Professor Wins Oklahoma Book Award

Rose State College humanities professor Tim Tharp is a recipient of this year's Oklahoma Book Award for his young adult novel, “Mojo,” which was published in April 2013.


“Mojo” is about a would-be teen investigator whose discovery of a murdered classmate propels him into a real-life gangland murder mystery. When he thinks solving the murder will help him get more respect at school, he discovers it has the opposite effect, garnering him the nickname, “body bag.”

Tharp's recent novel, “The Spectacular Now,” was a National Book Award finalist and was made into an award-winning movie shown at the renowned Sundance Film Festival. The film went on to receive national distribution.

Tharp said his novels are inspired by his life experiences, teaching, and the everyday lives of people where he lives and works.

“I write about working class people a lot. These are the kind of people I grew up around. I am from Midwest City, I grew up in Midwest City,” Tharp said. “I teach communication, literature, and writing, so it connects with my writing in that way. They go together very well.”

In addition to awards for “Mojo” and “The Spectacular Now,” Tharp also won an Oklahoma Book Award in 2007 for “Knights of the Hill Country,” a coming-of-age story set in Southeastern Oklahoma.

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