Good news for Emmanuel's Dream

It is so hard for me to believe that I’m still getting good news about Emmanuel’s Dream more than three years after it was published! I thought I’d share some of the most exciting bits with you here:
LittleFreeLibrary Action Book Club logoFirst, you’ve heard of little free libraries, right? Have you heard about the Little Free Library organization? If not, definitely check them out, here. They are doing all kinds of great things, but perhaps my favorite is their Action Book Club™. In a new twist on the traditional book club, this partnership between Little Free Libraries and Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) invites participants to read books on timely topics, engage in lively discussions, and take part in meaningful—and fun—group service projects to benefit their communities. How is that for combining two of my favorite things: reading and social engagement!? Plus, Action Book Club members can share their experiences online, which helps spread a ripple effect of positive activity across the country and around the world. I love everything about this idea, so it was super exciting to learn that Little Free Library selected Emmanuel’s Dream for their current Action Book Club theme of Everyday Heroes, “which celebrates acts of bravery, character, and kindness that transform our world in ways big and small.”
Illinois Monarch Award logoSecond, the Illinois School Library Media Association (ISLMA) announced that Emmanuel’s Dream is included on their 2019 Monarch Award Master List. This means that students and their teachers in participating schools will be encouraged to include Emmanuel’s Dream and the 19 other titles on the master list in their reading or listening experiences during the school year, and then students will vote for their favorite! The author and illustrator of the book receiving the highest number of votes in the statewide balloting will be declared the winners of the Monarch Award and will be invited to attend the ISLMA conference and participate in programs to feature and honor him or her. Squee! I love the ones where students get to vote. Everyone wins!
El Sueno de Emmanuel coverLast, but not least, I’m thrilled that the Spanish edition of Emmanuel’s Dream is not only available, but it’s available for readers of Spanish who live here in the U.S., too! A huge thanks to Mensajero for making this edition possible and spreading Emmanuel’s inspiring story.
That’s all for now. Thanks so much for reading. =D
 

Great news for TWO TRUTHS AND A LIE!

2018 is off to a great start so far with a bevy of awards and accolades for Two Truths and a Lie: It’s Alive!, and I’m so excited to share the latest good news with you here!

TLA Topaz list logoFirst, the Texas Library Association include it on their 2018 Texas Topaz Nonfiction Reading List. According to TLA, the Topaz List “highlights recently published nonfiction gems for readers of all ages. Adult services and youth services librarians serve on separate committees that consider hundreds of nonfiction titles for adults and youth respectively. The librarians debate the merits, appeal, and importance of the works to curate a list of engaging nonfiction titles intended to reveal new or little-known information, open doors to other worlds, or introduce fresh voices. With titles for adults and children PreK-grade 12, there is something for everyone on the Topaz list!”
Texas librarians ROCK, and being on this list is an incredible honor!
Nerdy Book Club bannerNext, the Nerdy Book Club announced their 2017 Nerdies for Long Form Nonfiction. I love reading this blog, and their passion for children’s books really comes through. Plus, some of my favorite books and authors are on this list, so I literally gasped out loud when I scrolled down far enough to see the cover of Two Truths and a Lie: It’s Alive! Thank you, Nerdy Book Club! So exciting!!
Cybils 2017 bannerThen, the Cybils announced their 2017 Elementary/Middle Grade Non-Fiction Finalists, and Two Truths and a Lie: It’s Alive! was on their list, too! Again, there are some amazing books here (including Zoo Scientists to the Rescue and Fred Korematsu Speaks Up, which I reviewed in past posts here), and I have been a Cybils judge in the past (so I know how seriously they take their work!). Being a Cybils finalist is an unbelievable thrill!
Booklist Lasting Connections bannerFinally, Booklist shared some love, in both their Special Feature: Lasting Connections 2017 and Editors’ Choice: Books for Youth, 2017.
Lasting Connections highlights their top 30 choices for the K–8 classroom, all published in the previous year and all selected for their natural connections across the curriculum and to the Common Core State and Next Generation Science Standards.
Booklist Editors' Choice bannerAnd the Editor’s Choice list is selected by the Books for Youth editorial staff, who are “committed to providing a broad selection of outstanding books that mixes popular appeal with literary excellence,” as best-of-the-year nonfiction and fiction books and picture books. Wow!

Having a book that you’ve worked hard on appear on lists like these is truly a dream come true, and I couldn’t be happier with this news. Cheers to 2018!

More good news for Emmanuel's Dream!

Great news: Emmanuel’s Dream has been selected to the 2017 IBBY Outstanding Books for Young People with Disabilities!
2017 IBBY Selection catalog cover
Every two years, the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) chooses outstanding books for and about children and young people with disabilities. This biennial selection draws attention to books published around the world, in an extensive variety of languages and formats, that address special needs and situations and which encourage inclusion at every level. Books selected as 2017 outstanding titles are featured in a print catalogue that will be launched at this year’s Bologna Children’s Book Fair in Italy on Monday, April 3rd. Outstanding titles become part of The IBBY Collection of Books for Young People with Disabilities, a one-of-a-kind resource. Consisting of 4,000 multilingual books, the IBBY collection is located at North York Central Library in Canada, part of the Toronto Public Library.
Thanks, IBBY!!

Emmanuel's Dream a WA State Book Award Finalist!

Washington State Book Awards logoThe Washington Center for the Book announced the Washington State Book Award finalists for 2016, and I’m honored to say that Emmanuel’s Dream is among the three finalists for the Scandiuzzi Children’s Book Award in the Picture Book category!
The Washington Center for the Book at The Seattle Public Library announces the Washington State Book Awards finalists in eight categories for outstanding books published by Washington authors in the previous year. This is the 50th year of the program, formerly called the Governor’s Writers Awards. The book awards are given based on the strength of the publications’ literary merit, their lasting importance, and their overall quality to an author who was born in Washington state or is a current resident and has maintained residence here for at least three years.
Winners will be announced at the awards celebration, held from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 8, at the Central Library. The awards program will feature emcee Frances McCue, an award-winning poet and arts administrator who received the Washington State Book Award for poetry in 2011 for “The Bled.” The program also features brief readings from 2016 winning titles. A reception and book signing will follow in the Living Room on Level 3 of the Central Library. The awards and celebration are sponsored by The Seattle Public Library Foundation.
Congratulations to all of the finalists, especially to friends Deborah Underwood, Martha Brockenbrough, Kelly Jones, and Jessixa Bagley!

Good news for MY DOG IS THE BEST!

MY DOG IS THE BEST cover

MY DOG IS THE BEST cover
I’m tickled to share some good news about MY DOG IS THE BEST with you today:

 
First, it was listed in the CCBC Choices 2016 by the Cooperative Children’s Book Center!

 
Second, it was also awarded a 2015 Blue Ribbon from The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books (BCCB)!

 
My Dog Is the Best activity kit coverThird, I worked with Curious City to develop a free storytime and canine craft kit for educators, librarians, and parents, and I think it turned out beautifully. Just download and print, and you’ve got a ready-made activity plan to go along with the book. Enjoy!

 
Finally, I can’t remember if I mentioned this or not, but now that the date is approaching, I’m getting more and more excited… My Dog Is the Best will soon be published in Japan! It is expected to release this summer, and in an even smaller (and cuter!) trim size. I’ll keep you posted!

 

Wonderful news for Emmanuel's Dream!

There’s been a bunch of exciting news regarding Emmanuel’s Dream lately, and I wanted to share it all with you…

First, it was recently selected as a Notable Book in the Children’s Africana Book Awards! One of my all-time favorite picture books—One Plastic Bag by Miranda Paul—was similarly recognized, which makes this honor even more special.

 
Emmanuel’s Dream was also listed in the CCBC Choices 2016 by the Cooperative Children’s Book Center and in the Bank Street College of Education’s Best Children’s Books of the Year for ages 5-9!

It was a finalist for the 2015 CYBILS (Children’s and Young Adult Bloggers’ Literary) Awards in the Elementary/Middle Grade Non-Fiction category. I’ve helped judge this category several times, but obviously had to bow out this year! Since I know firsthand what a thorough, careful job the judges do to select the finalists, it was truly a thrill to have my book recognized for this award.

 
Emmanuel’s Dream has started showing up on some state lists around the country, too, which means even more kids will be reading it. That’s super exciting! Some of the state honors I’m aware of so far include:

 
Last, but certainly not least, I’ve learned that Emmanuel’s Dream will be published in Korean! One thing I always dreamed of was having my books published in another country, and now I’ve got two (a Japanese version of My Dog Is the Best should be coming soon, too).

An ALA Schneider Family Award for Emmanuel's Dream

Schneider Award
This is old news at this point, but I’ve been so busy that I’m just now FINALLY getting around to posting it here. So, just in case you’ve been too busy to keep up with the news in the children’s literature industry, Emmanuel’s Dream has won the Schneider Family Book Award from the American Library Association! The purpose of this special award is to “honor an author or illustrator for the artistic expression of the disability experience for child and adolescent audiences,” so I’m extremely honored that the committee selected Emmanuel’s Dream.
Emmanuels Dream cover with stickerThis and other Youth Media Awards were announced on January 11, 2016, during the American Library Association (ALA) Midwinter Meeting & Exhibits in Boston and via live stream. Here in the Pacific Northwest, we have to get up at 5am to catch them, but it was definitely worth it! The award itself will be presented in Orlando during the ALA Annual Conference & Exhibition in June, and both Sean and I are both expecting to be able to attend.
Recipients are selected in three categories: birth through grade school (age 0–8), middle grade (age 9–13) and teens (age 14–18). Emmanuel’s Dream won the award for young children, which was the very first award to be announced in the entire program. Next up was Fish in a Tree, which won a middle-grade award. This only added to my excitement, as it was written by my friend and agency sister Lynda Mullaly Hunt!
Schneider Award flowersThank you to all of the members of the 2016 Schneider Family Book Award committee, including Alyson Beecher (committee chair), Nancy L. Baumann, Betsy Fraser, Beth McGuire, Elsworth Rockefeller, Joanna Tamplin, Caroline Ward, and Jill Garcia! I’m especially grateful to Katherine Schneider and the Schneider family for sponsoring this important award. It is such a huge honor to receive it, and I hope it will help the book find its way into the hands of more kids who need to hear its message. Thank you also to my fantastic agent, Ammi-Joan Paquette, for believing in this story; to Sean Qualls, for illustrating it so beautifully; and to everyone at Schwartz & Wade/Random House for all of their hard work and dedication, which made it into the book it is today. And look, they even sent me some gorgeous flowers to celebrate!
Notables SealOn the heels of the Schneider Family Award, it was also announced that Emmanuel’s Dream was included on the ALA ALSC’s Notable Children’s Books list. Each year a committee of the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) identifies the best of the best in children’s books. According to the Notables Criteria, “notable” is defined as: Worthy of note or notice, important, distinguished, outstanding. As applied to children’s books, notable should be thought to include books of especially commendable quality, books that exhibit venturesome creativity, and books of fiction, information, poetry and pictures for all age levels (birth through age 14) that reflect and encourage children’s interests in exemplary ways. It’s an incredible honor to see Emmanuel’s Dream on that list of amazing books! Thank you, ALSC!
 

Two more awards for Be a Changemaker!

Be a Changemaker cover

Be a Changemaker cover
Be a Changemaker was recently awarded two more prestigious awards:
Moonbeam AwardFirst, it was recognized last month with a Moonbeam Award! These awards were created “to bring increased recognition to exemplary children’s books and their creators, and to support childhood literacy and life-long reading.”  You can see the full list of winners here. Be a Changemaker was selected as a Gold Award winner in the Mind-Body-Spirit/Self-Esteem category. They even sent a gorgeous (and seriously heavy) medal to wear around my neck!

Burgess Award seal
And, just today I found out it has also been awarded a 2015 Gelett Burgess Award, too! The Gelett Burgess Children’s Book Award “highlights excellence in family-friendly books covering the broad expanse of a child’s existence, helping them grow socially, emotionally, ethically, intellectually, and physically.” Be a Changemaker was selected as the winner in the Lifestyle category for “Helping Others & Philanthropy.” Look how pretty!
Burgess Award Be a Changemaker display

Eureka! Nonfiction Honor Award for Emmanuel's Dream

EMMANUEL'S DREAM cover

EMMANUEL'S DREAM cover
I’m thrilled to announce that Emmanuel’s Dream: The True Story of Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah has been selected to receive a 2015 Eureka! Honor Book Award from the California Reading Association.
The California Reading Association has established this award to celebrate and honor nonfiction children’s books. The Eureka! Nonfiction Children’s Book Award will assist teachers, librarians, and parents in identifying outstanding nonfiction books for their students and children.
And, it means a shiny new sticker for the cover! 🙂
Eureka Honor AwardEmmanuel’s Dream is in some excellent company, too! Click here for the full list of winners. I guarantee you find some great nonfiction for kids (which means it’s great for adults, too!).

Be a Changemaker wins COVR Book of the Year!

BaC at COVR awards-DSC_5012-2Each year the Coalition of Visionary Resources gives Visionary Awards to winners selected from the best products in the Mind/Body/Spirit marketplace. The 18th Annual Visionary Awards were announced at the INATS Awards Banquet on June 27, 2015.BaC at COVR awards-DSC_4627
I’m beyond thrilled to share that Be a Changemaker: How to Start Something that Matters was selected not only as the Best Children’s and Teen’s Book, but it was also named COVR’s Book of the Year!

BaC COVR BotY

 

Whitney Diffendorfer, Marketing Director at Beyond Words, with the award

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