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National Book Award Winner!

This Thing Has A Name wins 6th Annual National PenCraft Award, and keeps the conversation of mental health going...


In many award applications, such as "Best Business" or "Top 40 Under 40", yes, there is a level of truth that needs to go into the application, but there's also great opportunity for spin, to make something seem more than it is...


When entering my book to win an award late last summer, there was no spin. I was entering a product. The award criteria was based on subject matter, the writing, the art, how the content was presented, and even where the book could be found. Take it or leave it.


On the day they announced the winners, I was on the phone with my mom, looking at their website to see if my book was on there...I truly didn't expect it to be, as it had only been in the world for about 3 months at the time, and is still just starting to gain momentum. I jokingly said to my mom, "I don't see it, they must have made a mist...OH MY GOD IT'S HERE!"


I could not believe it. This Thing Has A Name, had won for Literacy Excellence in a Children's Concept. I read I'd be receiving golden seals for my book, and all I could picture in my mind was Make Way for Ducklings, by Robert McCloskey I do not know why that was the image in my mind, but I do remember that book clearly from my childhood, and running my fingers along the embossed seal.

I always knew I'd publish a book some day, I never even considered it would be a children's book.


But here's what winning this award means to me...


Mental health matters. Mental health in children matters. I am so thankful for everyone who voted for my book.


Talking about mental health with your children is so important to setting them up with the right tools as they grow older. Having them learn coping skills now, and not in their 20's, 30's, 40's or later, matters.


No one is immune to mental health disorders, and everyone will face some kind of anxiety in their life. Please, keep the conversation going!





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