Between the Lines is an Award Winner!

Authors enter their work into contests with hope in their hearts and hesitation in their heads. Is my work good enough? Is it worthy of recognition?

Last week, Between the Lines was given an Honorable Mention in the 23rd Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards, a distinction I’m very proud of, and one that helps put my worries to rest. The work was judged by a completely objective party, not my mom or best friend or someone I slipped $5 to on the sly. I’m humbled and honored by this award.

Here’s what the judge had to say:

“I fell in love with this story of three unique fifth graders, Crackers, Beverley and Hattie, who met at a public school in the 1960s and became close friends in a time when their friendship would have noble overtones. The voice of protagonist Hattie (Hedwig Percha) could not be more charming and likeable. The best part about these three little girls is that their individual circumstances and talents will resonate with a vast sector of readers. Many a female will either recognize herself or a friend in one of these girls. Having been born in the same year as the protagonist, I easily saw myself in Hattie and recognized many of the issues and social difficulties she described, yet I could also see how fifth (and fourth, etc.) graders today will thrill to recognized perspectives, situations and challenges. What a cornucopia of memories, emotions and historical information Claudia Whitsitt has so beautifully arranged! Young readers will learn about the 60s and what their grandparents experienced in that changing era. Whitsitt eloquently evokes the single underlying desire of children everywhere—to make and keep friends. The letter from Martin Luther King, Jr. was a brilliant ending, as was Hattie’s observation that her tenth year was her best year ever. Considering how it started, how could she have ever guessed? This book should be in every school library in the USA.”

The fact that this judge “got” the story is what excites me the most. As I go into schools and share the making of this story, I ask kids to join me in taking the Between the Lines Challenge. We all want to make a difference in the world, and I’ve decided, along with the 5,000 students I’ve talked to since the spring, that we can change the world by giving out five (5) compliments a day. If you’d like to join us, please leave a comment below. This generation, as well as others, wants the world to become a kinder place.