Abduction! has won the Iowa Children’s Choice Award. Whohoo!
The Iowa award is an old-fashioned brass school bell, with a walnut handle. The bell is engraved with the title of the winning book, the author’s name, and the year. My previous Iowa bells were awarded for Nightmare Mountain in 1993, Terror at the Zoo in 1996, and Escaping the Giant Wave in 2006.
Over the years, I have used these school bells as dinner bells. When my grandchildren were small, they loved to ring one of the bells when a meal was ready. We’ve rung the Iowa bells at midnight on New Year’s Eve, to celebrate the beginning of a new year. Once, I even rang one of the bells to let a black bear know that I would appreciate it if he stayed off my front porch!
When the third bell was given to me I told the chair of the ICC committee that I really hoped I’d eventually win one more. “I want four school bells,” I told her, “so that each of my four grandchildren can inherit one.”
Along with the notification that I’m the 2009 winner was a note saying now there was a bell for each grandchild.