By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
State library announces the 2020 Kansas Notable Books
gbtribune news logo anvil app

TOPEKA – State Librarian Eric Norris announced the 15th annual selection of Kansas Notable Books. The 15 books feature quality titles with wide public appeal, written either by a Kansan, set in Kansas, or about a Kansas related topic.  

“I am proud to present the 2020 Kansas Notable Book list. This year’s list covers a wide swath of our cultural and natural history,” said Eric Norris, State Librarian. “The rich array of works on this year’s list examine petroglyphs across the prairie and go on fantastical high seas adventures with pirates; explore the careers of academics, athletes, and aviators; and consider the importance of family from the viewpoint of a young Exoduster in the 1880s and as a world traveler in a present day small western Kansas town. This year’s list will both educate and entertain. I encourage every Kansan to contact their local public library and celebrate the artists and artistry of Kansas.” 

A committee of librarians, academics, and historians nominated titles from a list of eligible books, and state librarian Eric Norris selected the final list. In 2006, the first Kansas Notable Books list was announced. Since then more than 200 books have been recognized for their contribution to Kansas literary heritage. 

Kansas Notable Books is a project of the Kansas Center for the Book. The Kansas Center for the Book is a program at the State Library of Kansas and the state affiliate of the Library of Congress Center for the Book. The Kansas Center for the Book exists to highlight the state’s literary heritage and foster an interest in books, reading, and libraries.

For more information about Kansas Notable Books, visit, call 785-296-3296, or email


2020 Kansas Notable Books 

Birds, Bones, and Beetles: The Improbable Career and Remarkable Legacy of University of Kansas Naturalist Charles D. Bunker by Charles H. Warner (Lawrence) University Press of Kansas   

A Constellation of Roses by Miranda Asebedo (Manhattan) HarperTeen   

Crumbled! (The Misadventures of Nobbin Swill) by Lisa Harkrader (Tonganoxie) Yellow Jacket   

Follow Me Down to Nicodemus Town by A. LaFaye (Glen Carbon IL), illustrations by Nicole Tadgell (Oxford MA) Albert Whitman & Company   

Headwinds: A Memoir by Edna Bell-Pearson (Overland Park) Meadowlark   

The Healer’s Daughter: A Novel by Charlotte Hinger (Hoxie) Five Star Publishing   

How to Be a Family: The Year I Dragged My Kids Around the World to Find a New Way to Be Together by Dan Kois (Arlington VA) Little, Brown and Company   

Journey to a Promised Land: A Story of the Exodusters (I Am America) by Allison Lassieur (Schenectady NY) Jolly Fish Press   

Kansas City Chiefs Legends: The Greatest Coaches, Players and Front Office Execs in Chiefs History by Jeff Deters (Lawrence) Deters Publications   

A Perfect Silhouette by Judith Miller (Overland Park) Bethany House Publishers   

Petroglyphs of the Kansas Smoky Hills by Rex C. Buchanan (Lawrence), Burke W. Griggs (Lawrence), Joshua L. Svaty (Ellsworth) University Press of Kansas   

The Reckless Oath We Made: A Novel by Bryn Greenwood (Lawrence) G.P. Putnam’s Sons   

Steel Tide: A Seafire Novel by Natalie C. Parker (Lawrence) Razorbill   

The Topeka School: A Novel by Ben Lerner (Brooklyn NY) Farrar, Straus and Giroux   

What Color Is Night? by Grant Snider (Wichita) Chronicle Books