Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Behind the Books: I'm Gobsmacked

I never pass up an occasion to use "gobsmacked." It's one of my favorite words. And it perfectly describes how I feel today, right at this very moment.

I've written 184 books. I've also written about 30 manuscripts that will probably never be published. They lead quiet lives in the middle drawer of a file cabinet in my office.

Each and every time I complete a new manuscript, I'm happy with it. I think it's the best it can be, the best I can make it. But I have no idea how it will be received by the world. Will it find a publisher? Will it get rejected?

If it is published, will it find an audience? Will it be ignored? I just don't know.

That's why I'm surprised-honored-delighted-amazed and, yes, absolutely gobsmaked that FEATHERS: Not Just for Flying, illustrated by Sarah S. Brannen, has just received the 2015 Crystal Kite Award. It means so much to me that my SCBWI colleagues selected this little book for such a huge honor.

And that's not all. FEATHERS has also received the Nerdy Book Club Award, the Cybils Award, and the John Burroughs Riverby Award for Nature Writing. It's an ALA notable and a National Science Teachers Association-Children’s Book Council Outstanding Science Trade Book. Never before have I written a book that has received so many honors.

I'm thrilled beyond words with these accolades because every time a respected organization shines a little light on FEATHERS, I know the book will make it into more schools and libraries and homes. It will be read by more children, and hopefully, inspire them to treasure the beauty and wonder of the natural world as much as I do. If this book, if any one of my books prompts a child take a closer look at a feather, to look under a rock, or to chase after a butterfly just to see where its going, then my job is done. 

9 comments:

  1. It's an amazing book and very award-deserving! Congratulations.

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  2. This is such a very big deal, Melissa! Congratulations on all your many well-deserved awards. I'm gobsmacked at the number of books you have published!

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  3. Thanks, Pat. I'm looking forward to meeting you in September.

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  4. A huge congratulations to you, Melissa. You are so dedicated to your work and produce wonderful books. Happy for you.

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  5. Congratulations, Melissa! That's awesome.

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  6. Just read it to my granddaughter last week. But I had checked it out as a mentor text for a backmatter study. Your work meets the needs of young and old minds alike. Thank you.

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  7. Thanks for the notes, Kaye and Peggy. Sarah Brannen and I couldn't be happier.

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  8. Thanks, Damon, I'm so glad that your granddaughter enjoyed the main text and you found the backmatter useful as a mentor text.

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