2016 Nominees: nonfiction

1916 by Keith Jeffery
Released: Jan. 26, 2016

"A brilliant compendium of everything-you-didn't-know-about World War I, which, for many readers, will be a great deal."
A World War I-focused history of 1916, when "all the major belligerents…stepped up to regulate domestic manpower and mobilize all sectors of the community behind the war." Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 1, 2015

"A mesmerizing study in contrast and comparison."
A bifurcated, lively study of the year that saw the rise of the two most significant political figures of the early 20th century. Read full book review >
1941 by Marc Wortman
Released: April 5, 2016

"An engaging and well-researched look behind the scenes of an important historic era. Highly recommended."
A wide-ranging examination of America's entry into World War II as the Franklin Roosevelt administration juggled the demands of an isolationist Congress and voices urging early intervention. Read full book review >
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"Highly recommended: an exceptionally well-organized, authoritative, and readable resource book."
A valuable resource for those wondering whether there is a chance that cancer runs in their family. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 19, 2015

"Goliath takes it right between the eyes in this unique take on the convoluted politics, science, and cultural issues at stake regarding fracking."
Out of the university and into the streets, Briggle (Philosophy/Univ. of North Texas) brings the practice of "field philosophy" to the question of whether fracking is feckless or feasible. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 13, 2015

"A pointed family memoir from a writer keenly attuned to and reverent of genius."
A frank memoir of Spender's problematic poet father and his emotionally remote pianist mother. Read full book review >
A Pilgrim for Freedom by Michael Novakovic
Released: Aug. 31, 2016

"A remarkable and gripping account of a boy fleeing a war-torn nation and eventually flourishing in America."
As the rumble of World War II draws closer, a young boy leaves behind his once-comfortable life in Split, Yugoslavia, to embark on a turbulent adventure. Read full book review >
A RAGE FOR ORDER by Robert F. Worth
Released: April 26, 2016

"A crucial portrait of a deeply troubled region."
How the Arab Spring, begun in hope, has resulted in despair. Read full book review >
Released: April 26, 2016

"Williams delivers a complex tale about a complex disease, and by sharing a narrative rich in detail, personalities, and New York scenes, she will ease the burdens of those immediately affected and inform others of progress in cancer research."
Who would have thought a book about being diagnosed with stage 4 melanoma could be exhilarating and entertaining? Read full book review >
Released: Jan. 25, 2016

"Thrilling adventures presented with the flair they deserve."
Freelance journalist Kemper (A Labyrinth of Kingdoms: 10,000 Miles through Islamic Africa, 2012, etc.) revives a legendary adventurer, "one of the only people who could turn [his] garrulous…friend Theodore Roosevelt into a listener."Read full book review >
ABBA EBAN by Asaf Siniver
Released: Nov. 3, 2015

"Based on interviews with dozens of people and research in more than 20 archival collections, Siniver's sympathetic, cleareyed biography deserves to be called definitive."
The biography of a defender of Israel who advocated diplomacy over war. Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 6, 2016

"In this powerful, necessary book, Schwarz exposes the dirty secrets of the growing ADHD epidemic."
A troubling look at the systemic overdiagnosis of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and a chilling analysis of the effect ADHD medications have on patients, especially children. Read full book review >



The Kirkus Prize is one of the richest literary awards in the world, with a prize of $50,000 bestowed annually to authors of fiction, nonfiction and young readers’ literature. It was created to celebrate the 81 years of discerning, thoughtful criticism Kirkus Reviews has contributed to both the publishing industry and readers at large. Books that earned the Kirkus Star with publication dates between Sept. 1, 2016 to Aug. 31, 2017 (see FAQ for exceptions), are automatically nominated for the 2017 Kirkus Prize, and the winners will be selected on November 2, 2017, by an esteemed panel composed of nationally respected writers and highly regarded booksellers, librarians and Kirkus critics.