Back from Michigan!

Hello everyone!

Just got back from author visits to Lansing and Ann Arbor, where I had a blast with students from Haslett High, Greenhills School, the International Book club at the East Lansing Library, and the folks at Ann Arbor Library... I loved meeting so many cool teachers and students and librarians and writers and readers... such a treat! 

I also went to my dad's retirement party in Grand Rapids... Lil Dude was with me, which made things extra wild and crazy (he has so much energy he literally bounces off walls).  He was great on the plane ride, but I still feel utterly exhausted at the moment... I'd like to sleep about 20 hours...

More good news has been coming in about Star in the Forest... the latest is that it's an Americas Award Commended Book!  I love the Americas Award... Red Glass was a winner a few years ago, and What the Moon Saw was an honor book.  You can read more about the award here.

I also found out that Star in the Forest is currently a finalist for the Colorado Book Award in the Juvenile category, and The Ruby Notebook is a finalist in the Young Adult Category... yay! Thank you, Colorado Humanities and Center for the Book! 

So excited to go to Aspen again with Lil Dude and Ian for the awards ceremony in June... and the best part is that I'll get to be with my talented, fun friends who are also finalists:

Amy Kathleen Ryan for Zen and Xander (YA, another Fort Collins author and good friend!)

Todd Mitchell for The Secret to Lying (YA--  yet another Fort Collins author and good friend!)
Nancy Bo Flood  for Warriors in the Crossfire (Juvenile, she's one of the brilliant authors behind The Pirate Tree blog!)

Congrats everyone!  I can't wait to cheer each other on in Aspen...

I also wanted to let you know that The Pirate Tree (mentioned above)-- a wonderful new blog about social justice and children's literature-- is featuring The Queen of Water this week. There's a thoughtful review/article on domestic slavery and The Queen of Water and an interview with me... And next week it will be featuring Star in the Forest!  A huge thank you to Lyn Miller-Lachmann and Nancy Bo Flood for their work on this incredible blog (and for their important books)!

Hmmm... I feel like there's more news, but my brain isn't cooperating now... I'll try to remember and write more soon!  Hope everyone's enjoying springtime!