Award-winning children’s author Becky Citra of Machete Lake has added another accolade to her growing collection.
She is the latest recipient of the readers’ choice Red Cedar Book Award for her children’s novel, After the Fire, which was published in 2010.
The book was one of 10 short-listed by a panel of librarians and put forth for children in Grades 4 to 7 in British Columbia to read. Program participants were required to read five of the 10 nominated books and then vote for their favourite. They chose After the Fire as number 1 in the fiction category.
Citra, who has had other books nominated in the past, is excited about her win.
“It’s the kids who are voting and that’s who you are writing for, so it’s really neat to see. It gives you a real boost.
“Sometimes you wonder who’s reading your books or if anyone is reading them.”
It’s been a busy year for Citra, with Missing, one of her newer books, receiving a nomination for the Arthur Ellis Mystery Award. She attended the awards banquet held in Toronto last spring, and although her book did not win, she says it was quite a big deal to just be nominated.
“It’s not an easy nomination to get.”
Missing has also been nominated for the 2013 Saskatchewan Young Readers Choice Diamond Willow Award and the 2013 Silver Birch Award in Ontario. Children have from November to May to read the nominated books and cast their vote.
Citra notes that since being published in 2011, Missing has been translated into six European languages – Norwegian, Finnish, Swedish, Hungarian, Czechoslovakian and German, which is giving her a lot of new exposure.
Her latest book, The Way Home, for readers aged seven to 10, is due to come out in March. It’s being published by Second Story Press, rather than her usual publisher, Orca, but Citra says it’s normal to use more than one publisher.
The story follows the journey of Lucky the pony that is separated from his family when a forest fire forces them to evacuate from their farm. His owner, Tory, is devastated and the
story alternates between the lives of the two as they push ahead to reunite.
Citra says the story was inspired by the 2003 forest fires in B.C. during which her own family had a similar experience.
Citra’s books sell for between $7 and $10 and are available at Nuthatch Books in
100 Mile House or through her by calling 250-593-4362 or e-mailing her at email@example.com.