Founded in 1933, Kirkus has been “an authoritative voice in book discovery” for over 80 years.  The associated  Kirkus Reviews magazine gives industry professionals a sneak peek at the most notable books prior to their publication, and releases book reviews to consumers on a weekly basis.  The Kirkus Star icon affixed to selected reviews signifies books of exceptional merit.

The annual Kirkus Prize is one of the richest literary awards in the world, with a payout of $50,000 to the winner of each of three categories.  Books that earned the Kirkus Star with a publication date between November 1, 2015 and October 31, 2016 are automatically nominated for the 2016 Kirkus Prize.

The lists of books with Kirkus Starred reviews have been pared down to six finalists in each category.  These 2016 finalists for the three Kirkus Prizes include:


  • Imagine Me Gone by Adam Haslett
  • Carousel Court by Joe McGinniss Jr.
  • The Sport of Kings by C.E. Morgan
  • Barkskins by Annie Proulx
  • A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles
  • The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead



  • At the Existentialist Cafe by Sarah Bakewell
  • Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond
  • The Black Presidency: Barack Obama and the Politics of Race in America by Michael Eric Dyson
  • In the Darkroom by Susan Faludi
  • Truevine by Beth Macy
  • Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by J.D. Vance



  • Thunder Boy Jr. by Sherman Alexie (writer) and Yuyi Morales (illustrator)
  • Freedom Over Me:Eleven Slaves, Their Lives and Dreams Brought to Life by Ashley Bryan
  • We Will Not Be Silent: The White Rose Student Resistance Movement that Defied Adolf Hitler by Russell Freedman
  • As Brave as You by Jason Reynolds
  • The Reader by Traci Chee
  • Burn Baby Burn by Meg Medina


The winners will be announced on November 3.  Congratulations to all the finalists!

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