Kansas Notable Book Awards Information

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Kansas Notable Books
Awarded forOutstanding titles created by Kansans or about Kansas in the previous year
Presented byKansas Center for the Book
First awarded2006
Website Kansas Notable Books

The State of Kansas Notable Book Awards are presented annually for fifteen notable books created by writers, illustrators or book artists who are Kansans and/or have written about Kansas. The award, originally established in 2006, is organized by the Kansas Center for the Book (KCFB). [1] [2]

Winning authors include Clare Vanderpool, Rolf Potts, Ben Lerner, Candice Millard, and Gordon Parks.


The KCFB is a state affiliate of the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress. It is a program of the State Library of Kansas. [1]

A committee of KCFB affiliates and fellows, together with authors of previous Notable Books, identifies notable titles from among those published the previous year, and the State Librarian makes the selection for the final list of fifteen. A reception and medal awards ceremony are held to honor the books and their authors and illustrators. [1]

List of winners

Following are the Kansas Notable Book Award winners, listed in alphabetical order by title:


  • Fast-Food Sonnets: Poems – Dennis Etzel Jr.
  • Ghost Sign: Poems from White Buffalo – Al Ortolani, Melissa Fite Johnson, Adam Jameson, and J.T. Knoll
  • Green City: How One Community Survived a Tornado and Rebuilt for a Sustainable Future – Allan Drummond
  • Hero of the Empire: The Boer War, a Daring Escape and the Making of Winston Churchill – Candice Millard
  • Hurt People: A Novel – Cote Smith
  • Ioway Life: Reservation and Reform, 1837-1860 – Greg Olson
  • The Last Wild Places of Kansas: Journeys into Hidden Landscapes – George Frazier
  • Lost and Gone Forever: A Novel of Scotland Yard’s Murder SquadAlex Grecian
  • The Memory of Lemon: A Novel – Judith Fertig
  • Mike Torrez: A Baseball Biography – Jorge Iber
  • A Nest of Hornets – Robert Krenzel
  • Never Enough Flamingos – Janelle Diller
  • Phog: The Most Influential Man in Basketball – Scott Morrow Johnson
  • Presenting Buffalo Bill: The Man Who Invented the Wild West – Candace Fleming
  • The Small-Town Midwest: Resilience and Hope in the Twenty-First Century – Julianne Couch


  • Alphabet School – Stephen T. Johnson
  • A Bitter Magic – Roderick Townley
  • Bottled: A Mom's Guide to Early Recovery – Dana Bowman
  • The Boy Who Became Buffalo Bill: Growing Up Billy Cody in Bleeding Kansas – Andrea Warren
  • Diary of a Waitress: The Not-So-Glamorous Life of a Harvey Girl – Carolyn Meyer
  • For the Sake of Art: The Story of a Kansas Renaissance – Cynthia Mines
  • Harvey Houses of Kansas: Historic Hospitality from Topeka to Syracuse – Rosa Walston Latimer
  • Kansas Trail Guide: The Best Hiking, Biking, and Riding in the Sunflower State – Jonathan Conard and Kristin Conard
  • Kansas Wildflowers and Weeds – Michael John Haddock, Craig C. Freeman, and Janet E. Bare
  • The Madman and the Assassin: The Strange Life of Boston Corbett, the Man Who Killed John Wilkes Booth – Scott Martelle
  • Notorious Kansas Bank Heists: Gunslingers to Gangsters – Rod Beemer
  • Sun and Moon – Lindsey Yankey
  • To Leave a Shadow – Michael D. Graves
  • Twenty-Five Years Among the Indians and Buffalo: A Frontier Memoir – by William D. Street, edited by Warren R. Street
  • While the Kettle's On – Melissa Fite Johnson


  • 999 Kansas Characters: Ad Astra, a Biographical Series – Dave Webb, Terry Rombeck, and Beccy Tanner
  • Bluebird – Lindsey Yankey
  • A Carol Dickens Christmas: A NovelThomas Fox Averill
  • Chasing Weather: Tornadoes, Tempests, and Thunderous Skies in Word and Image – Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg and Stephen Locke
  • The Darkest Period: The Kanza Indians and Their Last Homeland, 1846-1873 – Ronald D. Parks
  • The Devil's Workshop: A Novel of Scotland Yard's Murder SquadAlex Grecian
  • Field Guide to the Common Grasses of Oklahoma, Kansas, and Nebraska – Iralee Barnard
  • Girl in Reverse – Barbara Stuber
  • The Kansas Relays: Track and Field Tradition in the Heartland – Joe D. Schrag
  • Michael Pearce's Taste of the Kansas Outdoors Cookbook – Michael Pearce
  • Music I Once Could Dance To – Roy J. Beckemeyer
  • The Ogallala Road: A Memoir of Love and Reckoning – Julene Bair
  • Railroad Empire across the Heartland: Rephotographing Alexander Gardner's Westward Journey – by James E. Sherow, photographs by John R. Charlton
  • Soldiers in the Army of Freedom: The 1st Kansas Colored, the Civil War's First African American Combat Unit – Ian Michael Spurgeo
  • Waiting on the Sky: More Flyover People Essays – Cheryl Unruh


  • Biting Through the Skin: An Indian Kitchen in America's Heartland – Nina Mukerjee Furstenau
  • The Black CountryAlex Grecian
  • Bleeding Kansas, Bleeding Missouri: The Long Civil War on the Border – Jonathan Earle & Diane Mutti Burke, Eds.
  • A Death at Crooked Creek: The Case of the Cowboy, the Cigarmaker, and the Love Letter – Marianne Wesson
  • Dragging Wyatt Earp: A Personal History of Dodge City – Robert Rebein
  • Echoes from the Prairie: A Collection of Short Memoirs – Nicole Muchmore, Ed.
  • Edmund G. Ross: Soldier, Senator, Abolitionist – Richard A. Ruddy
  • The Good Lord BirdJames McBride
  • Navigating EarlyClare Vanderpool
  • Needle in the BoneCaryn Mirriam-Goldberg
  • Of Grave Concern: An Ophelia Wylde Paranormal Mystery – Max McCoy
  • Teatime to Tailgates: 150 Years at the K-State Table – Jane P. Marshall
  • The Thing About LuckCynthia Kadohata
  • The Tie That Bound Us: The Women of John Brown’s Family – Bonnie Laughlin-Schultz
  • Worth the Pain: How Meningitis Nearly Killed Me - Then Changed My Life for the Better – Andy Marso


  • The Adventures of Beanboy – Lisa Harkrader
  • Beyond Cold Blood: The KBI from Ma Barker to BTK – Larry Welch
  • Blackbear Bosin: Keeper of the Indian Spirit – David Simmonds
  • The ChaperoneLaura Moriarty
  • The Dust Bowl: An Illustrated HistoryDayton Duncan & Ken Burns
(companion book to The Dust Bowl)
  • Eisenhower in War and PeaceJean Edward Smith
  • Frontier Manhattan: Yankee Settlement to Kansas Town, 1854–1894 – Kevin G. W. Olson
  • A Kansas Bestiary – Jake Vail & Doug Hitt, and illustrated by Lisa Grossman
  • May B. – Caroline Starr Rose
  • This Ecstasy They Call Damnation – Israel Wasserstein
  • Time's Shadow: Remembering a Family Farm in Kansas – Arnold J. Bauer
  • To the Stars Through Difficulties: A Kansas Renga in 150 VoicesCaryn Mirriam-Goldberg, Ed.
  • A Voice for Kanzas – Debra McArthur
  • Wide Open – Larry Bjornson
  • The Yard – Alex Grecian


  • 8 Wonders of Kansas! – Marci Penner
  • The Afterlives of TreesWyatt Townley
  • Amelia Lost: The Life and Disappearance of Amelia Earhart – Candace Fleming
  • Bent Road – Lori Roy
  • Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Murder of a PresidentCandice Millard
  • DocMary Doria Russell
  • The Door in the Forest – Roderick Townley
  • Liar's Moon – Elizabeth C. Bunce
  • My Ruby Slippers: The Road Back to Kansas – Tracy Seeley
  • The Northern Cheyenne Exodus in History and Memory – Ramon Powers & James N. Leiker
  • Osa and Martin: For the Love of Adventure – Kelly Enright
  • Prairie Fire: A Great Plains History – Julie Courtwright
  • RodeThomas Fox Averill
  • Send Me Work: Stories – Katherine Karlin
  • Tapped Out: Rear Naked Chokes, the Octagon, and the Last Emperor: an Odyssey in Mixed Martial ArtsMatthew Polly


  • Amy Barickman's Vintage Notions – Amy Barickman
  • And Hell Followed With ItBonar Menninger
  • Appetite for America – Stephen Fried
  • Baking With Friends – Sharon Davis & Charlene Patton
  • BoundAntonya Nelson
  • Crossing the Tracks – Barbara Stuber
  • A Distant Home – George Paris
  • Flyover People – Cheryl Unruh
  • Ghost Stories of the New WestDenise Low
  • Life in a Jar – Jack Mayer
  • Moon Over ManifestClare Vanderpool
  • A Prairie Peter Pan – Beverley O. Buller
  • Prairie Rhythms – Lana Wirt Myers
  • The Scent of Rain and LightningNancy Pickard
  • Star Crossed – Elizabeth C. Bunce


  • Addie of the Flint Hills: A Prairie Child During the Depression – Adaline Sorace, as told to Deborah Sorace Prutzman
  • The Blue Shoe: A Tale of Thievery, Villainy, Sorcery, and ShoesRoderick Townley, and illustrated by Mary GrandPre
  • Carter Finally Gets It – Brent Crawford
  • The Evolution of Shadows – Jason Quinn Malott
  • Ghost Town – Richard W. Jennings
  • A Kansas Year – Mike Blair
  • Lisa's Flying Electric Piano – Kevin Rabas
  • Nothing Right: Short StoriesAntonya Nelson
  • One Kansas Farmer: A Kansas Number Book – Devin Scillian & Corey Scillian
  • Our Boys: A Perfect Season on the Plains with the Smith Center Redmen – Joe Drape
  • Silver Shoes – Paul Miles Schneider
  • The Storm in the Barn – written and illustrated by Matt Phelan
  • To the Stars: Kansas Poets of the Ad Astra Poetry ProjectDenise Low, Ed.
  • Under Siege!: Three Children at the Civil War Battle for Vicksburg – Andrea Warren
  • Years of Dust: The Story of the Dust BowlAlbert Marrin


  • Amelia Earhart: the Legend of the Lost AviatorShelley Tanaka, and illustrated by David Craig
  • Artfully Done Across Generations – RoxAnn Banks Dicker, Ed.
  • Burn – Kathleen Johnson
  • Charlatan: America's Most Dangerous Huckster, the Man Who Pursued Him, and the Age of Flimflam – Pope Brock
  • A Curse Dark as Gold – Elizabeth C. Bunce
  • The Guide to Kansas Birds and Birding Hot Spots – Bob Gress & Pete Janzen
  • Hometown Appetites: The Story of Clementine Paddleford, the Forgotten Food Writer Who Chronicled How America Ate – Kelly Alexander & Cynthia Harris
  • Kansas Opera Houses: Actors and Community Events 1855–1925 – Jane Glotfelty Rhoads
  • Making History: Quilts & Fabric From 1890–1970Barbara Brackman
  • Marco Polo Didn't Go There: Stories and Revelations From One Decade as a Postmodern Travel WriterRolf Potts
  • The Nature of Kansas Lands – Beverley Worster, Ed.
  • A Passion for Nature: The Life of John MuirDonald Worster
  • The Pizza Hut Story – Robert Spector
  • Seeding Civil War: Kansas in the National News, 1854–1858 – Craig Miner
  • Survival of Rural America: Small Victories and Bitter Harvests – Richard E. Wood


  • American Shaolin: Flying Kicks, Buddhist Monks, and the Legend of Iron Crotch: An Odyssey in the New ChinaMatthew Polly
  • The Boy Who Was Raised by Librarians – illustrated by Brad Sneed
  • Can I Keep My Jersey? 11 Teams, 5 Countries, and 4 Years in My Life as a Basketball VagabondPaul Shirley
  • The Curse of Catunkhamun – Tim Raglin
  • The Farther Shore – Matthew Eck
  • From Emporia: The Story of William Allen White – Beverley O. Buller
  • Hellfire Canyon – Max McCoy
  • Hunger for the Wild: America's Obsession with the Untamed West – Michael L. Johnson
  • The Kitchen Sink: New and Selected Poems, 1972–2007Albert Goldbarth
  • A Matter of Justice: Eisenhower and the Beginning of the Civil Rights Revolution – David A. Nichols
  • The Middle of Somewhere – J.B. Cheaney
  • The Rest of Her LifeLaura Moriarty
  • Sea Monsters: Prehistoric Creatures of the Deep – Michael J. Everhart
(companion book to Sea Monsters: A Prehistoric Adventure)
  • Storm Chaser: A Photographer's Journey – Jim Reed
  • Writing in an Age of SilenceSara Paretsky


Eighteen notable books were selected in 2007, the only year in which it was not a list of fifteen.
  • Afoot: A Tale of the Great Dakota Turkey Drive – George Brandsberg
  • Angle of YawBen Lerner
  • Ballots and Bullets: The Bloody County Seat Wars of Kansas – Robert K. DeArment
  • Flint Hills Cowboys: Tales From the Tallgrass Prairie – James Hoy
  • I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have To Kill YouAlly Carter
  • John Brown to Bob Dole: Movers and Shakers in Kansas – Virgil Dean, Ed.
  • John Steuart Curry: The Road Home – Alice Bertels
  • Kansas Murals: A Traveler's Guide – Lora Jost & Dave Loewenstein
  • Light on Main Street: Storytelling by a Country Newspaper Editor – Rudy Taylor
  • The Loose Change of Wonder – Steven Hind
  • My Little Yellow Taxi – Stephen Johnson
  • Next Year Country: Dust to Dust in Western Kansas, 1890–1940 – Craig Miner
  • Not Afraid of Dogs – Susanna Pitzer
  • Ogallala Blue: Water and Life on the High Plains – William Ashworth
  • Revolutionary Heart: The Life of Clarina Nichols and the Pioneering Crusade for Women's Rights – Diane Eickhoff
  • Shanghai ShadowsLois Ruby
  • The Virgin of Small PlainsNancy Pickard
  • Words of a Prairie AlchemistDenise Low


  • Airball: My Life in Briefs – L.D. Harkrader
  • Capote in Kansas: A Drawn Novel – Ande Parks
  • The Darkest Dawn: Lincoln, Booth, and the Great American Tragedy – Thomas Goodrich
  • Deputy Harvey and the Ant Cow Caper – Brad Sneed
  • The Great Blues – Steve Semken
  • A Hungry Heart: A MemoirGordon Parks
  • In the Small, Small Night – Jane Kurtz
  • John Brown, AbolitionistDavid S. Reynolds
  • The Kansas Guidebook for Explorers – Marci Penner
  • Maggie Rose and Sass – Eunice Boeve
  • The Moon Butter RouteMax Yoho
  • Oceans of Kansas: A Natural History of the Western Interior Sea – Michael J. Everhart
  • Ordinary GeniusThomas Fox Averill
  • Wildflowers and Grasses of Kansas: A Field Guide – Michael John Haddock
  • The Youngest Brother: On a Kansas Wheat Farm During the Roaring Twenties and the Great Depression – C. Hugh Snyder


  1. ^ a b c "Notable Books". Kansas State Library. Retrieved November 5, 2014.
  2. ^ "2006 Notable Books". Kansas State Library. Retrieved November 5, 2014.

External links

Official website