2014 Great Stone Face Winner

Last week I was at a Children's Librarian's conference with lots of other librarians from New Hampshire. One of the speakers there was M. H. Herlong, who accepted the trophy for writing the book that won this year's Great Stone Face Award. Ms. Herlong lives in New Orleans, which is also the setting of her award-winning book, called Buddy. 
Tyrone "Li'l T" Roberts meets Buddy when his family's car accidentally hits the stray dog on their way to church. Buddy turns out to be the dog Li'l T's always wished for--until Hurricane Katrina comes to New Orleans and he must leave Buddy behind. After the storm, Li'l T and his father return home to find a community struggling to rebuild their lives--and Buddy gone. But Li'l T refuses to give up his quest to find his best friend... This is a powerful story of hope, courage, and knowing when to let go.
Ms. Herlong spoke about her family's experiences during Hurricane Katrina, when they were told to leave their home and move to safety for just two days. But the two days became many months because the hurricane was so bad. She said lots of people in New Orleans left their pets behind because they thought they would be gone only for a very short time. This is one of events that inspired Ms. Herlong to write Buddy.

The Great Stone Face Award is voted on by 4th, 5th, and 6th graders in schools in New Hampshire. We did not have this book at our library, so I bought it for you. When I asked Ms. Herlong to autograph it, she wanted to know if New Hampton kids like to read. I said "YES!!!" - and she wrote this:


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