If you’ve been anywhere near me on social media this week, of course, you already know this. By the time I made it back to my hotel room after the dinner where the announcement was made, author friends had already posted the news on Facebook and Twitter. Which was both heartwarming and very helpful, because I was too excited to focus long enough to write even 140 characters.
I flew into Toronto the day of the dinner and met two of these author friends, Ishta Mercurio and Helaine Becker, both of whom are witty, intelligent, and fantastic, not to mention wonderful writers. We talked about writing and life, and admired the wide diversity of outrageous shoes at Toronto’s Original boutique. Then they helped me doll up for the big event and made me laugh so hard before I went in that I had to pull myself together and pretend to be a professional.
The awards dinner was at Le Select Bistro, which I recommend to anyone with allergies – the waiters were knowledgable and prepared and I enjoyed a lovely dinner. I got to meet Gillian O’Reilly, children’s author and editor of Canadian Children’s Book News. We knew each other through the internet and Sci/Why, a group blog of Canadian children’s science writers, and it was such a treat to meet her in person. I also got to meet Maria Birmingham, author of Tastes Like Music: 17 Quirks of the Brain and Body, a book so interesting that I had to shush Tech Support while reading it, and in which I discovered that his inability to hear musical rhythm is actually a recognized condition (it’s called beat deafness). Unfortunately Daniel Loxton, the third author on the young reader shortlist, wasn’t able to attend, but his book Plesiosaur Peril is stunning.
In fact, Holly Doll of the Fitzhenry Family Foundation, which created the Lane Anderson Award, said that this year’s decision was the hardest any jury had made in the history of the award. I believe it – Daniel and Maria’s books are totally wonderful and you should read them, buy them, and pass them on to all the young readers in your lives. I am so honoured to share the shortlist with these authors, and so humbled that Fuzzy Forensics was chosen as the winner.
I want to thank the Fitzhenry Family Foundation for offering the Lane Anderson Award in recognition of exceptional science writing in Canada, at both the young reader and the adult level. It was such a delight to spend an evening with people who believe as strongly as I do that science is important, and that science books matter.
Umbrella drinks all around! Join the party – nominate your favourite science book in the comments, and we will share the love.