When one of my novels receives praise of any kind, whether it be a sweet fan letter, a good review, or an award, I feel strangely and secretly proud of my main character. Why? Because they are the daughters I never had, the friends I wanted when I was their age, the girls who are partly the me I was and the me I hope to be.
Today I'm happy for Naima, Jazz, and Sameera (aka Sparrow). Naima's Rickshaw Girl was nominated for the 2008-2009 Massachusetts Children's Book Awards, Jazz's Monsoon Summer for the State of Minnesota's Maud Hart Lovelace Award, and Sameera's First Daughter: White House Rules is getting lovely reviews here and there.