Last Tuesday afternoon the phone rang. It was my publisher, Margie Blumberg. Our conversation went something like this:
Margie: Hi. What are you doing? (I noticed an unusual lilt to her voice).
Me: Not much.
Margie: Is Dave there?
Me: Yes. Should I put the phone on speaker?
Margie: Yes. I want him to hear this too.
Me: OK. It’s on speaker.
Margie: I want to read you an e-mail I just received: Dear Margie, Congratulations! The NCSS-CBC Notable Social Studies Committee is pleased to inform you that …[Tutti’s Promise] has been selected for Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People 2018, a cooperative project of the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) and the Children’s Book Council.
Margie went on to read the whole email while I tried to take it in. I wasn’t sure what NCSS, CBC, and a Notable book even were. What did this mean in the publishing world? Was it an award? Something else?
She read on and then stopped to ask me questions. Did I want the cover of the book redesigned to include the seal? Did I want to order seals for the books I have in hand now? Was I free Nov 30-Dec 2? Did I want to be nominated to be a speaker at the annual convention in Chicago?
I couldn’t really answer any of the questions. I needed her to read me the e-mail again. I asked her to forward it to me so I could understand what was happening. I looked up NCSS and CBC and Notable Social Studies books while we talked and I tried to catch up with her excitement.
The NCSS (National Council on the Social Studies) and the CBC (Children’s Book Council) put together a list of what they call Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People every year. Here is what I found on the NCSS website:
Books selected for this bibliography are written primarily for children in grades K-8. The selection committee looks for books that emphasize human relations, represent a diversity of groups and are sensitive to a broad range of cultural experiences, present an original theme or a fresh slant on a traditional topic, are easily readable and of high literary quality, and have a pleasing format and, when appropriate, illustrations that enrich the text. Each book is read by several reviewers, and books are included on the list by committee assent; annotations do not necessarily reflect the judgment of the entire committee.
This list is what teachers and librarians look at when they are planning curriculum and choosing which books to order. This is a great honor and I am amazingly excited about it. Social studies teachers all over the country will have a chance to find out more about Tutti’s Promise and this greatly increases the chance it starts being used regularly in classrooms. I emailed Margie that I would appreciate a nomination to speak at the national conference.
I finally closed my computer to make dinner. It was just warmed up leftovers, but Dave and I enjoyed our meal with a nice glass of wine in celebration of the good news.