Good News for Finding Family, and Why It Matters

[Teachers, click here for info about a free Zoom about Oskar’s Voyage with me and illustrator Kayla Harren in March!]

I’ve been thinking a lot about why I write and where I find affirmation for my writing. While I’d like to say that internal satisfaction is all I require, that’s not really true. Huge book sales would be great, as that would mean my books were reaching many readers. But…I write a lot of rather “quiet books.” So at least some of my affirmation has to be external. Finding Family is one of those books. It’s a nonfiction nature story, and it’s lyrical and quiet. That typically means it will need some assistance to really find readers.

That’s one reason I’m pleased as punch that Finding Family has gotten some lovely end-of-year news. First, Betsy Bird included it on her 31 Days, 31 Lists for Science and Nature Books, where she said, “I’m beginning to realize that every time I stumble upon a particularly well-written book on a nonfiction subject, I inevitably discover that Laura Purdie was the author in question. The woman just has a skill for making true stories interesting to child readers.” Be still, my heart! And it received a Eureka Gold Award for nonfiction. And I recently had two other wonderful notices. It’s a CCBC Choice for books on Science, Technology, and the Natural World. AND it’s one of three Honor books for the Charlotte Zolotow Award (also given by the Cooperative Children’s Book Center at the University of Wisconsin–Madison). This last one is incredibly meaningful because it’s specifically for picture book text. When any book I’ve written gets nice notice, I automatically think that the illustrations are really what got the book noticed. So it’s extra affirming when the honor is for text.

Do I hope these honors help the book find more readers? Absolutely. But these people–passionate educators who read thousands of picture books–calling out Finding Family? It definitely gives me more mental fuel for writing. And for encouraging young writers, which I love to do! Okay. I feel like I’m bragging a lot lately about honors or awards. But it’s been a hard year in many ways, and I’m just so dang tickled!

I hope you’ll visit my Finding Family page for some classroom activities! Thanks for reading :>D

[My Classroom Connections posts share a way to connect one of my books or poems to a classroom topic–often something timely that you might be covering in the next month or so. Please share this post if you have educator friends who might be interested–thanks!]

3 Responses

  1. I am so so happy for you. You are an incredible author and person. I hope these awards will bring in more sales. Writing picture books is HARD WORK.

  2. This is so great, Laura. You certainly deserve this recognition. I’m happy your year is looking up. It’s easy to get into a place where we wonder why the heck we do this work anyway. But you have abudant evidence that it’s worth doing.

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