Book Sense Announces 2002 Book Sense Book of the Year Awards

Independent booksellers pick the books that they most enjoyed handselling throughout the year
At this year's Celebration of Bookselling at BookExpo America, hosted by Doris Kearns Goodwin, Leif Enger's Peace Like a River (Atlantic Monthly) won the Book Sense Book of the Year award as best adult fiction title.

The winner for adult nonfiction was Seabiscuit: An American Legend by Laura Hillenbrand (Random House), and the winner of the rediscovery award -- presented for the first time this year -- was given to My Father's Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannett, illustrated by Ruth Chrisman Gannett (Random House).

In the children's category, Ian Falconer was once again the winner for children's illustrated book, for Olivia Saves the Circus (Atheneum), and Ann Brashares won for The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (Delacorte) in the literature category.

"I don't know what to say. I don't ever expect to win -- I'm incredibly grateful," said Enger. "The Book Sense [stores] really propelled Peace Like a River. I owe booksellers a ton." Brashares noted to BTW, "I was really honored to win.... I'd like to share my incredible gratitude to booksellers."

Independent booksellers with Book Sense from across the country nominate the books that they most enjoyed handselling to their customers throughout the year for inclusion in the bi-monthly Book Sense 76. The 76 books on each list represent a combined national and local staff pick selection of booksellers' favorites from more than 1,100 independent bookstores with Book Sense.

In 2000, there were five nominees for the Book Sense Book of the Year in both the Adult and Children's categories. In 2001, two more categories were added, Children's Illustrated and Nonfiction. In 2002, awards were given for Adult Fiction, Adult Nonfiction, Children's Illustrated, Children's Literature, and, a new category, Rediscovery.

The Book Sense Book of the Year Award, formerly known as the American Booksellers Book of the Year (ABBY) Award, was inaugurated at BookExpo America 2000. The American Booksellers Association renamed the award in recognition of both a new era in bookselling, heralded by the Book Sense program, as well as the important role that the Book Sense 76 List has played for independent booksellers in discovering and spreading the word to all stores about books of quality.

Adult Fiction Winner
Peace Like a River, Leif Enger (Atlantic Monthly)

Adult Fiction Finalists The Corrections, Jonathan Franzen (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
Ella Minnow Pea, Mark Dunn (MacAdam/Cage)
Empire Falls, Richard Russo (Knopf)
The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse, Louise Erdrich (HarperCollins)

Adult Nonfiction Winner
Seabiscuit: An American Legend, Laura Hillenbrand (Random House)

Adult Nonfiction Finalists
Ava's Man, Rick Bragg (Knopf)
The Botany of Desire: A Plant's Eye View of the World, Michael Pollan (Random House)
Fast Food Nation, Eric Schossler (Houghton Mifflin)
Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America, Barbara Ehrenreich (Metropolitan/Holt)

Children's Literature Finalists
Angus, Thongs, and Full-Frontal Snogging, Louise Rennison (HarperCollins) Love That Dog, Sharon Creech (HarperCollins)
Witness, Karen Hesse (Scholastic)
You Read to Me & I'll Read to You, Janet Schulman, ed. (Random House)

Children's Illustrated Winner
Olivia Saves the Circus, Ian Falconer (Atheneum)

Children's Illustrated Finalists
The Dinosaurs of Waterhouse Hawkins, Barbara Kerley, illustrated by Brian Selznick (Scholastic)
Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon, Patty Lovell, illustrated by David Catrow (Putnam)
Take Me Out of the Bathtub: And Other Silly Dilly Songs, Alan Katz, illustrated by David Catrow (Margaret McElderry Books/S&S)
The Water Hole, Graeme Base (Abrams)

Rediscovery Winner
My Father's Dragon, Ruth Stiles Gannett, illustrated by Ruth Chrisman Gannett (Random House)

Rediscovery Finalists
Enchantress From the Stars, Sylvia Louise Engdahl (Walker)
Freddy the Detective, Walter R. Brooks, illustrated by Kurt Wiese (Overlook/Penguin)
Handling Sin, Michael Malone (Sourcebooks)
Time Stops for No Mouse, Michael Hoeye (Putnam)