2005 Oklahoma Book Awards

The Oklahoma Center for the Book has announced the 2005 winners and finalists for the Oklahoma Book Awards:

Children’s Winner

The Gospel Cinderella by Joyce Carol Thomas (Joanna Cotler Books/Harper Collins)

Young Adult Winner

Simon Says by Molly Levite Griffis (Eakin Press)


Grand Canyon Rescue by Devon Mihesuah (Booklocker);

Hoggee by Anna Myers (Walker);

No Dogs Allowed! by Bill Wallace (Holiday House);

Rabbit Goes Duck Hunting by Deborah L. Duvall (Univ. of New Mexico Press)(see also publisher information on this title);

We Go In A Circle by Peggy Perry Anderson (Walter Lorraine Books/Houghton Mifflin).

See the Oklahoma Center for the Book Web site for descriptions of each title.

My Thoughts

I’m a big fan of the Oklahoma Center for the Book. In fact, two of my own titles, Jingle Dancer (Morrow/Harper, 2000) and Rain Is Not My Indian Name (Harper, 2001)(Listening Library, 2001) were finalists for its award.

The awards ceremony is a swanky event, held at the Petroleum Club in downtown Okie City. Think white linens, dressy dresses, and beyond that, a feeling of tremendous enthusiasm for the literary arts.

Congratulations to all the winners and finalists, especially Molly Levite Griffis, Anna Myers, and Devon Mihesuah!

I remember the last time Molly won, the quote she offered as she thanked her husband, and how I thought it was so great when a writer had love behind her:

“A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction.” — Virginia Woolf

Cynsational Links

Molly Levite Griffis from The Bookshelf, Sooner Magazine.

Devon Mihesuah: author profile from WritersNet.

Interview with Joyce Carol Thomas by Stacey Montgomery from Celebrating Children.

Bill Wallace Teacher Resource File from the Internet School Library Media Center.

Cynsational News

Thanks to author Philip Yates for sending in updated URLs for the State and National Awards listing page on my Web site. Phil is the author of Ten Little Mummies, illustrated by G. Brian Karas (Viking, 2003). He lives in the Austin area.

Thanks to Margot Finke for her “Wahoo” for Children’s Writers page, spreading good cheer and encouragement.

Congratulations to my local independent bookstore, BookPeople in downtown Austin, Texas; which yesterday was named the Publisher’s Weekly Bookseller of the Year for 2005! Note: I see more people in this neighborhood wearing bookstore T-shirts than sports team Ts. Consider that and then the force that is Texas football. Remarkable!