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William Allen White Celebration Recap

A Million Ways Home

I just recently returned from attending the William Allen White Award celebration in Emporia, Kansas. What a thrilling three day whirlwind of fun! A Million Ways Home won the 6th-8th grade WAW award, and Jennifer Brown, author of the wildly popular Life on Mars, won at the 3rd-5th level. The WAW committee members treated both of us like rock stars and were efficient and gracious hosts the whole time we were there.

Each state has its own readers' choice award, but Kansas' WAW is special for two reasons. First, it's the oldest in the country, created in 1952, and second, it's completely based on kids. Its mission is to bring authors and young readers together, and it was amazing to have over 500 students from across the state in attendance at Emporia State University. I've never signed so many books or T-shirts in my life! Even the awards were presented by students, chosen from among those who had read all the books on the WAW finalist list throughout the school year. It was so gratifying to meet all those young readers and to help celebrate the joy of books and reading! You can check out a few pics of my trip here.

Next up will be Osage Beach, Missouri in April to receive the Mark Twain award, tied in with the Missouri School Librarians conference. I'm sure it will be a great trip as well, because what author doesn't love librarians? I'll be sure to post an update afterwards.

In other news, I have a new middle grade book out with editors right now and am hoping to have some good news to share soon. I'm hard at work on another one as well, and I have some new—very much needed—carpeting in my little writing office. Maybe it will provide additional writing inspiration :-) Last but not least, here are a few books I've recently enjoyed.

A Dog's Purpose, Bruce Cameron
Life on Mars, Jennifer Brown
A Green and Ancient Light, Frederic S. Durbin

Happy Reading!