2022 Michigan Notable Books

Each year, the Michigan Notable Book (MNB) list features 20 books, published during the previous calendar year, which are about or set in Michigan, or written by a Michigan author. Selections include a variety of genres, both fiction and nonfiction, that appeal to many audiences and explore topics and issues close to the hearts of Michigan residents.
"The MNB selections clearly demonstrate the diverse tapestry of subject matter that Michigan offers to inspire writers," said State Librarian Randy Riley. "Everyone will find something of interest that speaks to their lives or experiences in our great state."

Ancestor Approved: Intertribal Stories for Kids By Cynthia L. Smith Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062869944
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Published: Heartdrum - February 9th, 2021

Edited by award-winning and bestselling author Cynthia Leitich Smith, this collection of intersecting stories by both new and veteran Native writers bursts with hope, joy, resilience, the strength of community, and Native pride.

Native families from Nations across the continent gather at the Dance for Mother Earth Powwow in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Call Me Athena: Girl from Detroit By Colby Cedar Smith Cover Image
ISBN: 9781524865450
Availability: Special Order
Published: Andrews McMeel Publishing - August 17th, 2021

This enchanting novel in verse captures one young woman’s struggle for independence, equality, and identity as the daughter of Greek and French immigrants in tumultuous 1930s Detroit.

Call Me Athena: Girl from Detroit is a beautifully written novel in verse loosely based on author Colby Cedar Smith’s paternal grandmother.

The Cut By John Wemlinger Cover Image
ISBN: 9781954786233
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Published: Mission Point Press - June 29th, 2021

Day of Days By John Smolens Cover Image
ISBN: 9781611863819
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Published: Michigan State University Press - October 1st, 2020

In the spring of 1927, Andrew Kehoe, the treasurer for the school board in Bath, Michigan, spent weeks surreptitiously wiring the public school, as well as his farm, with hundreds of pounds of dynamite. The explosions on May 18, the day before graduation, killed and maimed dozens of children, as well as teachers, administrators, and village residents, including Kehoe’s wife, Nellie.

Dead of Winter (An August Snow Novel #3) By Stephen Mack Jones Cover Image
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ISBN: 9781641291026
Published: Soho Crime - May 4th, 2021

A shadowy Detroit real estate billionaire. A ruthless fixer. A successful Mexicantown family business in their crosshairs. Gentrification has never been bloodier.

Early Morning Riser: A novel By Katherine Heiny Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780525659341
Published: Knopf - April 13th, 2021

Alternately bittersweet and laugh-out-loud funny, a wise, bighearted novel of love, disaster, and unconventional family—from the acclaimed author of Standard Deviation, who has been called the "literary descendant of Jane Austen, sharing Austen's essentially comic world view" (NPR).     

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Firekeeper's Daughter By Angeline Boulley Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250766564
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) - March 16th, 2021



An Instant #1 New York Times Bestseller

Soon to be adapted at Netflix for TV with President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama's production company, Higher Ground.

From a Whisper to a Rallying Cry: The Killing of Vincent Chin and the Trial that Galvanized the Asian American Movement By Paula Yoo Cover Image
ISBN: 9781324002871
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Published: Norton Young Readers - April 20th, 2021

Winner of the 2021 Boston Globe Horn Book Award for Nonfiction

Longlisted for the 2021 National Book Award for Young People's Literature

Finalist for the 2022 YALSA Award for Excellence in Young Adult Nonfiction

An NPR Best Book of 2021

A Washington Post Best Children's Book of 2021

A Time Young Adult Best Book of 2021

Getting to the Heart of the Matter: My 36 Years in the Senate By Carl Levin, Linda Gustitus (Foreword by) Cover Image
By Carl Levin, Linda Gustitus (Foreword by)
ISBN: 9780814348390
Availability: Special Order
Published: Wayne State University Press - March 2nd, 2021

Representing Michigan for thirty-six years in the U.S. Senate, Carl Levin, the longest-serving senator in Michigan history, was known for his dogged pursuit of the truth, his commitment to holding government accountable, and his basic decency.

Long Road to the Circus By Betsy Bird, David Small (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Betsy Bird, David Small (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780593303931
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Published: Knopf Books for Young Readers - October 5th, 2021


The story of a girl who rides an ostrich straight to her dreams from the award-winning writer and librarian Betsy Bird, illustrated by Caldecott Medalist David Small.
"[A] charming, wacky novel." —The New York Times

Miles from Motown By Lisa Sukenic Cover Image
ISBN: 9781646030644
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Published: Fitzroy Books - August 21st, 2021

After moving from her beloved Detroit neighborhood to an unfamiliar suburb on the outskirts of the city, Georgia lies to prevent becoming disqualified from the contest (which is for Detroit residents only) by using her aunt Birdie’s address.

Never Saw You Coming: A Novel By Erin Hahn Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250761248
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Published: Wednesday Books - September 7th, 2021

"BOLD. IMPORTANT. BEAUTIFUL.” - Laura Taylor Namey, New York Times bestselling author of A Cuban Girl’s Guide to Tea and Tomorrow

In Erin Hahn’s Never Saw You Coming, sometimes it takes a leap of faith to find yourself.

The Other Me By Sarah Zachrich Jeng Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780593334485
Published: Berkley - August 10th, 2021

“Who hasn't wondered what alternate versions of their lives might look like?...As relatable as it is suspenseful cleverly exploring adulthood, identity, and shifting realities.”
Margarita Montimore, USA Today bestselling author of Oona Out of Order

An inventive page-turner about the choices we make and the ones made for us.

Pewabic Pottery: The American Arts and Crafts Movement Expressed in Clay By Thomas W. Brunk, Martin Eidelberg (Foreword by) Cover Image
By Thomas W. Brunk, Martin Eidelberg (Foreword by)
ISBN: 9781611863864
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Published: Michigan State University Press - May 1st, 2021

Pewabic Pottery is a significant manifestation of the international Arts and Crafts movement in Michigan. As ceramic expert Martin Eidelberg points out in his introductory essay, it was also a striking example of the coterie of talented American female ceramists who broke with traditional norms, seeking to excel both as artists and as entrepreneurs.

Private Love, Public School: Gay Teacher Under Fire By Christine A. Yared, Jay Kaplan (Foreword by) Cover Image
By Christine A. Yared, Jay Kaplan (Foreword by)
ISBN: 9781735237107
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Published: Penning History Press, LLC - December 24th, 2020

Gerry Crane had hit his stride. A talented high school music teacher, he was loved by students and parents-lauded as one of the best teachers at his school. Gerry had reconciled his conservative religious upbringing with his identity as a gay man, finding an affirming spiritual home in a local church. He enjoyed a close circle of loving friends and had found the love of his life.

Standpipe: Delivering Water in Flint By David Hardin Cover Image
ISBN: 9781948742825
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Published: Belt Publishing - January 26th, 2021

A brief, elegant memoir of the author's work as a Red Cross volunteer delivering emergency water to residents of Flint, Michigan. "A heartfelt portrait of a city, and a man, grieving."―Kirkus Reviews

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Tin Camp Road: A Novel By Ellen Airgood Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780399163364
Published: Riverhead Books - August 3rd, 2021

"Moving and brave." —People

Set against the wide open beauty of Michigan's Upper Peninsula, a wise, big hearted novel in which a young single mother and her ten-year-old daughter stand up to the trials of rural poverty and find the community they need in order to survive.

Trout Water: A Year on the Au Sable By Josh Greenberg Cover Image
ISBN: 9781612199016
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Published: Melville House - March 23rd, 2021

"Josh Greenberg is my kind of nature writer."—The Wall Street Journal

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Up North in Michigan: A Portrait of Place in Four Seasons By Jerry Dennis Cover Image
ISBN: 9780472132973
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Published: UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN REGIONAL - September 14th, 2021

Northern Michigan is a place, like all places, in change. Over the past half century, its landscape has been bulldozed, subdivided, and built upon.