Hey! I actually WON something!

Yay! A shiny sticker!

On Monday, the American Library Association announced this year’s children’s literature awards, which are basically the Oscars, the Grammys, the Emmy Awards in my profession.  I hadn’t given even a passing thought to winning anything this year, because I have been trained by a lifetime of non-winnerhood.  But then, on Sunday, while I was frying up some parsley potatoes to go along with dinner, the phone rang.  My son answered, and told the person on the other end that I was too busy to come to the phone.  She replied, “Your Dad will want to take this call …”

She was right — I did want to take that call, because she and the rest of the Schneider Family Book Award committee were there on speakerphone to tell me that After Ever After was this year’s middle grade winner of the award:


which is given to “honor an author or illustrator for a book that embodies an artistic expression of the disability experience for child and adolescent audiences.”  Thrilling for me, because it gets right to the heart of what I was trying to do when I wrote the book.

I’m not kidding about the non-winnerhood, by the way.  I mean, I have never found anything larger than a one-dollar bill on the sidewalk.  I’ve never won even a measly buck on a scratch-off lottery ticket.  And when I was a kid, I went to a small summer camp that had maybe 60 campers.  At the end of the summer, the counselors gave out something like 40 trophies to the campers who were good at anything from archery to waterskiing.  I was a camper there for six years, and became probably the only long-term camper in the place’s history who never won a trophy.

Hence, my excitement at this phone call.  Now and forever, I have won a national award.  Bestowed by experts.  For something about which I care with a burning passion.  The best part?  I didn’t even burn the potatoes.

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33 Responses to “Hey! I actually WON something!”

  1. Joanne Fritz says:

    Burned potatoes would be small potatoes compared to learning you won a National Award.

    CONGRATS, Jordan! Glad you finally won something. That should more than make up for the lack of a trophy from summer camp. (Is there a book idea in there somewhere?)

    You deserve it. AFTER EVER AFTER deserves it. (And I’m giving away a copy on my blog to celebrate!)

  2. Molly McLeod says:

    Congratulations, Jordan! Very well deserved. My mom and I were so excited for you on Monday! Best wishes for winning more often in the future 🙂

  3. […] We don’t mention books too often on the blog (this would be the first, actually). But one of our favorite authors and (full disclosure) web clients just won a major award. […]

  4. Congratulations!

    Now you can be announced as “Award Winning Author” when you come visit my son’s school in March! 🙂 Happy me!!

    See you then!

  5. Emily says:

    Hi I think your books are awsome:)

  6. Wamecca says:


    I am very excited for you. I wanted you to know that you have always been a winner in our eyes here in Illinois. You won our Rebecca Caudill Award 4 years ago for Drums, Girls and Dangerous Pie. I will be boldly proclaiming your new award at our school visit in May.


  7. Hoanghung Vancong says:

    That’s great! Now, if you come to my school, you can show all the students your fancy award! I’m happy for you, Mr.Sonnenblick.

  8. Mystic K says:

    To Jordan Sonnenblick
    I really think your books are so heartrending.I just finished After Ever After and it’s so sad.All the while,it really makes me think how precious life is.Yes,I read Girls,Drums and Dangerous Pie before that.Please write more books,I love your writing.I’m also aspiring to be a good writer one day.Could you give me some tips?By the way,I live in South East Asia(Singapore).Could you PLEASE visit one day?Not just spending all your time visiting Chicago ,etc.
    I love Zen and the art of faking it too and i’m gonna read Notes of the midnight driver soon.
    Continue winning awards!I’m not surprised After Ever After won an award.It deserved to win one.
    Thank you!
    a girl fan

  9. Aarya S. says:

    Hey, Mr. Sonnenblick (that sounds cool) you are my all time favorite writer and your books have inspired me to become oen too, so that maybe I’ll get my own blog one day and have random people I don’t even know write good stuff about me. Congratulations and Thanks 🙂

  10. Lauren says:

    OUTSTANDING!!! I knew you would get the recognition you deserve.

  11. As a middle school teacher, the mother of a midddle school child, and a lover of books, I am excited to have discovered through the reading of Steven Layne’s book, Igniting a Passion for Reading!

    I came to your website to see if you ever visited schools in Kentucky and might be in our area and then discovered the news of your great award! I cannot wait to read the book Ever After Ever! Congratulations!

    Looking forward to getting to know you better through your writing!

    Tammy Nischan

  12. Congratulations, Jordan! Your work is very deserving and so glad you took that call! You’ll always be a special inspiration for our family. Thank you for your words!

  13. Chloe says:

    Congrats! I have After Ever After on hold at my school library because since you just came to my school Reedy Creek on april 7th Everyone read it. You probalby don’t remember me but my name is Chloe and you Autograhphed my book

  14. Denise says:

    You deserve every award–your books are phenomenal!

  15. Sophie says:

    Hi Jordan,
    For the record, I think that your books are THE BEST! After Ever After definitely deserved an award–it was GREAT!

  16. Clare says:

    Lol….that is amazing. I can’t believe I didn’t hear about this book! GET ME TO THE BOOKSTORE, MOTHER!!!

  17. John Coy says:

    Congratulations, Jordan. You’re always a winner in my book. I’m half way through After Ever After and am enjoying it thoroughly. Well done.

  18. branson l. cobb says:



  19. admin says:

    Thanks so much! My next book, Curveball: The Year I Lost My Grip, will be published by Scholastic in March.

  20. katie says:

    hey i want to read this book so bad…you deserve more then 1 award!!

  21. yaren says:

    Hey I’ve read all your amazing books except this one….when I heard it was in my book fair i was soooooo EXCITED!!!

  22. Michele says:

    You have won something! Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie won the IL Rebecca Caudill award a few years back!

  23. Yaren says:

    hey you deserve an award!CONGRATULATIONS

  24. admin says:

    Michele, yes, I knew that, and was thrilled by it. But a national award is on a different scale.

  25. cyrus says:

    I read After Ever After because it was a DCF book and it was AWESOME! Please keep writing!

  26. Micah says:

    I love the book. The only thing this book was missing was… (Pause for dramatic affect) … Pie, pacifically the Dangerous kind. Well I could respect that pie can get boring, wait, no it can’t! At least have, I don’t know… precarious pastries or something. I’m perturbed by the insufficiency of piquant confection! (Definition: I’m bothered by the lack of desserts) Please write another book about Steven/Jeffery… or even as a last resort just the Alpers. I’m only 11 but I love to write. Your work has inspired me to write in different ways. The series I’m writing is called ‘The Halls’ The first book is called ‘Into the Light’ The link is right there if any one wants to read it. (https://docs.google.com/document/d/1_zFVUTERwMlPGoS94jbLPFxkmHD6qz_a20qRi-igHWQ/edit)

    — M. J. Isfan

  27. Micah says:


  28. Corina says:

    Hi, I just wanted to say that I loved Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie, and Notes From a Midnight Driver. I am planning to read After Ever After ASAP. And lastly, you are the only author who was able to really humor me during reading. I never thought a book about a 5 year old who gets cancer could be so entertaining. So thank you for writing, and please keep on writing!

  29. Nancy says:


    I just read this together with my 6th grader for his class project and we both LOVED it! We laughed and cried together. It was a touching and bonding experience. I have never been a great “reader” or spent long hours trying to finish a book, but after reading “After Ever After” I want to read some more. My son was hoping for the continuation of this great story.

    Thank you so much for your great work…we’ll be following you closely for more exciting and touching stories.


  30. Eliya says:

    I would really like to see another book about Steven and Jeffery

  31. Destiny says:

    I loved the first book, Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie, I am reading After Ever After, and so far, the book has been awesome. I love how you make the book about a little boy who had cancer, but its funny at the same time. <3

  32. Alina Anderson says:


  33. jsonnenblick says:

    Thanks so much, Alina!

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