Celebrate 25 years of the Minnesota Book Awards as East Central Regional Library presents an evening with four acclaimed and award-winning Minnesota authors at the North Branch Area Library on Thursday, May 9 at 7:00 pm. The event is one of six mini-galas being held across the state following the big gala in St Paul. The ECRL event will feature readings, discussion and book signings by Catherine Friend, William Kent Krueger, Kevin Kling, and Julie Klassen. A reception with refreshments will follow the program provided by the Friends of the North Branch Area Library, the Chisago Lakes Friends of the Library, the Friends of the Wyoming Area – Giese Memorial Library, the Friends of the Cambridge Public Library and the Rush City Friends of the Library. The event is funded with money from Minnesota's Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund and sponsored by the St. Paul Friends of the Library and the Council of Regional Public Library System Administrators.
Catherine Friend’s books about life on a small farm include Sheepish, Barn Boot Blues and the Compassionate Carnivore. Author Kevin Kling is also a well-known playwright and storyteller, and his commentaries can be heard on NPR’s All Things Considered. Historical romance author Julie Klassen’s books include the Tutor’s Daughter, the Maid from Fairbourne Hall and the Girl in the Gatehouse. The fourth author appearing at the event is William Kent Krueger, New York Times Bestselling author of the Cork O’Connor mystery series. Each author will give a short talk about writing and their books. Books will be available for sale after the program by Scout & Morgan Books.
The Minnesota Book Awards (MBA) was created in 1988 by The Friends of the St. Paul Public Library and other organizations as a part of the Festival of the Book. Awards are given each year to books created by Minnesota writers or illustrators for books published in the previous years. Awards are given in the following categories: Children’s Literature, General Nonfiction, Genre Fiction, Memoir and Creative Nonfiction, Minnesota, Novel and Short Story, Poetry, and Young People’s Literature.