Mass Book Awards

The Massachusetts Book Awards recognize significant works of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and children’s/young adult literature published by Commonwealth residents or about Massachusetts subjects.


On December 6, 2016, the 16th Annual Massachusetts Book Awards Ceremony took place at the State House.  Click here to view photos of the event.

Congratulations to the Mass Book Award and Honors Winners for 2016! Download the Mass Book Awards poster:  massbook-18×24-poster2016crxtrim-10-12-16-1.

Fiction Award

A Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay (Wm Morrow)

Honors Fiction
Only the Strong by Jabari Asim (Agate)
Honey from the Lion by Matthew Neill Null (Lookout)
The Muralist by B.A. Shapiro (Algonquin)

Nonfiction Award

Rosemary:The Hidden Kennedy Daughter  by Kate Clifford Larson (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

Honors Nonfiction
Massacre on the Merrimack: Hannah Duston’s Captivity and Revenge in Colonial America by Jay Atkinson (Rowman & Littlefield)
The Quartet: Orchestrating the Second American Revolution, 1783-1789 by Joseph J. Ellis (Knopf)
The Wright Brothers by David McCullough (Simon & Schuster)

Poetry Award

Immortality by Alan Feldman (Wisconsin)

Poetry Honors
Incarnate Grace by Moira Linehan (Southern Illinois)
Mistaking Each Other for Ghosts by Lawrence Raab (Tupelo)
Stable by David R. Surette (Moon Pie)

Middle Reader/Young Adult Award

The Thing About Jellyfish by Ali Benjamin (Little Brown)

Middle Reader/Young Adult Honors
Symphony for the City of the Dead: Dmitri Shostakovich and the Siege of Leningrad  by M.T. Anderson (Candlewick)
The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black (Little Brown)
Baba Yaga’s Assistant  by Marika McCoola (Candlewick)

Picture Book /Early Reader Award

Ketzel, the Cat who Composed by Leslea Newman (Candlewick)

Picture Book /Early Reader Honors

Ling & Ting: Together in All Weather  by Grace Lin (Little Brown)
Growing Up Pedro by Matt Tavares (Candlewick)
You Nest Here With Me by Jane Yolen and Heidi Stemple (Boyds Mill)

Massachusetts Must Read Books (the long list) for 2016

The Secret Chord by Geraldine Brooks
The Rumor by Elin Hilderbrand
A Marriage of Opposites by Alice Hoffman
Bird by Noy Holland
On Hurricane Island by Ellen Meeropol
The Last Bookaneer by Matthew Pearl
Honeydew by Edith Pearlman
Find Me by Laura Van Den Berg

The Point of Vanishing by Howard Axelrod
The Narrow Edge by Deborah Cramer
Master Thieves by Stephen Kurkjian
America’s Bank by Roger Lowenstein
We Were Brothers by Barry Moser
Biblio Tech by John Palfrey
Reclaiming Conversation by Sherry Turkle
The Horse by Wendy Williams

Furs Not Mine by Andrea Cohen
Nothing to Declare by Henri Cole
Visiting Indira Gandhi’s Palmist by Kirun Kapur
More Money Than God by Richard Michelson
I Carry My Mother by Lesléa Newman
The Infant Scholar by Kathy Nilsson
Know Thyself by Joyce Peseroff
Waving Back by Gail Thomas

Middle Grade / Young Adult
Escape from Baxters’ Barn by Rebecca Bond
The Trouble in Me by Jack Gantos
Charlie Bumpers vs. The Perfect Little Turkey by Bill Harley
The Appearance of Annie Van Sinderen by Katherine Howe
Stormstruck! by John MacFarlane
Iron Rails, Iron Men, and the Race to Link the Nation by Martin W. Sandler
The Story of Diva and Flea by Mo Willems and Tony DiTerlizzi
Blue Voyage by Diana Renn

Picture Books / Early Readers   
The Nonsense Show by Eric Carle
The Night World by Mordicai Gerstein
Glamorous Garbage by Barbara Johansen Newman
The Original Cowgirl: The Wild Adventures of Lucille Mulhall by Heather Lang
Double Happiness by Nancy Tupper Ling
New Shoes by Susan Lynn Meyer
Hiding Dinosaurs by Dan Moynihan
Stone Angel by Jane Yolen

Thank you to the Judges for their time, passion, and love of great books!
Fiction Judges Diane Annunziato, Pete Coco, and Tegan Mannino; Nonfiction Judges Cyndi Harbeson, Melissa Roderick, and Amy Lewontin; Poetry Judges Sean Thibodeau, Martha Cohen, and Michelle Gario; Young Adult/Middle Grade Judges Sarah Sullivan, Steven Fowler, and Julie Seifert; and Picture Book/Early Reader Judges Fran Mellin, Kirsten Rose, and Alex Lent.

© 2018 Massachusetts Center for the Book, Inc. All rights reserved.