Okay, so the diamonds may be symbolic here!
always a thrill to be nominated for any award, but some awards have an extra
sentimental kick for their particular book. RAVEN'S MOUNTAIN (Australiantitle) or FACING THE MOUNTAIN
(Canadian title) is set in the Canadian Rockies,
but I wrote it after living in Australia for my whole adult life. So I was a
bit nervous about Canadian reviews - and very, very happy to get such lovely
ones. Unfortunately wiping out my hard drive last year means that I don't seem
to have copies of them, so you'll just have to believe me. Normally I get most
excited about comments on the actual writing, but this time it was a line from
a prestigious journal along the lines of: 'this Edmonton native demonstrates
her knowledge of the mountains.'
what do you know! I just googled to see if I could find that quote for you, and
though I didn't find it, discovered that Facing the Mountain was Commended,
Best Books for Kids and Teens, Canadian Children's Book Centre, 2012.
surprise. And there's no point in wishing that people would tell authors about
awards their books have been listed for or even won. (Though there might be a
point in checking my google alerts occasionally.). But if anyone's
wondering - yes, we really do like to know.
here's one I do know about, the one I started writing this blog about: the
Saskatchewan Willow Awards. Facing the Mountain is shortlisted for the Diamond
Willow category, Gr 4-6. And why is Saskatchewan especially important to me for
this book? Because the town Raven grows up in is very likely there. I created
it from the Red Deer, Alberta that I lived in as a 7 to 10 year old, but today's
Red Deer is much bigger than the town I had in mind for Raven. And I'd also
wanted the distance to the Rockies to be further, so although I never say
exactly where on the prairies it is, her fictitious town has wiggled its way
across the border to Saskatchewan.
won't be able to attend the Gala for the award announcements, but I've sent off
a signed copy for one of the prizes for the students attending, and I'll
certainly be there in spirit. I'll also be looking out for all the other books
on the list; there are some wonderful ones there.
And, nicely timed, here's a
review of the Raven's Mountain edition from February's School Library
"After moving unwillingly across the
country, Raven and her sister go mountain climbing with their stepdad. Raven is
so excited to be the first one to reach the peak that she does a victory dance,
causing an avalanche that sends her sliding and traps her sister and stepdad.
Hurt, lost, and alone, she must find a way down the mountain. Orr keeps the
tension up through first-person narration that allows readers to feel pressure
right along with Raven. Because most of the plot involves Raven climbing
independently, this is an introspective novel focusing on her ability to
overcome this hardship. She is forced into leadership as she moves from
self-pity to action. It is refreshing to see a nature adventure with a female
protagonist in a genre often flooded with male characters. … "–Carrie Shaurette, Dwight-Englewood School,
Labels: author-illustrator relationship; illustrated books; writing children's books, children's book awards, children's literature, Facing the Mountain, Raven's Mountain, Saskatchewan Willow Awards