Winner AWP Award for the Novel. Minnesota Book Award Finalist. Winner Friends of the American Writer Award.

"Kevin Fenton’s Minnisapa is a place to rival any in fiction . . ." 

 --Amy Shearn, author of How Far Is The Ocean from Here

Kevin Fenton's Merit Badges follows four friends as they move from junior high to middle management. Meet Quint, whose rebellion frays into self-destruction; Slow, who struggles to become the world's first teenage father figure; Chimes, who fears losing his friends while picking up a 7-10 split; and Barb, who escapes the judgment of Minnisapa only to return by dark of night. You'll feel as if you've always lived in Minnisapa. And you'll never underestimate nice kids from the Midwest again.  Read the Star Tribune review here 

"Impressive vitality, droll wit, and affecting nostalgia. Eminently readable."

--Publisher's Weekly  

 “A beautifully crafted, perceptive and often funny evocation of some extraordinary, ordinary people.”

––Shelf Awareness, Robert Gray’s Top 10 for 2010 (Bookseller Recommendations)

". . . such smart writing and endearing characters  . . . I absolutely loved the book."

—Dean Hill, Shelf Unbound 

" . . . reminds us of Simone Weil's understanding that attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity."

—From Jim Shepard’s judge’s comments for the AWP Award for the Novel 

". . . hilarious, painful, lovely, nostalgic, generous and true. 

--Julie Schumacher, author of The Body is Water

"Here is literary art working, without flaw, at the highest level of affirmation and intelligence."  

–Tom McBride, co-author of the Beloit College Mindset List