AWARD NECKLACE 4/4/12
I added Connecticut to my necklace today, because Stolen Children won the 2012 Nutmeg Award. My husband, Carl, started the necklace years ago when he bought silver charms in the shapes of the states where I’d won the children’s book award. He had the back of each charm engraved with an abbreviation of the winning book’s title and the year that I had won. He hung the charms on a chain made of Idaho silver and every time I won another state award, he added a charm. Since then, I have worn the necklace every time I speak to a group of teachers or librarians – the audience who will appreciate its’ significance. It is always fun when someone asks, “Is your necklace all the states you’ve visited?” and I get to reply, “They’re the states where I’ve won the young reader’s choice award.”
The first time I won a state award after Carl’s death, Anne called. “Where did Dad get those state charms?” she asked. “Kevin and I want to continue the tradition.” Since then, they have faithfully kept the award necklace up to date and each time they give me a new charm, I feel as if I’m receiving a multiple gift: one from the children of the state who voted for my book, one from Carl who thought of a special way to show his pride in my books, and one from my daughter and son-in-law, who not only celebrate my successes, but honor Carl by continuing what he began.