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.

The MassBooks are the the largest state book awards program in the country.  Each year, the program receives hundreds of submissions.  The Center staff, working in partnership with reading advisors and judges from the Massachusetts library community, develop a long list of “Must-Read” books and then name the award winners and honors titles in each category.

Congratulations to the Mass Book Award winners for 2015!  We celebrated their achievements at the State House on January 12, 2016, and included the award winners from 2014 in the event as well. See photos here.

Fiction:  Everything I Never Told You, Celeste Ng  (Penguin)

Nonfiction:  The Sixth Extinction by Elizabeth Kolbert  (Holt)

Poetry: Misery Islands by January Gill O’Neil (CavanKerry)

Picture Books:  Going Places by Peter H. and Paul A. Reynolds (Simon & Schuster)

Middle Reader/Young Adult:  Conversion by Katherine Howe (Putnam/Penguin Teen)

Massachusetts Must Read Books for 2015  (poster)


Accidents of Marriage by Randy Susan Meyers (Atria/S&S)
All We Had by Annie Weatherwax (Scribner)
American Romantic by Ward Just (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
The Boston Girl by Anita Diamant (Scribner)
Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng (Penguin)
Remember Me Like This by Bret Anthony Johnston (Random House)


The Court-Martial of Paul Revere by Michael M. Greenburg (ForeEdge)
John Quincy Adams by Fred Kaplan (Harper)
The Map Thief by Michael Blanding  (Gotham Books)
Other People’s Houses
by Jennifer Taub  (Yale)
The Race Underground: Boston, New York, and the Incredible Rivalry that Built America’s First Subway
by Doug Most (St Martin’s)
The Sixth Extinction
by Elizabeth Kolbert  (Holt)


Afforded Permanence by Liam Day (Aforementioned Productions)
City of Eternal Spring by Afaa Michael Weaver (Pittsburgh)
Into Daylight by Jeffrey Harrison (Tupelo)
Misery Islands by January Gill O’Neil (CavanKerry)
Samsara by Jennifer Markell (Turning Point)
Second Childhood by Fanny Howe (Graywolf)

Children’s/Young Adult Literature

For 2015, we have developed short lists in two C/YA categories, Picture Books and Middle Reader/Young Adult, reviving a practice from the first year of the awards program.

Picture Books

Breathe by Scott Magoon (Simon & Schuster)
Going Places by Paul A. and Peter H. Reynolds (Simon & Schuster)
A Home for Mr. Emerson
by Barbara Kerley (Scholastic)
Jubilee: One Man’s Big, Bold, and Very, Very Loud Celebration of Peace
by Alicia Potter (Candlewick)
Mumbet’s Declaration of Independence by Gretchen Woelfle (Carolrhoda)
S is for Sea Glass by Richard Michelson (Sleeping Bear)

Middle Reader/Young Adult

Conversion by Katherine Howe (Putnam/Penguin Teen)
Egg & Spoon
by Gregory Maguire (Candlewick)
Centaur Rising by Jane Yolen (Henry Holt/Macmillan)
I Lived on Butterfly Hill
by Marjorie Agosin (Atheneum Books for Young Readers/S&S)
Mending Horses by M.P. Barker (Holiday House)
Miss Emily by Burleigh Muten (Candlewick)

© 2016 Massachusetts Center for the Book, Inc. All rights reserved.