ALA’s Notable Children’s Books – 2016

I’m still learning the ways of the publishing world since I’m a first-time author. I always get a thrill of excitement when I learn that someone likes my book or if it’s on a book list for something good.

I got an email from the Tilbury House publisher saying that we were on the list of titles to discuss at the ALA (American Library Association) midwinter meeting in Boston last weekend which was exciting since the ALA is the official go-to site for librarians and educators. And then later today, Lea Lyon, my illustrator wrote this:

‘The official list of 2016 ALA Notable Books has been posted and “Lailah’s Lunchbox,” made the cut. It is listed under “Middle Readers” and we are very pleased and honored. (The previous list was the discussion list for the ALA MidWinter Conference. now it is official and real.) Thanks to all of you who congratulated me. Love you all.

And thank the wonderful publisher Tilbury House for continuing to publish such worthy, socially conscious books for children. When I was hired to illustrate my first book with them, “Say Something,” by Peggy Moss, which has sold over 70,000 copies, they said “We’re very small, only publish a few books per year, but they tend to win awards.” And the four books I have created with them certainly have.’ – Lea Lyon


The ALA site was under construction, but when I went back later on today, Lailah’s Lunchbox is there on the ALA Notable list for Middle Readers, ages 8-10 year olds. It is great for my story to be among such great other ones and I can’t wait to check out the list in more detail and to start placing the other notable books on hold. According to the site:


Each year a committee of the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) identifies the best of the best in children’s books. According to the Notables Criteria, “notable” is defined as: Worthy of note or notice, important, distinguished, outstanding. As applied to children’s books, notable should be thought to include books of especially commendable quality, books that exhibit venturesome creativity, and books of fiction, information, poetry and pictures for all age levels (birth through age 14) that reflect and encourage children’s interests in exemplary ways.


And Tilbury House was excited too!

tilbury ala2I’m so glad the book is being enjoyed! It’s here and in the libraries and more! Another fun thing is the book’s supporting character is a librarian. The librarians tend to enjoy that part. I hope the librarians continue to spread the good word about the story to their fellow libraries and schools. Yay for being notable! Hoping for many more notable books!

Thank you to you all for your support!



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