GREAT MIDWEST BOOK FESTIVAL HONORS ‘EARTH AS IT IS’ FOR TOP HONORS


CHICAGO_ The story of a man who becomes a woman in small town Indiana is the grand prize winner of the 2017 Great Midwest Book Festival, which honors the best books of the winter.

Author Jan Maher’s Earth As It Is (Indiana University/Break Away Books) is the story of Charlie Bader, who comes of age in 1930s Texas struggling with urges to dress in women's clothing. When his young bride leaves him, he journeys to Chicago, then joins the military after Pearl Harbor. At the end of the conflict, he winds up in Heaven, Indiana, where poor military records have listed him as Charlene, an identity he adopts.

Charlene opens a beauty parlor and soon has a thriving clientele. She manages to keep her own back story hidden - until she falls in love with a female customer and her life begins to change.

Maher and other winners, runner-ups and honorable mentions in the competition will be honored at a private dinner in Chicago.

Other winners in the competition:  

CHILDREN’S BOOKS

WINNER:  Mistasiniy Buffalo Rubbing Stone - Mary Harlekin Bishop

RUNNER-UP:  Fairy Tales for Life - Linda Champion

HONORABLE MENTIONS:

  • Perfect Chase: One Reflection of Autism - Steven H. Manchester
  • A Christmas Mouse in a Christmas House - Sally Hanser
  • Feronia - A Little Girl Who Learned to Fly Free - Nola Hennessy
  • Courageous Gilbert The Groundhog - Regina E. McCarthy
  • An Army of Ants, A Colony of Bats, A Pounce of Cats - Sherry L. Meinberg
  • Curio, A Shetland Sheepdog Meets The Crow - Jeannette A. Griver


GENERAL NON-FICTION

WINNER: Imprints: The Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians and the City of Chicago - John N. Low

RUNNER-UP:  Gift From The Garden - Bernie DuBois

HONORABLE MENTIONS:

  • Why They Stay; Sex Scandals, Deals, and Hidden Agendas of Nine Political Wives - Anne Michaud
  • Banquet of Consequences - Paul Sanders
  • The Unmaking of a Hollywood Therapist - Annie Coe Toor
  • Urgent Care: 10 Cures for America's Ailing Health… - Minda Wilson
  • My Father’s War - Charley Valera
  • Post-Traumatic Stress - Not  A LIfe Sentence - Nola Hennessy


GENERAL FICTION

WINNER: Earth As It Is - Jan Maher

RUNNER-UP: The Bricklayer of Albany Park - Terry John Malik

HONORABLE MENTIONS:

  • The Highmore Circle - Cricket Reynolds
  • Terminal Secret - Mark Gilleo
  • The Search for Zarahemla - Terry Neal
  • Rhodes The Movie-Maker - M.M. Gornell
  • Betrayed By A Butterfly - Jamie Elizabeth Tingen
  • Looking Glass Friends - E.L. Neve
  • Impending Fate - William Messenger


BIOGRAPHY/AUTOBIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR

WINNER:  Never Alone - Juan Canales

RUNNER-UP:   Every Least Sparrow - Carolyn Walker

HONORABLE MENTIONS:

  • Why Not? Conquering the Road Less Traveled - John Brown
  • Running For My Life - Winning For CMT - Christine Wodke
  • From Tragedy to Triumph - Christine Orenic-Ward


BUSINESS/TECHNOLOGY

WINNER: Rule # 1 Don't Be #2 You Get What You Work For, Not What You Wish For - Daniel Milstein

RUNNER-UP: Your Exit Map: Navigating the Boomer Bust    - John F. Dini

HONORABLE MENTIONS:

  • Saving Investa - Scott MacDonald


NATURE/ANIMALS

WINNER:  Making a Home for Faeries - Robbie Adkins


COOKBOOKS

WINNER:  At Ease - A Salute to Creative Entertaining - Lynn R. Wilson


YOUNG ADULTS

WINNER:  The Whizbang Machine - Danielle Vann

RUNNER-UP:  Next Stop, Chicago - Mary Harlekin Bishop


SPIRITUAL

WINNER:  Angelic Insights - Annamarie Pearson  


WILD CARD

WINNER:  The Catholic School From Hell - Jane Ruby  

RUNNER-UP:  Spear of the Centurion - Thom Vines