Thursday, November 18, 2010

Off to Kansas City

I'm heading off to Kansas City today to give two talks tomorrow at Mill Creek Upper Elementary School in Belton, Missouri. I was invited because my book, The Totally Made-Up Civil War Diary of Amanda MacLeish, is on the master list for the Mark Twain Award this year.

For those of you who aren't familiar with this kind of award: just about every state has a readers' choice award, and almost all of them are set up in the same way. Some committee of teachers and librarians generates a master list of titles, published in the past several years, and then children from all around the state read the books on the master list and vote for their favorite.

I've won a readers' choice award only once: 7 x 9 = Trouble! won the Virginia Book Award. Unfortunately for me, Virginia doesn't make much of a fuss about its award. I seem to remember that the only reason I even knew about the award was that I went on the Internet myself and found the announcement of it. But some states make a huge fuss over their award, presenting it to the author at a banquet in a chandelier-hung ballroom. That is one of my life's ambitions: just once to receive an award presented to me at a banquet in a chandelier-hung ballroom.

But the best thing really is just to get on the master list. Then tens of thousands of children read your book (and thousands of librarians buy your book). One of my books, You're a Brave Man, Julius Zimmerman, was on ten different state lists, which was so lovely for me. And now because The Totally Made-Up Civil War Diary is on the Mark Twain list, I get to board a plane today and fly to Kansas City to meet with readers tomorrow, two of whom have already emailed me to tell me how excited they are that I am coming to their school. Kaylin and Madisen, I can't wait to meet you!

This might even be better than the banquet in the chandelier-hung ballroom. It really might.


  1. Fingers crossed for your book to win the Mark Twain Award!

  2. I hope yesterday was wonderful! One wonderful at a time? S