Search Close
Plan Your Visit
Outside View of the Indiana Historical Society Building
Plan your visit
Tuesday through Saturday10 a.m. - 5 p.m
Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana History Center 450 West Ohio Street, Indianapolis, IN 46202
Save $2 per ticket (adults & seniors) when you purchase online.
Purchase Tickets
Indiana Experience Admission $15 Adults$14 Seniors (60 and over)$5 Youth (ages 5 through 17)$2 Access Pass HoldersFree Children under 5Free IHS MembersFree Educators and Military Free parking with admission in IHS lot off New York Street.

Part I: What Rosie Books Mean to Me

April 25, 2024

As an introvert, I found myself reading books more than playing as I grew up. I have been a library user as far back as I can remember; I’d visit the library every Sunday with my dad growing up, borrowing a stack of books measuring from my hips to my chin, all to be finished and returned by the next week. My never-ending book appetite was noticed by the middle and high school librarian, who granted me the privilege of using the high school’s library early. It was there I was introduced to Rosie Books: Nominated by high school students across Indiana, around 20 books are voted upon annually to earn the Eliot Rosewater Indiana High School Book Award.

Three previous Rosie Nominees, Chloe Redman’s personal collection

In seeking information on the Rosie Books, prior nominations, and the award’s history, I contacted the Indiana Library Federation. From there, I was able to email Emily Fox, current Chair of the Eliot Rosewater Indiana High School Book Award Committee. She shared with me an informational video created and used by the Former Chair, Angy Northern, explaining the award and its history. It was founded in 1995 by a group of Indianapolis librarians who wanted to get teens excited about reading by involving them in the voting process! Indiana school librarians collect student votes during the academic year, sending them to the Committee annually by the end of April to be counted.

Three previous Rosie nominees, Indiana Historical Society, General Collection

The first nominations for the Rosie Award were for the year 1996-1997. I was curious to see if I could lay eyes on any of the nominees within our general collection; since we collect materials connected to Indiana, it is not guaranteed we would have them in our holdings. However, the Indiana Historical Society currently holds one of the twenty nominated works from the first year! Published in 1995, it was written by Muncie, Indiana, native Gregory Howard Williams.

While not the winner of the 1997 Rosie Award, Williams’ memoir, Life on the Color Line: The True Story of a White Boy Who Discovered He Was Black was an incredible recounting of his life growing up in Virginia and Indiana in the 1950s. Originally born in Muncie, Williams was raised in segregated Gum Springs, Virginia. He believed he was 100% white, but upon the family business failing and his parents’ divorce, Williams learned his father was half Black. Williams moved back to Muncie with his brother and father, where he learned more about their Black heritage.

I was introduced to Rosie Books more than ten years ago, yet only now have a better understanding of the history of the book award. Keep an eye out at your locally owned bookstore for nominees and winners of the award. To learn more about the identity of Eliot Rosewater and his creator, please look out for part two of this blog coming soon!

Chloe Redman is an Assistant in the Archives and Library. She is pursuing an MLIS at Indiana University-Indianapolis. She spends her summers at a fishery in Alaska and reads books as fast as Kirby devours buffets.

Share this post:
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share with Email
Facebook Comment
Thanks for Reading! If you enjoyed reading our blog, try our InDepth Stories
map of area around IHS location
Drop us a line
Let's talk
Full Staff Directory
Our Hours
ExhibitsOpen 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through SaturdayWilliam H. Smith Memorial LibraryOpen 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through SaturdayHistory MarketOpen 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through SaturdayStardust Terrace Café HoursOpen 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday
Never miss a story!
Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana History Center450 West Ohio Street, Indianapolis, IN 46202(317) 232-1882
© 2018 Indiana Historical Society Privacy Policy
The Indiana Historical Society is a 501(c)(3) Nonprofit Organization.