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2010 Kansas Notable Book List Features Kansas Authors, Kansas Stories

The Kansas Notable Book List, a project of the Kansas Center for the Book (KCFB) at the State Library of Kansas, is an annual selection of 15 titles written by Kansans or about Kansas published in the previous year.By Sara Jane Crane

The 2010 Kansas Notable Books are (alphabetical by title and brief synopsis):

Addie of the Flint Hills: A Prairie Child During the Depression by Adaline Sorace as told to Deborah
Sorace Prutzman, New York, NY.
Adaline Sorace's vivid memories are the basis for this autobiography of a small-town girl whose life is played out against the turbulent economic times of the 1920s and 1930s. Addie's hardscrabble life was typical for her generation; her struggles transcend time and are similar to modern family situations and current economic times.

The Blue Shoe: A Tale of Thievery, Villainy, Sorcery, and Shoes by Roderick Townley, , Shawnee Mission; illustrated by Mary GrandPre.
In a remote mountain village the cobbler's shop window displays a jewel-encrusted blue shoe. When the shoe's largest jewel goes missing, the cobbler's assistant is blamed and banished to the dreaded Mount Xexnax. This fairy tale is enhanced by the illustrations of Mary GrandPre who also illustrated the Harry Potter books.

Carter Finally Gets It by Brent Crawford, Kansas City, KS.
Join Will Carter as he navigates his first year of high school, especially when it comes to girls. Carter's teenage preoccupation with girls leads to situations where he almost kills a trombone player, faces off with his greatest nemesis, runs from the cops (not once, but twice), and meets his match in the form of a curvy drill teamer. This laugh-out-loud novel holds nothing back.

The Evolution of Shadows by Jason Quinn Malott, Wichita.
This debut novel explores the1995 Bosnian war zone disappearance of news photographer Gray Banick. He left behind three people who loved him. In 2000, those three people have met in Sarajevo to search for Gray, or Gray's remains.

Ghost Town by Richard W. Jennings, Overland Park
Spencer Adams Honesty may be the last best hope for Paisley, Kansas--and for lonely kids everywhere. Spencer and his mom are the only people left in Paisley. Their unexpected story involves a catalog called Uncle Milton's Thousand Things You Thought You'd Never Find, a poetry deal gone awry, and a ghost camera that promises to take pictures of the past (just be sure not to photograph yourself).

A Kansas Year by Mike Blair, Pratt
Veteran naturalist Mike Blair calendars the wonders to be found in Kansas, month by month. A breathtaking journey through the seasons, A Kansas Year features dazzling color photographs, and is chronicled with 120 journal entries that capture the beauty of the Sunflower State's wild places.

Lisa's Flying Electric Piano by Kevin Rabas, Emporia; edited by Dennis Etzel, Jr.
Kevin Rabas' second book features poetry and musings about jazz, romance, nature and chalk drawings. The title relates to an electric piano which flew out of a pickup truckbed at 47th and Main in Kansas City. Rabas teaches poetry and other forms of creative writing at Emporia State University.

Nothing Right: Short Stories by Antonya Nelson, Houston, TX.
A contemporary master of the short story, Antonya Nelson writes with uncommon grace and unflinching insight about the remarkable realities of everyday existence. Eleven stories are set in Kansas, and resonate with deep familiarity. Nelson's writing encompasses the complexity, ambiguity, and beauty of daily life including comforting rituals and unexpected disruptions.

One Kansas Farmer: A Kansas Number Book by Devin & Corey Scillian, Grosse Point, MI; illustrated by Doug Bowles, Lenexa.
An entertaining and educational travelogue of Kansas history, geography, famous people and places provides the backdrop for this elementary number book, including dancing prairie chickens, hot air balloons, and the invention of the microchip.

Our Boys: A Perfect Season on the Plains with the Smith Center Redmen by Joe Drape, New York, NY.
Holders of the nation's longest high-school winning streak can be found in Smith Center, Kansas. This book embraces the philosophy of life taught by their legendary coach, Roger Barta. New York Times sportswriter Joe Drape moved his family across the country to discover the inspiration of the Smith Center Redmen.

Silver Shoes by Paul Miles Schneider, Lawrence.
When Donald Gardner's mother acquires a pair of silver shoes while on a trip through Kansas, incredible things start to happen. Donald finds out there is more than he imagined to L. Frank Baum's book, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.

The Storm in the Barn written and illustrated by Matt Phelan, Philadelphia, PA
This graphic novel shares the story of Jack Clark as he faces his share of ordinary 11-year-old challenges. He also is dealing with the effects of the Dust Bowl in Kansas, including rising tensions in his small town and the spread of a new illness - "dust dementia." In a land where it never rains, it's hard to trust what you see ? and harder still to take heart and be a hero when necessary.

To the Stars: Kansas Poets of the Ad Astra Poetry Project edited and commentary by Denise Low, Lawrence.
Former Kansas poet laureate Low uses this unique opportunity to present poetry on the Kansas experience. Each entry features a biography, poem and commentary about the poem on two pages. Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, present Kansas poet laureate, adds writing prompts for each poem, making this ideal for classes, poetry readings and fans of the state's poetry.

Under Siege!: Three Children at the Civil War Battle for Vicksburg by Andrea Warren, Prairie Village.
In this dramatic nonfiction book for young readers, the author brings to life the 47-day siege of Vicksburg and the battles leading up to it. Three children, including General Ulysses S. Grant's 12-year-old son, Frederick, experience the horrors of war during this crucial Civil War battle.

Years of Dust: The Story of the Dust Bowl by Albert Marrin, Riverdale, NY.
In the 1930s, dangerous black storms swept through the Great Plains. The results of reckless farming and drought, these lethal storms were an environmental, economic, and human catastrophe that changed the course of American history. An acclaimed historian explains for young people, the causes behind the disaster and explores the Dust Bowl's impact.

The Kansas Center for the Book is a state affiliate of the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress. As a program of the State Library of Kansas since 2005, the Center's role is to promote Kansas books, authors, libraries, booksellers, publishers, and the book community, and to foster awareness of literacy and the literary heritage of the state. For more information, visit http://www.kcfb.info.

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