I received a curious package in the mail today, a padded envelope from the Junior Library Guild. It included a congratulatory letter from Jeanette Rivard, stating in part:
In keeping with our goal of providing extraordinary reading experiences for children, Bystander has been awarded the designation, “A Junior Library Guild Selection” for Fall 2009.
The Junior Library Guild Selection designation is unique in that it is typically awarded so early — often in advance of publication. With its distinction as one of the first awards given, it is often viewed as a bellwether of future success.
That’s some word, bellwether. It means: a male sheep, usually castrated, with a bell hung from its neck, that is followed by a flock of sheep. Well, my goodness, thank you very much, I think (as I slowly cross my legs).
The package also included a nifty JLG lapel pin, pinned now to my t-shirt, and a handsome certificate “suitable for framing.”
What? No bell?
Hey, pretty cool. Casting aside thoughts of castrated sheep, I thank you very much! Now if only we can get the rest of those pesky awards to fall in line. Baaa.