After a year of upheaval—a fearful pandemic, swelling demands for social justice, and a challenging national election —the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association on Thursday announced a slate of 2021 Christian Book Awards winning titles that highlight reconciliation, inspiration, and consolation. ECPA president Stan Jantz, congratulating all the winners, said in a year of uncertainty and turmoil, "readers turned in record numbers to Christian books."
During a live webcast, presented for hundreds of industry professionals, authors, and publishers, the ECPA also presented its Pinnacle Award, given only four times since the awards program was created in 1978, to Max Lucado, whose books have sold over 145 million copies worldwide.
Lucado was also given the honor of announcing the top honor of the day. Be the Bridge: Pursuing God’s Heart for Racial Reconciliation, (WaterBrook) by Latasha Morrison was named the 2021 Christian Book of The Year as well as winner of the Faith & Culture category. Her call for racial unity amidst a divisive culture, published in October 2019, became a New York Times and Publishers Weekly bestseller in 2020 and won Christianity Today’s Book Award. Jantz described Morrison's book as "a compelling vision of what it means for every follower of Jesus to become a bridge builder—committed to pursuing justice and racial unity in light of the gospel."
WaterBrook also published the winning memoir I've Seen the End of You: A Neurosurgeon's Look at Faith, Doubt, and the Things We Think We Know by neurosurgeon W. Lee Warren.
Zondervan imprints garnered three award winners: The NIV Study Bible Fully Revised Edition in the Bibles category; The New Testament in its World: An Introduction to the History, Literature and Theology of the First Christians, by N.T. Wright and Michael Bird, from Zondervan Academic and SPCK (IVP/UK) in Bible Reference; and Suffer Strong, an audiobook written and narrated by Katherine and Jay Wolf, produced by Gabe Wicks/ HarperCollins Christian and published by Zondervan tied in the audio category.
The audio co-winner was Chasing Vines, written and narrated by bestselling Bible teacher Beth Moore, produced by Lisa Smith/ Oasis Audio, published by Tyndale House Publishers. SPCK (IVP/UK) also had a winner in the children’s book category with Extraordinary Women of the Bible, by Michelle Sloan, illustrated by Summer Macon.
Two devotionals both aimed at younger readers, also took honors. The young people’s literature category top spot went to Baker Books’ Praying Girls Devotional by Sheila Walsh. And Tommy Nelson’s devotional and gift title How Great Is Our God: 100 Indescribable Devotions About God and Science, by Louie Giglio, is aimed at children.
A Thomas Nelson Gift book author Dawn Barton received the best new author award for her “honest and sometimes raw stories” of finding Jesus amid personal tragedies, Laughing Through the Ugly Cry…and Finding Unstoppable Joy.
There were 12 categories overall in the awards program. The list of winners also includes Moody’s Bible study entry, The Way Home: God's Invitation to New Beginnings, by Tessa Afshar; Ligonier Ministries’ Christian Living entry Show Me Your Glory: Understanding the Majestic Splendor of God, by Steven J. Lawson; Crossway’s ministry resources entry Lead: 12 Gospel Principles for Leadership in the Church, by Paul David Tripp.
More about all the honorees can found at ChristianBookAwards.com.