Brown University

Brown University Book Award

2017-2018 Book Award

This year the Brown University Book Award is 

It's All Relative: Adventures Up and Down the World’s Family Tree

by A. J. Jacobs​ '90

New York Times bestselling author of The Know-It-All and The Year of Living Biblically, A.J. Jacobs undergoes a heartfelt, hilarious quest to
understand what constitutes family—where it begins and how far it goes—and attempts to untangle the true meaning of the “Family of Humankind.”

The cost of the Brown University Book Award is $35.95, which includes shipping and handling.

Wording of Bookplate:

The Brown Book Award honors the junior who best combines academic excellence with clarity in written and spoken expression:

Language is the highest expression of our humanity; it defines what we are and what we aspire to be.

Those who use words effectively will be the leaders in their next generation.  In them we invest our hope; to them we accord our respect.

With this award, we salute their potential. 

Sample Bookplate:

Size: 5"W x 7"H

The Brown University Book Award is presented to a junior at a school's annual book awards presentation.  It is awarded to a junior who exhibits excellent verbal and written communication skills.  The award itself is a book written by a Brown University faculty member or alumnus.

The program was started by the Brown Alumni Association in 1960, with 100 books being awarded at that time, and has grown through the generosity of our alumni.  The goal of the Book Award program is twofold: it combines the satisfaction of rewarding individual scholarship with promotion of Brown University's name among high school and preparatory school students.

Now, the Brown Bookstore handles the administration of the Brown University Bookstore.  However, the awards themselves are usually sponsored by a Brown University alumnus, though sometimes the school itself, or one or its faculty or staff, sponsors the award.

The book presented for the Brown University Book Award is determined yearly.  A committee chooses a recently published book by a Brown University Professor or Alumnus that reflects the criteria of the award.  The book award is presented to an outstanding junior who exhibits excellent verbal and written communication skills.

Recent Book Award Selections:
2017-2018 - It's All Relative: Adventures Up and Down the World's Family Tree by A.J. Jacobs '90 - $35.95
2016-2017 - Defying the Nazis by Artemis Joukowsky III - $35.00
2015 -2016 - Liberty's Torch by Elizabeth Mitchell '88 - $36.00
2014-2015 - The Promise of a Pencil by Adam Braun '06 - $35.00
2013-2014 - Bunker Hill: A City, A Siege, A Revolution by Nathaniel Philbrick '78 - $39.00
2012-2013 - Thinking the Twentieth Century by Tony Judt with Timothy Snyder '91 - $40.00
                    --Price includes shipping and handling to the sponsored school    

The Brown University Book Award is distributed by the Brown Bookstore.  We welcome expansion of the program through the sponsorship of the award by individual alumni, Brown Clubs, or by the secondary school itself.  The cost of the award is determined yearly.

Sponsors & Participating Schools

Sponsors choose the school(s) they would like to sponsor.  The school then must agree to present the Brown University Book Award at the their awards ceremony.  The sponsor may choose the degree of participation, while most just sponsor the book award and let the school handle the selection and presentation of the book award, others attend or even present the book award at the awards ceremony.  A select few even help with the selection of the recipient.

New sponsors - Please check the current schools participating and their sponsors listing  for 2016-2017 to see if a school already has a sponsor.
--Please note that some schools self-sponsor (SS=Y), so would like to have a sponsor.  Schools with 2016 had a sponsor, but were not renewed this year.  Check for 'Looking for a sponsor' in the last column.
--Please contact general_books(at) to start the sponsorship process.

Winter - Sponsors are sent out order forms to renew the Brown University Book Award.
--Sponsors can pay by ordering online or sending a check made out to Brown Bookstore to:
     Attn: Brown Book Award, Brown Bookstore, 244 Thayer St., Providence, RI, 02912
Spring - Schools are notified if their sponsors have renewed/not renewed for the year. 
--Renewed Schools are sent the book award, a bookplate to write the recipient and sponsor's name on, and a letter of explanation that includes information on where to submit the recipient's name to Brown University so they can be sent a packet of information on attending Brown University about a month prior to their awards ceremonies. 

Brown University Book Award Administrator
Contact: Trade Customer Service
Ph: 401-863-3168