Love local literature? Thanks to the recent Colorado Book Awards, we have a whole bunch of great new books to add to your summer reading list. The annual award recognizes outstanding Colorado authors, editors, illustrators and photographers. Here are this year’s winners:
“When Dimple Met Rishi” by Sandhya Menon
Genre: Young Adult Fiction
The gist: Two Indian-American teens navigate the traditional idea of an arranged marriage in this romcom-style novel.
“The Last Panther” by Todd Mitchell
Genre: Juvenile Literature
The gist: Great for young conservationists, this is the fictional tale of a young girl’s fight to save a family of panthers thought to be extinct.
“Can an Aardvark Bark?” by Melissa Stewart, illustrated by Steve Jenkins
Genre: Children’s Literature
The gist: Turns out aardvarks grunt. This picture book is full of more fun facts about the ways animals communicate.
“Megafire: The Race to Extinguish a Deadly Epidemic of Flame” by Michael Kodas
Genre: General Nonfiction
The gist: This books examines the recent wildfires that have caused historic amounts of damage and explores the science behind them.
“The Newcomers: Finding Refuge, Friendship, and Hope in an American Classroom” by Helen Thorpe
Genre: Creative Nonfiction
The gist: This heartbreaking nonfiction novel follows 22 immigrants through a school year in Denver, giving the reader an intimate view of their lives.
“Plundered Skulls and Stolen Spirits: Inside the Fight to Reclaim Native America’s Culture” by Chip Colwell
The gist: Chip Colwell, a curator at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, gives a first-hand account of what it means to balance religious freedom with academic duty.
“Once Upon a Time . . . The Western: A New Frontier in Art and Film” edited by Mary-Dailey Desmarais and Thomas Brent Smith
The gist: Beyond Buffalo Bill and shootouts, this book examines how the myth of the American West spread through media.
“Beautiful Flesh: A Body of Essays” edited by Stephanie G’Schwind
The gist: Authors of varying genders and ethnicities write 18 essays all about the human body, from the pancreas to the brain.
“Trophic Cascade” by Camille T. Dungy
The gist: Not available until this September, this much-anticipated book of poetry is said to “resonate within and beyond the scope of human realms.”
“Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore: A Novel” by Matthew Sullivan
Genre: General Fiction
The gist: This is the fictional tale of Lydia, a clerk at a bookstore who becomes ensnared in the puzzle left behind by a regular patron who kills himself in the store.
“The Blue Hour” by Laura Pritchett
Genre: Literary Fiction
The gist: A violent act is committed on Blue Moon Mountain, and the mountainside community is left to deal with the repercussions.
“A Borrowed Hell” by L.D. Colter
Genre: Science Fiction/Fantasy
The gist: The protagonist, July, finds himself in a bizarrely barren San Francisco after dodging a potentially fatal car-pedestrian accident. Though he eventually awakens in the real world, he is continually dragged back to the unknown.
“Trafficked: A Mex Anderson Novel” by Peg Brantley
The gist: This fictional thriller deals with an unthinkable situation: trafficking in the United States of young girls who resemble the girls we know.
“Dead Stop” by Barbara Nickless
The gist: Special Agent Sydney Parnell pursues the mystery of a murdered woman and missing child while getting over the trauma of a recent attack she herself survived.