Good news from Minnesota


Stolen Children, paperbackStolen Children has won the Maud Hart Lovelace Award in Minnesota.

When I was small, Maud Hart Lovelace’s  books were my favorite books. I kept my copies and gave them to Anne, and she passed them along to Brett. I still vividly remember scenes from my favorite parts including when the girls went begging. What a wonderful tribute to an author to have her works enjoyed by three generations of a family, and fondly remembered decades after they were published.

Thank you to the students in Minnesota, who chose Stolen Children as their favorite book this year. I am honored.

Mark Twain Award – Twice!

Mark Twain Award – Twice!

On Monday, I was in Missouri to receive the 2011 Mark Twain Reader Award for Stolen Children.  The last item on the banquet program was the announcement of the winner of the 2012 award: Runaway Twin!! The committee from the Missouri Association of School Librarians had already engraved a second bust of Mark Twain and they presented it to me then. Two fabulous honors in one night!

To make it even better, I was seated at the banquet with my dear friend, Kirby Larson, who had won the 2011 Show Me Award (picture book category) for Two Bobbies. When the 2012 Show Me Award was announced, Kirby won, for Nubs. We still can hardly believe that this happened.

To make it better yet, Anne went with me on this trip, so my daughter was in the audience to share the excitement.  What a night!


Award Necklace


Stolen Children, paperbackI 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.

Horned Toad Award

horned toad

Horned Toad Tales Award

Runaway TwinRunaway Twin has won the 2011-2012 Horned Toad Tales Award, presented by the Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District in Houston, Texas. This is a student-choice award, voted on by kids in third, fourth, and fifth grades.

The wonderful horned toad arrived in my mail box yesterday. He looks rather ferocious in the photo; in person he measures four inches long.

Thank you to everyone in the Cypress-Fairbanks ISD for this honor.

Iowa’s Bells

iowabell1.JPGMy Iowa Children’s Choice Award arrived yesterday – a marvelous brass school bell engraved on one side with the Iowa Library Association logo and on the other side with my name, the year, and the winning title, Stolen Children.

This is my fifth time to win the Iowa award, and my fifth school bell.  In my acceptance speech for the second one, I told how my grandkids loved to ring the first bell to call everyone to dinner. When I won again, I said that I now had three bells,  but four grandchildren and said I needed to win once more so that I could leave one of the bells to each child in my will. It became an on-going joke with Beth Elshoff, who had chaired the ICC committee the year that I won the first time. When I won bell #4, she emailed me that she was happy all of the grandkids were now taken care of.

So this year, I won my fifth bell and the timing was perfect. Seth Robert Kehret, my first great-grandchild, was born last week.

Charlotte Award

charlotte2.JPGI got the BEST mail today! The New York Reading Association sent me the Charlotte Award that I won for Stolen Children. I knew the award was named for the spider in E.B. White’s wonderful book, Charlotte’s Web, but I did not expect an award like this.

The glass ball that dangles beneath my Charlotte is painted on one side with my book’s title and my name. The other side has a painted spider web and the words Charlotte Award.

Thank you to the New York Reading Association for this unique, wonderful award.charlotte.JPG