My 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.