Yesterday I got the exciting news that THE PATH OF NAMES is a Junior Library Guild Selection for Spring 2013.
It happened like this: I biked home from work yesterday. Leaving my bike at the front door, I walked inside to grab the garage clicker and found a package from Scholastic waiting atop the baby detritus that we like to keep scattered around … well, everything, but most relevantly to this case, atop the living room couch. I picked up the DHL package from the little nest of clean onesies where it lay. “Hmm,” I thought. “Too light (and too early) to be a copy of the actual book. What could it be?”
Inside the DHL package I found another envelope from Scholastic. And inside that envelope another smaller envelope. And inside that envelope another envelope – no, wait. Inside that envelope I found a letter from the Junior Library Guild telling me that THE PATH OF NAMES has been made a Junior Library Guild Selection for Spring 2013. (Three months before its actual publication, which is apparently how the JLG rolls.)
I’ve seen that designation on the cover of other books, but I never really knew what it meant. After doing some exhaustive research on the topic (which included both reading the letter they sent me and googling the Junior Library Guild, I now consider myself something of an expert. The way (I think) it works is the JLG reads books before publication, and then operates as a kind of early filter to help libraries decide which kids books to acquire. According to the JLG website, over 95% of their selections go on to receive other awards and / or positive reviews. As a statistics instructor, I can tell you that 95% is a pretty high percentage. Higher than 93%, for instance. (I did that in my head, if you were wondering.)
Not just that. It also came with a cool little golden pin which has met with the approval of at least one of my fourteen-month-olds as well as my five-year-old. My other fourteen-month-old has indicated no clear preference on the matter, preferring to hone his ability to climb up sheer surfaces where he might better injure himself.
I would post a picture of it, but my cell phone keeps crashing every time I try. I’m pretty sure it’s jealous – when was the last time you heard of a Nokia cell phone getting a book selected by the Junior Library Guild? (Or getting any other recognition, come to think of it. Ha, in your face, Nokia cell phone. You got burnt!)
But seriously, I’m thrilled to have my debut novel recognized like this. Thank you Junior Library Guild!
For more information on the JLG check out their website at: Junior Library Guild
Post script: two weeks later I’ve just gotten news that the other thing that comes with this recognition is the JLG buys a couple thousand copies of THE PATH OF NAMES. Which makes me even happier about this, of course. Not only does this mean I’m a little closer to earning back my advance for my publisher (always a good thing); it also means there will be thousands of copies of my book out there being sold to libraries. I suppose this shouldn’t feel so surprising, but seriously… thousands of copies of a book that I wrote will be in libraries!