Michigan Notable Books 2013

Every year, the Library of Michigan selects up to twenty of the most notable books, either written by a Michigan resident or about Michigan or the Great Lakes. The selected books are honored in the year after their publication or copyright date. Each selected title speaks to our state’s rich cultural, historical, and literary heritage and proves without a doubt that some of the greatest stories are found in the Great Lakes State.

The Library of Michigan

Here are some of the 2013 winners from our catalog! 

Bear Has a Story to Tell
Stead, Philip C. & Stead, Erin E (illustrator)
The creators of the Caldecott-winning A Sick Day for Amos McGee offer another charming story about the reciprocal nature of friendship. Before settling down to hibernate for the winter, Bear wants to share a story with his friends, but frog, mole, duck and mouse are all too busy preparing for winter to listen. This beautifully illustrated book, through the use of lively water colors, captures an endearing story of friendship and patience.
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Ford, Richard
When 15-year-old Dell Parsons' parents rob a bank, his sense of a normal life is forever altered. Canada successfully tells a story with rich language and dialogue filled with suspense, bleakness and human frailties and flaws. Ford masterfully aligns Dell's emotions with the desolate landscape of the novel's setting. The story is equal parts coming-of-age story and a touching story about the discovery of identity.
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Detroit City Is the Place to Be
Binelli, Mark
Binelli successfully captures the pride, grit and hope Detroiters demonstrate as they fight to revitalize one of America's great cities. Once a capitalist dream town, today Detroit is too often pointed to as the nation's greatest urban failure. The city's current crisis has managed to do the unthinkable; turn the end of days into a laboratory for the future. Urban planners, land speculators, agriculturalists and utopian environmentalists all have been drawn to Detroit's baroquely decaying, nothing-left-to-lose frontier.
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Detroit's Historic Places of Worship
Collum, Marla O. (with Barbara E. Krueger and Dorothy Kostuch, photographs by Dirk Bakker with a forward by John Gallagher)
Nearly 20 years in the making, Collum, Krueger and Kostuch thoroughly document 37 architecturally and historically significant places of worship that represent eight denominations and nearly 150 years of history. Detroit's most prolific era of church building (1850s to 1930s) is detailed in chronological order. Each chapter provides information on the each congregation's founding and highlights the developments and changes to the present day. Information was gathered from public sources, church archives and oral histories of clergy, staff and parishioners to tell a complete story of each church. Bakker's interior and exterior photographs help to bring these stunning buildings to life.
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Dust to Dust: A Memoir
Busch, Benjamin
Dust to Dust is an extraordinary memoir about ordinary things: life and death, peace and war, the adventures of childhood and the revelations of adulthood. Busch is a decorated U.S. Marine Corps infantry officer who served two combat tours in Iraq, an actor on The Wire, and the son of celebrated novelist Frederick Busch. In elemental-themed chapters Busch tells a story of an ideal childhood in rural New York exploring wood and streams and about deployment to Iraq and the horrors of war. The emotional power of his reflections on life, love, death and war make this memoir hard to put down and hard to forget.
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Abbott, Jim & Brown, Tim
Born without a right hand, Jim Abbott dreamed of someday being a great athlete. Raised in Flint, Michigan, Abbott would become an ace pitcher in the major leagues. In this honest and insightful book, Abbott reveals the challenges he faced in becoming an elite pitcher, the insecurities he dealt with in a life spent as the different one, and the intense emotion generated by his encounters with physically-challenged children from around the country.
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Michigan's Historic Railroad Stations
Hodges, Michael
In Michigan's Historic Railroad Stations, writer and photographer Michael H. Hodges presents depots ranging from functioning Amtrak stops (Jackson) to converted office buildings (Battle Creek) and spectacular abandoned wrecks (Saginaw and Detroit) to highlight the beauty of these iconic structures and remind readers of the key role architecture and historic preservation play in establishing an area's sense of place.
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The Mighty Miss Malone
Curtis, Christopher Paul
Deza Malone lives in Michigan in the 1930s. Her family is poor but hardworking and funny. Deza is smart and tries hard to be the smartest person possible. When the Depression hits and Deza's dad is involved in a terrible accident, the family is put to very trying tests. From train-hopping to Hoovervilles, from rotting teeth to a speakeasy, Christopher Paul Curtis allows the reader an inside view of a family in Depression-era Michigan.
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The Skeleton Box
Gruley, Bryan
In The Skeleton Box, the third of the "Starvation Lake" mysteries, author Bryan Gruley pulls off a remarkable triple play he: writes a suspenseful mystery, creates characters that reek of realistic human faults and foibles, and effectively draws the novel's tone, atmosphere and mood so that the reader is pulled into the darkness that envelops the town of Starvation Lake. Bingo night has never looked like this before.
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Summer of ' 68
Wendel, Tim
In Summer of '68, Tim Wendel takes us on a wild ride through a season that saw pitching legends set new standards for excellence, baseball set against the backdrop of one of the most divisive and turbulent years in American history. In Detroit—which had burned just the summer before during one of the worst riots in American history—'68 found the city rallying together behind a colorful Tigers team led by Denny McLain, Mickey Lolich, Willie Horton, and Al Kaline.
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A Woman Like Me
LaVette, Bettye
Bettye LaVette's, A Woman Like Me, chronicles her decades-long career as singer on the fringes of the Motown greats and soul legends. She has come close to breaking out in the industry on so many occasions only to find things fall through in the end. A Woman Like Me details the long journey to success, but is also filled with frank gossip and stories told about the star singers LaVette met on her way.
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