BRACEBRIDGE - A local author is in the running for two national awards for her first young adult novel.
Local author Karen Hood-Caddy is on the short-list for two different national awards for her first young adult novel. The novel is based in Muskoka and uses local people and places for inspiration.
Karen Hood-Caddy has written five books, but Howl, her only young adult fiction novel, is the first one that has been shortlisted for an award. On top of that, it’s been shortlisted for two different awards.
The IODE Violet Downey Book Award is offered for the best young children’s English language book containing at least 500 words and has a prize of $3,000. The Canadian Library Association’s 2012 Book of the Year for Children Award recognizes a Canadian author who wrote an outstanding book for readers 12 years old or younger. Howl was chosen from 218 books.
“I really didn’t know how it would do or what would happen with it,” she said, “so it being nominated for two is really scrumptious. The only thing more scrumptious would be to win one.”
The book takes place just after a family moves to Muskoka. A young girl takes in a lot of animals, but runs into trouble because she doesn’t have a licence for a wildlife sanctuary.
Hood-Caddy said she based a lot of her research on Aspen Valley Wildlife Sanctuary in Rosseau. She connects incidents in the book with her own life, even now after the book has been published. One example she used from the book was when the girl’s dog fell through the ice.
The girl is terrified of water.
Hood-Caddy said she went through the ice on Sunday into two feet of water.
“And you realize, wow, it’s pretty staggering to go through the ice,” she said.
Hood-Caddy’s books are based on environmental issues. For her young adult novel, she wrote about the same types of things she did in the adult novels, only she wrote it from the perspective of a 12-year-old instead of the perspective of a 50-year-old woman.
Being shortlisted twice for the same book has inspired her to plunge forward with the novel and turn it into a series.
“I feel like it’s just an affirmation that I’m going in the right direction,” she said. “I would say that because none of the three adult fiction novels got nominated for anything.”
The winner of the IODE Violet Downey Book Award will be announced on May 26. The Canadian Library Association award will be announced shortly before the presentation on May 31.