This isn't actually me in the photo, but it's how I feel after learning that I've been nominated in, not one, but two categories of the Ontario Library Association's fabulous Forest of Reading Awards.
There are all sorts of literary awards for children's books, but possibly the most satisfying for a writer are the readers' choice awards -- the ones where the winners are actually chosen by your real audience -- young readers -- as opposed to adults who decree which books are worthy and important for kids.
The Ontario Library Association's Forest of Reading Awards give young readers in Ontario the chance to vote for their favourite books from a shortlist of ten titles. And it's always fascinating, surprising (and, for a writer, eye-opening) to see which book wins.
This year I've been fortunate to be nominated in two categories. First, Starclimber has been nominated for the Red Maple Award (decided on by grade 7-8 students across Ontario.) This is the fifth time I've been nominated (Airborn and Skybreaker won in 2005 and 2006 respectively).
As well, my picture book The King's Taster, illustrated by the wonderful team of Steve Fancher and Lou Johnson, has been nominated for the Blue Spruce Award (chosen by children from kindergarten to Grade Two).
Kids will be reading all through the fall and into the spring, voting at the end of April, with the winners announced in May.