31st Annual Los Angeles Times Book Prizes Contenders Announced

LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Times Book Prizes today announced the finalists for the 2010 honors to be presented April 29th at an exclusive ceremony at The Times' Chandler Auditorium. The event is the prelude to the 16th annual Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, the nation's largest public literary festival, which moves to its new home on the University of Southern California campus in the heart of L.A.'s Downtown Arts & Education Corridor on April 30 and May 1.

The Book Prizes recognize 50 distinguished works in 10 categories. The list of finalists in biography, current interest, fiction, first fiction (the Art Seidenbaum Award), graphic novel, history, mystery/thriller, poetry, science and technology, and young adult literature can be found at latimes.com/bookprizes.

Beverly Cleary is the recipient of the annual Robert Kirsch Award for lifetime achievement and the first children's author to win the award in its 31-year history. Cleary was born in McMinnville, Oregon, in 1916. Her early love of literature blossomed into a writing career with the publication of her first book, "Henry Huggins." She has written more than 30 books, including "The Mouse and the Motorcycle," "Beezus and Ramona," "Henry and Ribsy," and the Newbery-winning "Dear Mr. Henshaw," as well as the memoirs "A Girl from Yamhill" and "My Own Two Feet." Cleary's most famous character, Ramona Quimby, is the face of the Drop Everything and Read Program (D.E.A.R.), a national literacy effort meant to encourage independent reading and foster reading at home.

Iconic Powell's Books , the world's largest independent bookstore, will be presented with the 2010 Innovator's Award, which spotlights cutting-edge business models, technology or applications of narrative art. As a trailblazer in rethinking the way booksellers engage with customers, Powell's was one of the first stores to embrace online bookselling as a complement to "bricks and mortar," and also offers its "Indiespensable" book club program by which subscribers receive unique book packages via mail. In addition to implementing a cohesive strategy to make books available to readers in whatever way they prefer, Powell's also led in breaking the divide between how new and used books, hardcovers and paperbacks are merchandised and offers readers its unique "online buyback" program at powells.com.

Finalists and winners of the Los Angeles Times Books Prizes are selected by panels of three judges composed of published authors who specialize in each genre. Further information about the Book Prizes, including past winners, is available at http://events.latimes.com/bookprizes/previous-winners/year-2009.

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John Conroy | 213.237.4791 | john.conroy@latimes.com

Nancy Sullivan | 213.237.6160 | nancy.sullivan@latimes.com

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