Book Sense Book of the Year Awards a Highlight of BEA

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Molly Ivins

The 2003 Book Sense Book of the Year Awards were presented at BookExpo America on Friday, May 30, at a joyful Celebration of Bookselling, hosted by nationally syndicated columnist and bestselling author Molly Ivins. Hundreds of booksellers and other industry professionals came together at the end of a busy day for the event that also featured tributes to former ABA senior marketing consultant Carl Lennertz, who is now vice president, marketing for the HarperCollins imprint.

Other honorees at the Celebration included Rep. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), who earlier in the year introduced the Freedom to Read Protection Act (H.R. 1157) and Vermont bookseller Linda Ramsdell, whose grassroots efforts together with other booksellers and state librarians helped convince the Congressman to introduce the bill; outgoing ABA Board member Lilla Weinberger of Reader's Books in Sonoma, California; and incoming ABA Board member Gayle Shanks of Changing Hands in Tempe, Arizona, who was presented with the 2003 Charles S. Haslam Award for Excellence in Bookselling

The Book Sense Book of the Year winners in six categories -- fiction, nonfiction, children's literature, children's illustrated, rediscovery, and paperback -- were chosen by independent booksellers from across the country as the titles that they most enjoyed handselling to their customers throughout the year. Each of the winners appeared on a Book Sense 76 list this past year.

This year's winners are:

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold (Little, Brown)

Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight by Alexandra Fuller (Random House)

Children's Illustrated
Dear Mrs. LaRue by Mark Teague (Scholastic)

Children's Literature
The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke (Chicken House/Scholastic)

Bel Canto by Ann Patchett (Perennial)

The Children of Green Knowe by L.M. Boston (Odyssey/Harcourt)

The finalists and six winners received reading-related gifts from Book Sense marketing partner, Levenger, a catalog and Internet company that provides high-quality tools for reading and writing.

The seventh annual Celebration was co-sponsored by The Atlantic Monthly and Minute Maid's Bacardi Mixers.

For more on the Celebration of Bookselling and other Friday events at BEA, click here.