This summer we received 19 nominations for the Montana Center for the Book Prize. An advisory committee did the difficult work of selecting five programs that stood out in a pool of the very best.
In September, we had the great joy of awarding $1,000 prizes to Missoula Public Library’s Empower Place, Browning High Schools’ Rising Voices Poetry Club, and FreeVerse Project at a ceremony during the Montana Book Festival. In October, we publicly present the prize to the Bozeman Children’s Festival and Absarokee Lending Library.
The Bozeman Children’s Festival is a free, daylong celebration of the love of reading with workshops, author presentations, book signings, and activities open to all ages. Created twelve years ago, the library foundation brings nationally acclaimed authors to schools in the Bozeman area, as well as the library. On Saturday, November 9, the festival features authors and illustrators Sophie Blackall and Brian Floca, both winners of the Caldecott Medal, as well as middle-grade author and Montana writer Susan Adrian.
Farther east, we were impressed and moved by the story of the Absarokee Lending Library (ALL). People in the community saw an urgent need for a gathering space and access to books year round as the drive to the nearest library can be difficult and dangerous in the winter months. Dedicated to nurturing imagination through reading, writing, craft, and artistic expression for ALL, the lending library is growing quickly. We will recognize their work at the High Plains Book Awards banquet on October 12.
Come join the festivities—for the love of books!