Congratulations to Harbour author Sari Cooper, who has been nominated for a Chocolate Lily Book Award for her debut middle-grade novel, The Horse of the River.
First created in 2002, the BC Chocolate Lily Young Readers’ Choice awards encourage grade-school students to read some of the best fiction written and illustrated by British Columbia's authors and illustrators in three categories: picture books, chapter books and novels. Students read the nominated titles and then vote for their favourite book.
Cooper is a doctor by day and a writer by night. Because her family and her work as physician have always taken precedence in her life, she has had to be creative and persistent when it came to finding time to write. That made the news of her award nomination especially gratifying.
“I was thrilled to be on the shortlist for the Chocolate Lily awards,” says Cooper. “All I have ever wanted for the book was for it to be in the hands of kids who will connect with the characters and get lost in the adventure. This nomination will give it that platform. I couldn't be happier. It would be nice to be voted the winner but more importantly, it’s out there being read. That’s why I wrote it.”
Cooper was inspired to write The Horse of the River after a horseback riding and rafting trip in New Zealand, which included some harrowing experiences of her own. The result is an exciting middle-grade novel that follows the adventures of twelve-year-old Gillian at her first horseback riding camp. Although going to Camp Canyon Falls was always a dream of Gillian’s, now that she’s there, she’s terrified. Will she make friends? Will she keep up with the other girls’ riding skills? When she is stranded in the wilderness with only her horse, she must face her fears and believe in herself to survive.
For more information about the Chocolate Lily Book Awards and how students and schools can register for the program, which is open until voting closes on May 1, 2021, please visit chocolatelilyawards.com.