Ohioana Announces the 2022 Ohioana Book Award Finalists

May 16, 2022

A scene from the 2016 Ohioana Awards ceremony (Photo by Mary Rathke)

The Ohioana Library is pleased to announce the finalists for the 81st 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, Poetry, Juvenile Literature, Middle Grade/Young Adult Literature, and Nonfiction. The sixth category, About Ohio or an Ohioan, may also include books by non-Ohio authors. 

This year’s stellar list includes a Pulitzer Prize winner, three finalists for the National Book Award, a Dayton Literary Peace Prize finalist, and winners of the Coretta Scott King Book Award, the Caldecott Medal, Newbery Honors, and the Kirkus Prize. Four finalists have had their works adapted for film and television. Eight authors are previous Ohioana Book Award winners and two are past recipients of Ohioana’s Walter Rumsey Marvin Grant for emerging writers. 

Beginning June 1, Ohioana will profile all the finalists with “30 Books, 30 Days,” a special feature on our social media in which one finalist is highlighted each day. Later in June, Ohioana will launch its seventh Readers’ Choice Award poll, allowing the public to vote online for their favorite book from the finalists. 

Winners will be announced in July. The 2022 Ohioana Awards ceremony will be held at the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus on Wednesday, October 26. The finalists are: 


Bethea, Jesse. Fellow Travellers, Bellwether 

Doerr, Anthony. Cloud Cuckoo Land, Scribner 

Gornichec, Genevieve. The Witch’s Heart, Ace 

Stine, Alison. Trashlands, MIRA 

Walter, Laura Maylene. Body of Stars, Dutton


Abdurraqib, Hanif. A Little Devil in America: Notes in Praise of Black Performance, Random House 

Butcher, Amy. Mothertrucker: Finding Joy on the Loneliest Road in America, Little A 

Haygood, Wil. Colorization: One Hundred Years of Black Films in a White World , Alfred A. Knopf 

Orlean, Susan. On Animals, Avid Reader Press 

Schillace, Brandy. Mr. Humble & Dr. Butcher: A Monkey’s Head, the Pope’s Neuroscientist, and the Quest to Transplant the Soul, Simon & Schuster

About Ohio or an Ohioan 

Abbott, Anneliese. Malabar Farm: Louis Bromfield, Friends of the Land, and the Rise of Sustainable Agriculture, The Kent State University Press 

Alexander, Brian. The Hospital: Life, Death, and Dollars in a Small American Town, St. Martin’s Press 

Baier, Bret, and Catherine Whitney. To Rescue the Republic: Ulysses S. Grant, the Fragile Union, and the Crisis of 1876, Custom House 

Broome, Brian. Punch Me Up to the Gods: A Memoir, Mariner Books 

Shesol, Jeff. Mercury Rising: John Glenn, John Kennedy, and the New Battleground of the Cold War, W.W. Norton & Company 


Spencer, Emily. East Walnut Hills, Zone 3 Press

Bracken, Conor. The Enemy of My Enemy is Me, Diode Editions 

Iris, Manuel. The Parting Present / Lo que se irá, Dos Madres Press 

Kim, Joey S. Body Facts, Diode Editions 

Zamora, Felicia. I Always Carry My Bones, University of Iowa Press 

Juvenile Literature 

Campbell, Marcy. Illus. by Corinna Luyken. Something Good, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers 

Dawson, Keila V. Illus. by Alleanna Harris. Opening the Road: Victor Hugo Green and His Green Book, Beaming Books 

Gorman, Amanda. Illus. by Loren Long. Change Sings: A Children’s Anthem, Viking Books for Young Readers 

Wang, Andrea. Illus. by Jason Chin. Watercress, Neal Porter Books 

Wynter, Anne. Illus. by Oge Mora. Everybody in the Red Brick Building, Balzer + Bray 

Middle Grade/Young Adult Literature 

Carson, Rae. Any Sign of Life, Greenwillow Books 

Draper, Sharon M. Out of My Heart, Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books 

Kiely, Brendan. The Other Talk: Reckoning with Our White Privilege, Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books 

Wang, Andrea. The Many Meanings of Meilan, Kokila 

Warga, Jasmine. The Shape of Thunder, Balzer + Bray