Announcing the 2024 Ohioana Book Award Finalists

May 30, 2024
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Scenes from past Ohioana Awards events – Photos by Mary Rathke

The Ohioana Library is pleased to announce the finalists for the 83rd annual Ohioana Book Awards. First given in 1942, the awards are the second-oldest state literary prizes in the nation and honor outstanding works by Ohio authors and illustrators in five categories: Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, Middle Grade & Young Adult Literature, and Juvenile Literature. The sixth category, About Ohio or an Ohioan, may also include books by non-Ohio authors. 

The recognition this year’s stellar list of authors has received includes the National Book Award, the Pulitzer Prize, the PEN America Literary Award, the Kirkus Prize, the Coretta Scott King Book Award, the Caldecott and Newbery Honors, and the IPPY Gold Medal. Five finalists are debut authors. Eight finalists are previous Ohioana Book Award winners.

On June 3, Ohioana will kick off the eleventh annual “30 Books, 30 Days,” our popular feature in which we profile one award finalist every day on our social media. This year, the Ohioana Book Award committees selected thirty-three finalists, so our feature will expand by three books and three days! 

In mid-June we’ll launch the annual Readers’ Choice Award poll. First held in 2016, the poll allows the public to vote online for their favorite book from among all the finalists. 

Winners will be announced in July. The 2024 Ohioana Awards ceremony will be held at the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus on Thursday, October 3. The finalists are: 


Cunningham, Michael. Day, Random House

Hyde, Allegra. The Last Catastrophe: Stories, Vintage Books

McBride, James. The Heaven and Earth Grocery Store, Riverhead Books

McDaniel, Tiffany. On the Savage Side, Knopf

Thai, Thao. Banyan Moon, Mariner Books

Umrigar, Thrity, The Museum of Failures, Algonquin Books


Dawidziak, Mark. A Mystery of Mysteries: The Death and Life of Edgar Allan Poe, St. Martin’s Press

Gay, Ross. The Book of (More) Delights, Algonquin Books

Judd, Robin. Between Two Worlds: Jewish War Brides after the Holocaust, The University of North Carolina Press

Lohman, Sarah. Endangered Eating: America’s Vanishing Foods, W. W. Norton & Company

Smith, Maggie. You Could Make This Place Beautiful: A Memoir, Atria Books

About Ohio/An Ohioan

Bordewich, Fergus M. Klan War: Ulysses S. Grant and the Battle to Save Reconstruction, Knopf

Grush, Loren. The Six: The Untold Story of America’s First Women Astronauts, Scribner

Meckler, Laura. Dream Town: Shaker Heights and the Quest for Racial Equity, Henry Holt and Company

Schneider, Amy. In the Form of a Question: The Joys and Rewards of a Curious Life, Avid Reader Press

Weatherford, Carole Boston. Illus. by Frank Morrison. How Do You Spell Unfair?: MacNolia Cox and the National Spelling Bee, Candlewick


Byas, Taylor. I Done Clicked My Heels Three Times: Poems, Soft Skull Press

Glaser, Elton. Ghost Variations, University of Pittsburgh Press

Hessenauer, Anita M. Let Go, Resource Publications

Reeves, Phoebe. Helen of Bikini, Lily Poetry Review Press

Robinson, Nicole. Without a Field Guide, Unbound Edition Press

Stephens, Dior J. CRUEL/CRUEL, Nightboat Books

Middle Grade & Young Adult Literature

Adams, Richard. Adapted by James Sturm. Illus. by Joe Sutphin. Watership Down: The Graphic Novel, Ten Speed Graphic

Chen, Kara H. L. Love and Resistance, Quill Tree Books 

Erebia, Federico. Pedro & Daniel, Levine Querido

Leahy, Elisa Stone. Tethered to Other Stars, Quill Tree Books

Rex, Adam. A Little Like Waking, Roaring Brook Press

Woodson, Jacqueline. Remember Us, Nancy Paulsen Books

Juvenile Literature

Awan, Jashar. I’m Going to Build a Snowman, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

Bentley, Tadgh. One Chicken Nugget, Balzer + Bray

Gray, Gary R. Illus. by Oge Mora. I’m From, Balzer + Bray

Hillenbrand, Will. The Voice in the Hollow, Holiday House

Lee, Chiquita Mullins and Carmella Van Vleet. Illus. by Jennifer Mack-Watkins. You Gotta Meet Mr. Pierce! The Storied Life of Folk Artist Elijah Pierce, Kokila