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Congratulations are in order for Kate Davis, a longtime Missoula area raptor rehabilatator, writer, photographer and illustrator.

Davis's book, Raptors of the West has won the 2011 Montana Book Award. The book was co-authored with Rob Palmer and Nick Dunlop and was published by Mountain Press in Missoula.

This annual award recognizes literary and/or artistic excellence in a book written or illustrated by someone who lives in Montana, is set in Montana, or deals with Montana themes or issues.

Presentations and a reception with the winning authors will take place in April, during the Montana Library

Association Conference at Big Sky.

Raptors of the West, the latest collaboration by award-winning photographers Rob Palmer and Nick Dunlop

and author/photographer Kate Davis, is a glorious photographic ode to the forty-five birds of prey that roam

the skies of the American West. The book is arranged by the habitat type which gives a great way to identify

many birds in one area. While the 430 stunning color photographs are enough to set this book apart on their

own, Davis's informative and entertaining captions make this a perfect guide for all age groups.

Four honor books were also chosen by the 2011 Montana Book Award Committee:

Beautiful Unbroken: One Nurse's Life by Mary Jane Nealon, published by Graywolf Press. As a child, Mary

Jane Nealon dreams of growing up to become a saint or, failing that, a nurse. Beautiful Unbroken details

Nealon's life of caregiving, from her years as a flying nurse, untethered and free to follow friends and jobs

from the Southwest to Savannah, to more somber years in New York City, treating men in a homeless shelter

on the Bowery and working in the city's first AIDS wards. In this compelling and revealing memoir, Nealon

brings a poet's sensitivity to bear on the hard truths of disease and recovery, life and death.

Conjugations of the Verb To Be by Glen Chamberlain, published by Delphinium Books. In her debut collection

of short stories, Glen Chamberlain stakes out her own distinct, well-imagined parcel of Montana land.

Set in the fictional town of Buckle--"an informal little dot on the map"--these stories are populated with saltof-

the-earth ranchers, schoolteachers, nurses, lovers and dreamers.

Hand Raised: The Barns of Montana by Chere Jiusto, and Christine Brown with photographs by Tom Ferris,

published by Montana Historical Society Press. Beyond their utilitarian functions, barns are simply beautiful.

The historic barns pictured in this book present the best, most unique, most significant, and most beautiful

across the state. Photographer Tom Ferris explored barns inside and out across Montana, and authors and

architectural historians Chere Jiusto and Christine Brown help readers understand the significance of what

they are looking at and tell the stories of the individual barns.

Where Elk Roam: Conservation and Biopolitics of Our National Elk Herd by Bruce L. Smith, published by

Lyons Press. This book provides an inside look at the field studies and conservation work of a federal wildlife

scientist who for twenty-two years served as the National Elk Refuge's wildlife biologist, coordinating

winter feeding of 8,000 elk and tracking their births, deaths, and annual migrations throughout the Greater

Yellowstone Ecosystem.

The Montana Book Award was founded by the Friends of the Missoula Public Library in 2001 and winners

are selected by a committee of individuals representing areas throughout Montana. Members of the 2011

Montana Book Award committee included Honore Bray, Missoula; Adam Kish, Twin Bridges; Mark Miller,

Bozeman; Carole Ann Clark, Great Falls; Jill Munson, Fort Benton; Gordon Dean, Forsyth; and Sarah

Daviau, Libby.

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