The Red Cedars

I went to the Red Cedar Awards Gala on Saturday. This is a student-choice award (the very best kind). About 100 kids from across the province were in attendance, along with their teachers and librarians. Some of my favourite authors were also there. In the photo below, you’ll see Linda Bailey (Seven Dead Pirates), Janet Whyte (Shot in the Dark), Robin Stevenson (The Summer We Saved the Bees), Jordan Stratford (The Case of the Missing Moonstone), Sharon Jennings (Connecting Dots), Jennifer Mook-Sang (Speechless), Merrie-Ellen Wilcox (What’s the Buzz), and me.

It never matters who wins a student-choice award. The reward is in the nomination — knowing hundreds of kids will read your book (DNA Detective, in this case), discuss with friends, and vote. But I did think it was funny that my daughter, when scoping out the competition, said, “Mom, it’s too bad you’re up against that animal rescue book.”

And alas, she was right!

A big congratulations to Julia Coey, who won the Red Cedar information book prize this year with Animal Hospital.

Note to self: add baby chipmunks to all future books.

In the trees!

I’m absolutely thrilled to have DNA Detective nominated for a Red Maple Award this year. Part of the Ontario Library Association’s Forest of Reading, the Red Maple is a reader’s choice award for kids in grades seven and eight.

DNA Cover

I’m personally glad I’m not one of those kids, because it’s going to be impossible to choose. Other books on the list include Pride by Robin Stevenson, Child Soldier by Michel Chikwanine and Jessica Dee Humphreys, and Vanished by Elizabeth McLeod (which is currently topping my list of books I wish I’d written).

vanished

Congrats to all the other nominees, and a huge thanks to the Ontario Library Association!

Saving the bees/schools/world

I’ve just finished reading The Summer We Saved the Bees, Robin Stevenson’s fun and quirky novel about an eco-extreme mom who sews costumes for her children and sets off across the country to do performance art, save the bees, and save the world. The book is narrated by the tween son, Wolf, who — though dedicated to the continued pollination of plants — would rather not appear in public dressed as an insect.

8348x

I loved the book, mostly because with just a small increase in my anxiety level, and a tiny decrease in my inhibitions, I could totally be that mom. I am one mild brain injury away from buying a camper van and setting off for the legislature to do performance art about seismically upgrading our schools. (None of which have had upgrades funded in the last six months, incidentally, because the province and the VSB are fighting again.)

Wouldn’t it be effective if we took all the kids at risk of being crushed by their schools and lined them up like dead bodies on the legislature lawn?

But… um… yes. I do realize the issues with that, and don’t really want to petrify and/or mortify my children, and therefore will not be enlisting them as performance artists anytime soon.

But here’s to all the moms who desperately want to save the bees/schools/world in any way possible.

The book’s a fantastic read, even if you’re not as neurotic as I am.