite people in the world, all sharing our passion and appreciation for the book, the written word, and the creative spirit that produces IPPY Award medalists.

For those joining us in Chicago, I look forward to applauding you next week; to all the medalists unable to attend, we will salute you from afar; and I urge everyone to browse the list of winning books and start building your summer reading list!

Who are the IPPY winners? They come from all over the world -- 11 countries in all -- from 43 U.S. states and six Canadian provinces. California led the states with 73 medals, followed by 40 from New York. Ontario led the provinces with 15 medals, followed by 11 from British Columbia.

How old are the medalists? Believe it or not, they range from 9 to 97. Best Children's Illustrated E-Book gold medalist Trisha Rao is just nine years old; 97 year-old yoga instructor and ballroom dancer Tao Porchon-Lynch's inspiring memoir won an IPPY as did 96 year-old Mary Willan Mason's historical novel about the Canadian frontier. News flash: all three of them are attending the award ceremony!

May the 4th be with you,

Jim Barnes, Editor and Awards Director