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Two Books Chosen to Represent Kansas at National Book Festival

Judd Weil-News Director judd.rmmedia@gmail.com


[TOPEKA, Kan.]


The Kansas Center for the Book, a program at the State Library of Kansas, has selected one youth book and one adult book to represent the state at the 2022 National Book Festival.

The Kansas Center for the Book is a program at the State Library of Kansas which is the state affiliate of the Library of Congress Center for the Book.

The mission of the Kansas Center for the Book is to highlight the state’s literary heritage and foster an interest in books, reading, and libraries.

The youth book chosen is A Vote for Susanna: The First Woman Mayor by Karen M. Greenwald, illustrated by Sian James. The book chosen for adults is The Chicken Sisters by KJ Dell’Antonia.

A Vote for Susanna: The First Woman Mayor, follows Kansas in 1887, when the state of Kansas gave women the right to vote in municipal elections.

But some men in the city of Argonia, Kan. did not think women should have a say in choosing their next mayor, so they put a woman on the ballot– as a joke. That woman was Susanna Salter. Soon the men would find the joke was on them.

Narrated by a grandmother who remembered what happened on that election day, A Vote for Susanna: The First Woman Mayor is the true story of a woman who stood up for her right to vote and accomplished so much more.

A Vote for Susanna: The First Woman Mayor was named by the State Library to the 2022 Kansas Notable Books list.

The Chicken Sisters, follows three generations, two chicken shacks, and one recipe for disaster.

In tiny Merinac, Kan., Chicken Mimi’s and Chicken Frannie’s have spent a century vying to serve up the best fried chicken in the state- and the legendary feud between their respective owners has lasted just as long.

When family secrets become public knowledge on Food Wars, the reality TV competition that promises $100,00 to the winner, the sisters must choose: Will they fight each other, or fight for their heritage?

The Chicken Sisters was named by the State Library to the 2021 Kansas Notable Books list.

Both titles will be part of the National Center for the Book’s Great Reads from Great Places program.

Great Reads from Great Places features books and authors representing the literary heritage of all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and Northern Marianas.

For over 20 years this program has included a highlighted youth title from each affiliate center.

In 2022, “Great Reads from Great Places” will include titles for adults for the first time.

This year’s National Book Festival on Sept. 3 will be held in-person in Washington, D.C., but will include many livestreamed and recorded virtual programs celebrating books and authors. Author Karen Greenwald will take part in an online panel conversation with other chosen authors from state Centers for the Book to talk about her book and what inspired her.

This and other panel discussions will be posted toward the end of August on the National Book Festival website and the Library of Congress’s YouTube channel.