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2003 Book Award Reviews:

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J. Donald Coffin Memorial Book Award: Tom Mach,
         District 2, for Sissy!
—visit book's web site

   Tom Mach’s historical novel Sissy! follows the exploits of Jessica Radford, a young 19th century Lawrence, Kansas, woman caught up in the turmoil of the Civil War. According to Civil War historian David Hinze, author of The Battle of Carthage, "Sissy! lays bare the turbulent times along the Missouri-Kansas border during the Civil War.”
   Sissy! makes the era of Bleeding Kansas, the Underground Railroad, and the infamous Quantrill raid come alive for the reader,” says Rebecca Phipps, Director of the Watkins Community Museum of History in Lawrence. “His novel vividly shows how some men risked their very lives to abolish slavery and how women showed enormous courage in helping preserve the Union or in protecting their men from murderous border ruffians such as Quantrill.”
   In July 2002, Tom and his wife Virginia moved to Lawrence from San Jose, California, where Tom was active in the California Writers Club.
   Tom is working on Cross Purposes, a suspenseful novel about the true cross of Christ, and planning a sequel to Sissy!, entitled All Parts Together, which will take Jessica into the early 1880s.

The Nelson Poetry Book Award: Ruth Stunz,
         District 5, for Contrails in the Wind

   Ruth Stunz writes with skill and sensitivity of many facets of the human experience: living, loving, learning, losing....She writes, too, of human weakness, of denials of life and love, and of the personal and political decisions she believes wreak havoc with civility and peace. Readers will find many poems here to ponder, to enjoy. They speak of life, as they bespeak this poet’s life.
—Reviewer: Dr. Helen J. Throckmorton, Professor of English, Emeritus, Wichita State University, Wichita, Kansas.
    Ruth lives in Wichita.. Her other books are Poems to Ponder, 1968; Reflections, 1988; Evolution, The Hole Story, 1989 & 1997; and Peace on Earth, 1990. 2/03

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