Thursday, May 27, 2010

Juvenile Fiction Book Honored

The IHS Press book By Freedom’s Light, written by Elizabeth O’Maley, won an honorable mention honor in the juvenile fiction category in ForeWord Reviews 2009 Book of the Year Awards. ForeWord named 201 Book of the Year Award winners in 60 categories at a ceremony Wednesday, May 26, at BookExpo America in New York City. These books, representing the best independently published works from 2009, were selected by a panel of librarian and bookseller judges.

ForeWord’s founder and publisher, Victoria Sutherland, spoke at the awards ceremony and announced the winners. “This year more than ever before, we heard from the judges how great the finalist books were and how difficult it was to make their decisions,” she said. “Despite this tough economy, independent publishers are producing some of the best books out there, and we are happy to honor them today.”

By Freedom’s Light, a historical novel for grades four and up, examines both the harshness of a slave society and the brave acts of people who helped slaves find freedom.

Thirteen-year-old Sarah Caldwell is an unhappy Indiana pioneer. She misses her sister, Rachel, who stayed behind in North Carolina. Worse yet, their widowed father has married a Quaker schoolteacher, whom Sarah discovers is a secret abolitionist. When Rachel and her family arrive for a visit, Sarah is overjoyed. Rachel brings Polly, a slave girl, with her. As Polly and Sarah become friends, Sarah questions her beliefs about slavery. Soon she is faced with a life-altering decision.

Friday, May 14, 2010

IHS Press Book Wins National Book Honor

IHS Press author Jim McGarrah's 2007 book, A Temporary Sort of Peace: A Memoir of Vietnam, has won the Legacy Nonfiction Prize for 2010 from the Eric Hoffer Award for Short Prose and Independent Books.

Titles in the Legacy Nonfiction category are nonfiction books more than two years of age that hold particular relevance to any subject matter or art form. Unlike many in the industry, the Eric Hoffer Award believes "good books last longer than one season."

"Eric Hoffer was a great American philosopher," said McGarrah. "His foundation honors, in their own words, 'independent publishers and authors who who write and release extraordinary books to little or no recognition.' To have received the Legacy Nonfiction Award for 2010 gives me the encouragement I need to keep writing literary books that provoke lasting thought and strengthens my belief that the best words in the best order can actually help make the world a little better place."

In honoring McGarrah's work, the Hoffer Award noted the following: "McGarrah paints a remarkable canvas in a true-life account of his time in the Vietnam War. Our senses become in tune, as we feel, hear, smell, and touch the Viet Cong jungle. McGarrah offers a glimpse into his life before Viet Nam, his military years, the aftermath of coming home, and his later return to Vietnam. Some accounts are candid and bold, such as his teenage quest for sex or the brutal reality of the Viet Cong jungle. It is an honest and memorable story."

Each year, independent publishers (academic, independent, small press, and self-published authors) release extraordinary books to little or no recognition. The Eric Hoffer Award for independent books recognizes excellence in publishing with a $1,500 grand prize and various category honors and press type distinctions, as well as the winners of the Montaigne Medal and the da Vinci Eye. The book awards are covered in the US Review of Books. After the contest, books are donated to libraries, schools, and hospitals where appropriate.