For a writer, those words are incredibly joyful. It means someone, somewhere, read your book and liked it enough to bestow a medal, or parchment, or even a handful of glitter your way.

And I’ve been incredibly blessed – and lucky – to have had my work honored more than once.

But this time, an honor came my way, bringing me a gift which is more than hardware happiness for my heart — and my bookshelf, it’s a worded caress for my spirit and my soul.

Zero Sum Game, Book Two of the Sid Rubin Silicon Alley Adventures, was names the DPA (Delaware Press Association) Young Adult Fiction Book of the Year. And let’s be honest, that’s a pretty happy making thing to happen.

And then I learned why they chose it.

In announcing their choice, the judges had this to say, “Zero Sum Game is brilliant. The narrator’s language and characters’ dialogue completely capture youthfulness and the teen thought process. Descriptions are creative, concise, and natural. Diversity is so normal in Zero Sum Game that it feels like “other” no longer exists. It offers a safe world for younger readers to explore questions and emotions they may not feel comfortable bringing elsewhere. The time and thought put into developing Zero Sum Game is obvious.”

Diversity is so normal in Zero Sum Game that it feels like “other” no longer exists.

16 Words. 16 Words that are both a summary, and a reflection, of everything I want Sid and her friends to be; of a world I strive to craft, a place where I see diversity is everyone, differences are everywhere, and yet both are only one small piece of a life story.

So today I learned, and I thank the DPA for teaching me, awards are wonderful, but 16 words are worth so much more.

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