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BLOOD GUARD a finalist for the 2015-2016 Iowa Children’s Choice Award!

Yet another reason for my twitchy brimming-over-with-joy state these past several months was this grand good news: The Blood Guard has been nominated for the 2015-16 Iowa Children’s Choice Award! Iowa—home of the most renown writing program in the United States, site of the earliest contests in our presidential elections, and residence of some of the most discerning student readers in the land.

As I wrote below (in my post about The Blood Guard being nominated in Maine), children’s choice awards are, for me, among the greatest of honors in children’s books. These are awards given by the readers to those novels that they most loved during a calendar year’s worth of reading. The lists themselves make for a great roster of books for your To-Be-Read pile: among those on the list in Iowa are Holly Black’s spectacularly good Doll Bones (which won a deserved Newbery Honor), Lisa Graff’s lovely A Tangle of Knots, and Elise Primavera’s Libby of High Hopes. (Elise and I worked together in a previous life; hi, Elise!) It is humbling to be included among such superior works.

Still, I hope that The Blood Guard wins over all of them. Because c’mon—much as I love these other books, I’ve got to root for the home team.

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