This past weekend I saw that my book All of a Sudden and Forever: Help and Healing After the Oklahoma City Bombing (illustrated by Nicole Xu and published by Carolrhoda Books/Lerner Publishing), is a nominee for the South Dakota Library Association’s 2022-23 Prairie Bloom Award, and I thought I’d say a little about how much that recognition means to me.

This book was a labor of love for many of us, including above-and-beyond efforts by the book’s editor and art director, who joined my wife and me at the Remembrance Ceremony at the Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum on the 24th anniversary of the bombing, as I recounted here.

By the time the 25th anniversary came along, the world’s attention was turned to Covid, and this book seemed to fall through the cracks. I am so grateful that it did not escape the notice of this awards committee, and that more readers will be able to engage with this story.

Librarians are among my most favorite people (when my beloved Oklahoma City Survivor Tree seedling grew too big for me to keep, I gave it to a librarian!), and one reason for that is the above-and-beyond efforts that awards committees put into helping books and readers find each other.

So, many thanks to everyone on the SDLA Children’s Book Awards committee, and to all who support the work they do. I hope y’all have a terrific annual conference this week!