Winning Was a Golden Experience

[this blog post comes courtesy of Sandra Markle]
For someone who loves the excitement of science investigation, being surrounded by 8,000 scientists at the AAAS (American Association for the Advancement of Science) Conference was in itself a dream come true. To top that off, I had the privilege of being an honored guest because my book The Case of the Vanishing Golden Frogs: A Scientific Mystery was the 2012 recipient of the AAAS/Subaru Prize for Excellence for Middle Grade Science Books.10828
Getting to the conference in Vancouver, Canada was a twenty-four hour flight from my home in New Zealand, but being there was worth the trip. What a magical city! Close to wilderness areas that are still home to bears, wolves, mountain lions and more, built with its back against mountains and rimming the sea, this city was the perfect setting for a conference focusing on the issues that profoundly effect the world in this century: climate change, energy, and healthy ecosystems. I loved every minute of exploring the city, taking a dogsled ride along old logging trails to see the wilderness, and listening to scientists share their scientific investigations.
Sandy Receiving Award
I was also honored to have the opportunity to share my book with children as part of the conference’s family science days. As children gathered around me, I told the story of The Case of the Vanishing Golden Frogs. It shares what happened when scientists discovered there was a serial killer loose in the world and it was targeting amphibians. In fact, in Panama, it was sweeping across the country toward the high, cool misty forests, the one ecosystem in the world where that country’s beloved golden frogs exist. As I shared the science detective work that went on in an effort to rescue surviving golden frogs and to insure their future, I realized how much more exciting scientific mysteries are than fictional ones. A fictional murder mystery is over once the killer is caught. In The Case of the Vanishing Golden Frogs, like any good science mystery, identifying the killer reveals a new mystery. In this case, it’s how frogs and other amphibians can be protected from the fungus that’s killing them. Today’s children are tomorrow’s science detectives, and they may be the ones to solve that mystery.
Sandy Autographing
My favorite saying is Sir Issac Newton’s, “If I’ve seen further it’s because I stood on the shoulders of giants.” My goal for The Case of the Vanishing Golden Frogs—and all of my books—is to provide a stepladder children can climb to reach the shoulders of giants. I’m deeply grateful to the team at Lerner Publishing for working with me to bring this scientific mystery to life, and to AAAS/Subaru for shining a light on my book with this special prize. Going to the conference to accept the prize was my chance to meet new science giants waiting for children to climb up onto their shoulders. So, now I’m back home and writing again. After all, I’ve lots more stepladders to build.