The High Plains Book Awards recognizes regional literary works that examine and reflect life on the High Plains, including the states of Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Nebraska, Colorado and Kansas, and the Canadian provinces of Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan.
Works from finalists in 12 categories were read and evaluated by community readers, and winners in each category were determined by a judging panel of published writers with connections to the High Plains region.
In addition, the Big Sky Award is given each year to honor the overall best book by a Montana author.
(13) updates to this series since
No single book could justly represent Montana’s largest wilderness of nearly one million acres. But “Voices of Yellowstone’s Capstone: A Narrative Atlas of the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness” comes admirably close.
Victor Cicansky’s sculptures highlight rural characters and landscapes with love and gentle humor. His series includes outhouses, dioramas of country folks in their homes, rows of gold-rimmed canning jars, and always — the root of the work — the garden.
In Katherine Koller’s collection of short stories, she tells of how opportunities can present themselves as an aftermath of challenge.
Pam Houston's writing is honest and realistic, as is the love of her various ranch animals — the Irish Wolfhounds, horses, sheep and burros — which play a large role in the book.
Finnish historian Pekka Hämäläinen turns his attention to the Sioux, focusing especially on the ascendancy of the Lakotas occupying the western reaches of “Seven Council Fires” territory.
The howls of a wolf can raise the hair on our necks, especially at midnight. Ted Rechlin, author and illustrator, presents a fresh look of this ancient predator with a beautifully done graphic book.
From the very beginning there is something in Jesse’s spirit that tells you he will survive. He’s a strong and resilient boy who overcomes heartbreak and pain to find his way back to his Indigenous culture and family.
Set in the late 1890s in Nebraska, “River People” is a story of an 11-year-old Irish girl looking for her parents out West, a 17-year-old whose father wants her off the farm in order to hide a secret, and an old self-proclaimed preacher who carries the devil on his back.
Jory Mickelson's book of poetry is similar to a coming of age story, offering moments of lost innocence both as a child and grown man that catalogs the relationship of the narrator to his family, lovers, landscape and heartache.
Archaeologist Carl Davis brings to life the Indigenous cultures whose records are buried in the ground or painted on the rocks throughout Montana — from a 13,000-year-old burial site to the Rosebud Battlefield of just over a century ago.
Set in and around Denver, Judith Sara Gelt shares a vivid and intensely personal narrative of growing up in a family deeply impacted by mental illness.
Based on interviews with a refugee, this fictionalized account of Tesfaye, a young Ethiopian boy, chronicles the fleeing his African home and the uncertain, confusing and terrifying journey that follows.
Joe Wilkins was born and raised on a sheep and hay ranch north of the Bull Mountains of eastern Montana. “Fall Back Down When I Die” takes the reader back to this rugged land with a contemporary novel, where tensions sizzle over land rights and hunting regulations.