Two Very Good Pieces of Book News

Aside, before I get started: Here's a shout-out to my teacher and librarian friends in Iowa City and Cedar Rapids -- let me know you are okay, will you? JulieL? Cindy? Connie? Anne Marie? Becky? Barb and Paula? And Treva -- where are you? Check in, check in.

Here I am, here I am, early on a Monday morning, to jump on the bed and shout:

EACH LITTLE BIRD THAT SINGS has won the California Young Reader Medal!


Thank you so very much, California Readers! None of my books has ever won a state award, although LITTLE BIRD has so far been on 24 state lists, and RUBY was on 26!

And I truly understand and believe that the nomination is the cake -- it's tops. My books have been blessed to be on these state lists, voted on by children. The lists have increased the visibility of my books and have gotten them into the hands of young readers, which is what it's all about. I have been blessed by having my books on these lists, too -- because I've had a book on state lists, I have been invited to speak in these states, to visit schools and conferences, and I have met so many wonderful folks I never would have met otherwise -- my life has been enriched.

So. State Book Award Lists. A Very Good Thing. Thank you so much to librarians and teachers and young readers in all states who make up these lists and read read read -- and vote!

To have a book that has won a state book award -- I don't know what to say! Thank you, of course... and then... I can't wait to see you in February, during the awards ceremony in Santa Clara -- can't wait to thank you in person. It's a humbling experience to be part of the same list of award winners with Sharon Creech and Kate DiCamillo and Christopher Paul Curtis.

California, here I come. February 22.

Very Good Book News #2:

ALL-STARS has been nominated for the SIBA BOOK AWARD! Be still my heart. Southern booksellers nominate their favorite books for this award each year -- and again, it is such an honor to be nominated! RUBY was a SIBA nominee in 2002, and now here comes a nomination for ALL-STARS, my newest book, all about two boys who want to play baseball, in Halleluia, Mississippi on the same day the county plans to celebrate its 200th birthday, with a pageant full of children whose Mamas insist they participate -- and that goes for the ballplayers, too.

ALL-STARS is a book about baseball, Walt Whitman's poetry, and all kinds of literature: OUR TOWN by Thornton Wilder, TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD by Harper Lee, GREAT EXPECTATIONS by Dickens, and more. Not to mention a lot of laughs -- Frances Schotz, age 14, is in charge of the pageant. She has been off to boarding school, has taken too much French and too much drama, and has renamed herself Finesse. She is responsible for having broken our hero's pitching arm the year before, when she collided with him in the midst of an interpretive dance. There's an old man with a secret. An old man with a past. And a baseball game that, I hope, will have you on the edge of your seat, wondering what happens next.

To have this book honored by SIBA -- Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance, is such icing on the cake -- chocolate icing, to boot. Thank you, SIBA! I am in great good company this year, too. Two friends: Kerry Madden's LOUISIANA'S SONG is also nominated, as is SOMETHING ROTTEN by Alan Gratz. I'll meet the other two nominees that I don't know -- see the list here. We'll be together on Labor Day weekend, when the award is ... awarded... at the Decatur Book Festival in Decatur, Georgia.

Can't wait for time with book buds. For now, my head is down and I'm plowing ahead with Book One of the Sixties Trilogy, as well as a picture book project that has grabbed me by the ear and won't let me go. I've also started an essay I want to finish today -- here's the first line:

"So far the Obama For President Campaign has cost me $56 and a macaroni and cheese casserole."

I'm not on the front lines, like my daughter is, but I'm listening to her stories. More on writing soon, as well as a look at my lunches this week. I know you can't wait.

Big congratulations and kudos to Walter Mayes on finishing his grand run as THE Man of La Mancha in San Francisco!

Back to work. It is finally glorious summer. What are you working on this week?

No comments:

Post a Comment

Howdy. Moderating comments to prevent spam. I'm sure you're not that. Thanks for your thoughts! Write on, warrior on. Make art.