GREAT MIDWEST BOOK FESTIVAL HONORS “THE MOTHER TERESA EFFECT”


 CHICAGO_ The story of a woman who journeyed to Calcutta to volunteer for Mother Teresa’s mission to the poor is the grand prize winner of the 2016 Great Midwest Book Festival, which honors the best books of the winter. 

Author Alicia Young’s The Mother Teresa Effect: What I Learned Volunteering for a Saint (Parasol Press) is the story of a journalist who divided her time as a volunteer during Mother Teresa’s final Christmas. She journeyed to Calcutta (now Kolkata) to the Home for the Dying Destitute, later helping at a rural leprosy hospital. The transformative journey is an eye-opening examination of a very different experience, filled with potent lessons on gratitude and judgments. 

Its moving chronicle of daily life among the poor and its unsparing examination of some of the practices in Mother Teresa’s vast operations is a work that resonates through every country, faith, income level and worldview. Young will be honored at a private reception in Chicago in early December.

Other winners in the competition: 


GENERAL NON-FICTION

WINNER:  Live, Love, Explore – Leon Logothetis

RUNNER-UP:  The Renegade Writer – W.G. Griffiths

HONORABLE MENTIONS:

  • Lives of Museum Junkies – Marilynne Eichinger
  • Tesserae: A Memoir of Two Summers – Mathias B. Freese
  • Near Death in the ICU – Laurin Bellg, MD
  • The Slate Roof Bible – Joseph Jenkins
  • Beverly Hills Concentration Camp – Randi Maggid
  • Part of the Family – Jason Hensley
  • My New Friend, Grief – Anna Oginsky

 
BUSINESS

WINNER:  Letters to My Child’s Guardian – Virginia C. Antipolo-Utt

 
CHILDREN’S BOOKS

WINNER:  If the Magic Fits (100 Dresses) – Susan Maupin Schmid

RUNNER-UP:   Have You Filled a Bucket Today? 10th Anniversary Edition - Carol McCloud/David Messing

HONORABLE MENTIONS:

  • The Family Tree: The Night of the Storm – Laurie Copmann
  • A Magical Winter – Carl R. Sams II
  • Disappearing Diamonds – D.G. Stern
  • Oh!  The Things You Can See in the Dark! – Cathleen Francisco
  • Ice Cream USA – Thal Dixon
  • Baby & Me – Lauren Elof
  • Maya Makes a Friend – Kate Ryan
  • Curio, a Shetland Sheepdog and Her Pals – Jeanette A. Griver/Phyllis Milway
  • The Perfect Chase – Steven Manchester
  • Lucky Penny and the Little Dark – Doctor D

 
SPIRITUAL

WINNER:  The Mother Teresa Effect – Alicia Young

RUNNER-UP:  And It Was Very Good – Ed Olfert

HONORABLE MENTIONS:

 
PHOTOGRAPHY/ART 

WINNER:  Living Mollusks – Charles Rawlings 

 
WILD CARD

WINNER:  Rats – Joseph Klingler 

RUNNER-UP:  Leather Compass – Brian Siguenza

 
POETRY 

WINNER:  Where Do I Sit – Dr. Neal Hall

RUNNER-UP:  Haint: poems – Teri Ellen Cross Davis

HONORABLE MENTION:

  • Reverberations – Charles Rawlings 

 
BIOGRAPHY/AUTOBIOGRAPHY

WINNER:  Escape Points: A Memoir – Michele Weldon

RUNNER-UP:  Forever Changed – Cheri Helstrom
HONORABLE MENTIONS:

  • Unraveled, Time to Tell – Lisa Lynn
  • Scent of Rain and the Road Home – Dr. Daniel Solomon
  • A Perfect Spy – Francis Hamit
  • Soul Explosion – Dr. Rick Scarnati

 
GENERAL FICTION

WINNER:  The Tapping: Death...All Things Before and After – Howard J. Levinson

RUNNER-UP:  Beaumont’s Journey – Warren Troy

HONORABLE MENTIONS:

  • Reception – Lawrence M. Vinent
  • Wanna-be’s – Mark Connelly 
  • Groovy Times – Lance Smith
  • Andean Rebel: Three Days in a Life – Gregory Solsrud
  • Wisconsin Logging Camp, 1921 – James Bastain
  • The Dieter – Mark Connelly
  • Between the Lives of Clan Tuffie – Trina K. Taylor
  • South of Main Street – Robert Gately
  • The Apothecary – Marshall Chamberlain
  • Curveballs and Changeups – Kevin Kmitta
  • Rise – Luis Almonte
  • Yasu’s Quest: A Tale of Triumph – Diane Dettmann
  • Crippled Sunrise – Paco Torch
  • Cries of the Eagle – Michael Nathanson
  • Devil in the Grass – Christopher Bowron
  • Crowded Heart – Andrea McKenzie Raine  
  • Light of the Desert – Lucette Walters
  • He Said – She Said – Frederick Blumberg
  • Mary Bernadette: Secrets of a Dallas Moon – John F. Bronzo  
  • How the Mighty Fall – E.J. Chadwell
  • Liars – Steven Gills
  • Man on the Fence – John R. Day Jr.
  • Joe Peas – Samuel Newsome
  • The Committee – Terry Hill

 
YOUNG ADULT

WINNER:  The Secret Billionaire – Teymour Shahabi

RUNNER-UP:  The Indian – Barry Kienzle

HONORABLE MENTIONS:

  • The Ascension – Lauren Hudson
  • Running from the Gods – Diann T. Read
  • Josh Climbs the Tree of Life – Lee Vranna

 
REGIONAL LIT

WINNER:  The Dust Prophet – Shannon Macfarlane

RUNNER-UP:  Amina: The Silent One – Fiza Pathan

 
COMPILATIONS/ANTHOLOGIES

WINNER:  These Winter Months – edited by Anne Born

RUNNER-UP:  Where Are Your Standards? – Debra Clifton Mitchell


 
UNPUBLISHED

WINNER:  Oink: A Food for Thought Mystery – Judith Newton