I am absolutely delighted to announce that my children’s picture book, The Two Trees, was shortlisted for The 2016 Word Awards, celebrating the best work of Canadian Christian authors, journalists, poets, columnists, songwriters, and scholars. With over 100 nominees in 35 categories that encompass both faith-based and mainstream literature, The Word Awards are Canada’s largest and most prestigious awards for Christian writers.
Being shortlisted for my book The Two Trees is especially meaningful because of its subject matter. The Two Trees is about a boy on the autism spectrum, as told through the eyes of his younger, neurotypical sibling. This book gives a voice to siblings of children on the autism spectrum and at the same time raises awareness with the general public about the challenges autism families face.
I am very fortunate to be able to travel around my province, Saskatchewan, talking to school children (grades K-4) about some of the subjects touched on in the book, including high-functioning autism, bullying, and the importance of being a good friend. To date, well over 2000 elementary students and family members have seen my presentation. Many thanks are extended to the Saskatchewan Writers’ Guild (and funders SaskCulture, Saskatchewan Lotteries, and Saskatchewan Arts Board) for their financial support in helping me share this book province wide through the SWG Author Readings Program. To find out more about my presentation, please click here.
It is a real honour to have this book be recognized on a national stage. My prayer is that this national exposure helps my book reach a broader audience so that many more people will be informed about and have empathy for children on the autism spectrum and their families.
For the months of May through August 2016, $5 from every The Two Trees sold on my website (click here to purchase) will go to PAATS (Parent Advocates for Autism Treatment in Saskatchewan).
To read more about The 2016 Word Awards and see the full shortlist, please go to: