Friday, January 8, 2010

Congratulations to Matt Phelan!

Happy New Year all! We hope that 2010 is off to a wonderful start for everyone, as it certainly is for us... one of our resolutions this year is to do a better job of keeping up with our blog, and we thought we'd start by congratulating Matt Phelan, the 2010 winner of the Scott O'Dell Award!

Children's writer Scott O'Dell created the Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction in 1982, hoping to "encourage other writers--particularly new authors--to focus on historical fiction." He hoped that this would "increase the interest of young readers in the historical background that has helped to shape their country and their world." Awarded annually, the $5,000 prize goes to a book published in the previous year for children or young adults. To learn more about Scott O'Dell and the Scott O'Dell award, you can visit O'Dell's site here. For more on this year's winner, keep reading!

The Storm in the Barn is an artful, haunting graphic novel following 11-year-old Jack Clark. In Kansas in the year 1937, Jack faces his share of ordinary challenges: local bullies, his father’s failed expectations, a little sister with an eye for trouble. But he also has to deal with the effects of the Dust Bowl, including rising tensions in his small town and the spread of a shadowy illness. Certainly a case of "dust dementia" would explain who (or what) Jack has glimpsed in the Talbot’s abandoned barn—a sinister figure with a face like rain. In a land where it never rains, it’s hard to trust what you see with your own eyes—and harder still to take heart and be a hero when the time comes. With phenomenal pacing, sensitivity, and a sure command of suspense, Matt Phelan ushers us into a world where desperation is transformed by unexpected courage.

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