Arriving back home from a Gala at the Vancouver Public Library on May 7, Bridge Lake author Becky Citra says she was thrilled about receiving the Red Cedar Book Award for her book Finding Grace.
This award, also known as the B.C.’s Young Readers’ Choice Award was voted number 1 by grades 4-7 readers across British Columbia.
The children read from a nominated list of titles from Canadian writers and vote for their favourite author, Citra explains.
“This award was all the more special because the kids have the vote. It’s heartwarming to have the kids come up to me and say … I loved that book.”
The gala was a wonderful affair, Citra says, adding the children put on little skits describing some of the stories and holding a little ceremony complete with the long-awaited statement, “envelope please.”
Citra has 21 books published mostly middle school grade-level novels, although she also has some early chapter books and a couple of young adult selections.
As a child, Citra says she was an avid reader, and would create her own stories.
A former teacher at Bridge Lake school for 20 years, she took an early retirement to write full time.
Citra was in Prince George this week visiting five elementary schools and meeting with students.
“It’s inspiring to meet the kids who read, and there are so many of them who just love a good old-fashion book.
“I try to inject character independence in my books and the children I present to like the fact that kids solve the problems without interference from adults.”
Finding Grace is such a story about twins separated at birth. One of the twins, Hope, started writing letters to her imaginary friend, Grace, to help cope with the difficult times in her life such as: her mother’s depression, money worries and her grandmother’s death.
She doesn’t learn that Grace is a real person until she turns 12.
Citra’s books are about relationships, between mothers and daughters, friends, and they are about the youngsters taking charge of their lives.
Folks are welcome to visit Citra’s website, www.beckycitra.com, or visit your local library or bookstore for her books.