The Kirkus Prize is one of the richest literary awards in the world, with a prize of $50,000 Kirkus-Prize 2014bestowed annually to authors of fiction, non-fiction and young readers’ literature. It was created to celebrate the 81 years of discerning, thoughtful criticism Kirkus Reviews has contributed to both the publishing industry and readers at large. Books that earned the Kirkus Star (deemed to be a work of “Exceptional Merit”) with publication dates between November 1, 2013 and October 31, 2014, are automatically nominated for the 2014 Kirkus Prize.  The winners, selected by an esteemed panel composed of nationally respected writers and highly regarded booksellers, librarians and Kirkus critics, will be announced on October 23, 2014.

The finalists in each category, which were announced on September 30, are:

Young Readers’ Literature

  • El Deafo written and illustrated by Cece Bell
  • The Right Word: Roget and His Thesaurus by Jen Bryant, illustrated by Melissa Sweet
  • The Key that Swallowed Joey Pigza by Jack Gantos
  • The Story of Owen: Dragon Slayer of Trondheim by E.K. Johnston
  • The Freedom Summer Murders by Don Mitchell
  • Aviary Wonders Inc.: Spring Catalog and Instruction Manual written and illustrated by Kate Samworth


  • Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant? : A Memoir written and illustrated by Roz Chast
  • Jonathan Swift: His Life and His World by Leo Damrosch
  • The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History by Elizabeth Kolbert
  • The Lagoon: How Aristotle Invented Science by Armand Marie Leroi
  • Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, translated by Arthur Goldhammer
  • Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson


  • The Blazing World by Siri Hustvedt
  • Euphoria by Lily King
  • All Our Names by Dinaw Mengestu
  • Florence Gordon by Brian Morton
  • The Remedy for Love by Bill Roorbach
  • The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters

Congratulations to all the Kirkus Review starred choices, and all the finalists!

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