Just won a blue ribbon

Hi everyone,

Once in a while a note comes in that makes me smile and want to whoop and holler. I never enter my work for awards (lazy? cheap?) so I’m especially grateful to Donna Spurlock and her staff at Charlesbridge for doing if for me. You may have seen the notice put up on Facebook yesterday by Karen Boss, my superlative editor at Charlesbridge. In case you didn’t, here it is.

NOW YOU SEE THEM, NOW YOU DON’T is the winner for the Society of Midland Authors Children’s Nonfiction Book award! http://ow.ly/rNFS30aB8a7

According to the press release from SMA, “The Society, founded in 1915 by a group of authors including Hamlin Garland, Harriet Monroe and Vachel Lindsay, has given out annual awards since 1957. The juried competition is open to authors who live in, were born in, or have strong ties to Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota or Wisconsin.

Notable winners have included Saul Bellow, Kurt Vonnegut, Studs Terkel, Gwendolyn Brooks, Mike Royko, Jane Smiley, Dempsey Travis, Leon Forrest, William Maxwell, Louise Erdrich, Scott Turow, Alex Kotlowitz, Aleksandar Hemon, Stuart Dybek and Roger Ebert.”

One reason I’m happy is that it’s a book of science-based poetry that won for nonfiction. It’s more evidence for teachers of how poetry can work in their classrooms and hold it’s own against books of prose. When PIRATES came out in 2008, it also was recognized (by VOYA Press) on its Nonfiction Honor List. Both of these titles were well researched so that they can be used in core subject studies.

I haven’t decided yet about flying to Chicago on May 9 to accept the plaque and check at the Awards Banquet. Years ago I didn’t go to NYC to accept my Christopher Award and on another award occasion I stayed home from Chicago. Sandy is encouraging me to go this time. She’ll even go with me. That certainly makes it more enticing.

Meanwhile, if you hear some guy whistling down the street, this might help you understand.