Hush Hush, Forest

“Hush Hush, Forest” by Mary Casanova is available locally at the Coffee Landing, City Drug and Ronnings.

The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library announced last week finalists in all nine categories for the 2019 Minnesota Book Awards, presented this year by sponsor Education Minnesota.

The finalists were chosen Jan. 26, by 27 judges from around the state – writers, teachers, librarians, booksellers, and others from the literary community, said a press release. 

And those living in Borderland may recognize a familiar name. 

Local author Mary Casanova was listed as a finalist in the children's literature category for her book "Hush Hush, Forest," which she collaborated on with Nick Wroblewski. 

"Sometimes I think Minnesota is the land of 10,000 amazing authors and illustrators," Casanova told The Journal. "Given the wealth of literary and artistic talent in our state, having 'Hush Hush, Forest' make it to the finalist list is a huge honor and I’m quite happy to learn this news." 

Other finalists were: 

Children’s literature, sponsored by Books For Africa:

  • "Best Friends in the Universe" by Stephanie Watson, illustrated by LeUyen Pham (Orchard Books/Scholastic Press)
  • "Hush Hush, Forest" by Mary Casanova, woodcuts by Nick Wroblewski (University of Minnesota Press)
  • "The Rabbit Listened by Cori Doerrfeld" (Dial Books For Young Readers/Penguin Young Readers)
  • "Small Walt and Mo the Tow" by Elizabeth Verdick, illustrated by Marc Rosenthal (Paula Wiseman Books/Simon & Schuster)

General nonfiction, sponsored by College of Saint Benedict/Saint John's University:

  • "Doing Harm: The Truth About How Bad Medicine and Lazy Science Leave Women Dismissed, Misdiagnosed, and Sick" by Maya Dusenbery (HarperOne/HarperCollins)
  • "The Relentless Business of Treaties: How Indigenous Land Became U.S. Property" by Martin Case (Minnesota Historical Society Press)
  • "A Stranger’s Journey: Race, Identity, and Narrative Craft in Writing" by David Mura (The University of Georgia Press)
  • "Whaleback Ships and the American Steel Barge Company" by C. Roger Pellett (Wayne State University Press)

Genre fiction:

  • "Dreadful Young Ladies and Other Stories" by Kelly Barnhill (Algonquin Books)
  • "Leave No Trace" by Mindy Mejia (Emily Bestler Books/Simon & Schuster)
  • "The Shadows We Hide by Allen Eskens" (Mulholland Books/Little, Brown and Company)
  • "The Voice Inside" by Brian Freeman (Thomas & Mercer)

Memoir & creative nonfiction:

  • "The Art of the Wasted Day" by Patricia Hampl (Viking/Penguin Random House)
  • "Chinese-Ness: The Meanings of Identity and the Nature of Belonging" by Wing Young Huie (Minnesota Historical Society Press)
  • "The I-35W Bridge Collapse: A Survivor’s Account of America’s Crumbling Infrastructure" by Kimberly J. Brown (Potomac Books/University of Nebraska Press)
  • "Wild Mares: My Lesbian Back-to-the-Land Life" by Dianna Hunter (University of Minnesota Press)

Middle grade literature, sponsored by Education Minnesota:

  • "The Collectors" by Jacqueline West (Greenwillow Books/HarperCollins)
  • "The Key to Every Thing" by Pat Schmatz (Candlewick Press)
  • "Louisiana's Way Home" by Kate DiCamillo (Candlewick Press)
  • "Otherwood" by Pete Hautman (Candlewick Press)

Minnesota nonfiction:

  • "The Children of Lincoln: White Paternalism and the Limits of Black Opportunity in Minnesota, 1860-1876" by William D. Green (University of Minnesota Press)
  • "The Crusade for Forgotten Souls: Reforming Minnesota’s Mental Institutions, 1946-1954" by Susan Bartlett Foote (University of Minnesota Press)
  • "Gichi Bitobig, Grand Marais: Early Accounts of the Anishinaabeg and the North Shore Fur Trade" by Timothy Cochrane (University of Minnesota Press)
  • "Gunflint Burning: Fire in the Boundary Waters" by Cary J. Griffith (University of Minnesota Press)

Novel & short story:

  • "A Lady's Guide to Selling Out" by Sally Franson (The Dial Press/Penguin Random House)
  • "Laurentian Divide: A Novel" by Sarah Stonich (University of Minnesota Press)
  • "Oranges" by Gary Eldon Peter (New Rivers Press)
  • "The Patron Saint of Lost Girls" by Maureen Aitken (Southeast Missouri State University Press)

Poetry, sponsored by Wellington Management, Inc.:

  • "The Body of the World" by Mary Moore Easter (Mad Hat Press)
  • "GeNtry!fication: or the scene of the crime" by Chaun Webster (Noemi Press)
  • "Not Here" by Hieu Minh Nguyen (Coffee House Press)
  • "Wilder" by Claire Wahmanholm (Milkweed Editions)

Young adult literature:

  • "Dream Country" by Shannon Gibney (Dutton Books for Young Readers/Penguin Random House)
  • "Hooper" by Geoff Herbach (Katherine Tegen Books/HarperCollins)
  • "We'll Fly Away" by Bryan Bliss (Greenwillow Books/HarperCollins)
  • "What I Leave Behind" by Alison McGhee (Atheneum Books for Young Readers/Simon & Schuster)

Award winners will be announced at the 2019 Minnesota Book Awards Ceremony on April 6, at the InterContinental Hotel Saint Paul Riverfront. The Preface Reception begins at 6:30 p.m., followed by the Awards Ceremony at 8 p.m. Tickets are from $40 - $60 and were available starting Jan. 28 by visiting or calling 651-222-3242. The official hashtag for social media is #mnbookawards.

The Minnesota Book Awards is a year-long program of The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library that fosters the statewide literary arts community. The process begins in the fall with book submissions and continues through winter with two rounds of judging. Winners are announced at the Minnesota Book Awards Ceremony. Woven throughout the season are events that promote the authors and connect the world of Minnesota books – writers, artists, illustrators, publishers, editors, and more – to readers throughout the state. In recognition of this and its other statewide programs and services, the Library of Congress has recognized The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library as the state’s designated Center for the Book.

For more information visit

The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library acts as a catalyst for libraries to strengthen and inspire their communities. An independent, nonprofit organization established in 1945, The Friends invests in the Saint Paul Public Library through fundraising, advocacy, and programming; as a result, the Library is a nationally-recognized leader in serving its community. The Friends also serves libraries across the country and internationally through its consulting services, Library Strategies, and promotes literacy, reading, and libraries statewide as the Library of Congress’s designated Minnesota Center for the Book.

For more information, contact The Friends at 651-222-3242 or visit

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