Back in November last year, I received an email invitation to participate in the Pearson Prize Book Award contest from the Learning For a Cause Organization. I’ll admit, I was a little puzzled at first because I had not heard of this organization prior to receiving the email, and didn’t know how they would have heard of me. So, I went from email to browser and started looking up information about Learning for a Cause. In 2003, teacher and writer, Michael Sweet, started the project to help bringing youthful voices to the world working with the students at Lester B. Pearson High School in Montreal, QC. Learning for a Cause supports, publishes and promotes young writers and their creative writing. The central aim of the project is to establish a permanent archive of creative work by young writers.
After learning what the project was, and finding out some information about the Pearson Prize Award contest, I was delighted to participate in the contest. The contest is one which is determined solely by the students, and what author can resist a captive audience of their target readership? Michael Sweet was looking for a way to encourage his students to read, but they were lacking in books, so he came up with the idea of having a contest where the authors send in their books as the entry fee. Two books per participant are required, because the books are shared among the students as they all read the books and write reviews for class credit. I actually had 3 copies of Misfit McCabe participating in the contest because one of the books from the Where in the World is Misfit McCabe? project was sent from a classroom in Durango, Colorado to a classroom in Montreal, QC.
I considered it an honor to have been invited to participate in the contest. Misfit McCabe’s target audience is slightly younger than high school students, so I wasn’t sure how it would fare with the high school readers, simply because it might be a little on the young side for them. Imagine my surprise when I received an email with the following message from Michael Sweet:
It is my pleasure to inform you that you are a runner-up for the 2009 Pearson Prize Medal for your title “Misfit McCabe”.
Congratulations. More than 20 teens choose your title as their number one selection from more
than 150 titles!
That Misfit McCabe should be a favorite for more than 20 students and to have been selected as one of the top 3 books out of more than 150 titles is beyond excellent.
Now I have to write my own press release and get some of those little gold seals so I can put them on my books.