I love student book award programs: They encourage kids to read, and especially to read books they might not have discovered on their own. When I volunteered in my son’s elementary school library, I shelved the Maine Student Book Award (MSBA) nominees and admired the wide variety of choices the committee picked. These weren’t only the wonderful issue-driven realistic fiction that populates most lists, but also adventure, fantasy, sci-fi, and quirky books. I shelved MSBA books in a big clear plastic bin—or on the Hold shelf. From when I was querying my first book to agents to when it had first come out in print, I dreamed a wee bit about seeing Drest’s face in that bin (or on that Hold shelf). But you never know if such things will happen.
Well, they did happen! The Mad Wolf’s Daughter is officially on the Maine Student Book Award list, and I could not be more chuffed! And then to make life even sweeter, I heard that Drest’s first adventure is also on the the 3rd through 5th grade master list for the Kentucky Bluegrass Award!
I don’t have a picture of the clear plastic bin (or Hold shelf) at my son’s former elementary school library, but here’s a snap I took at the Maine’s Reading Round Up conference in April of the whole MSBA collection (which includes some of my favorite recent books):