Sherri L. Smith, who participated last fall in a virtual author night sponsored by the South Pasadena Public Library, has received the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators “Golden Kite” award in the young adult category.
The honor was for Smith’s most recent novel, “The Blossom and the Firefly.” It explores the feelings of a young Japanese soldier and a young Japanese woman brought together and torn apart by his role as a pilot in World War II.
“When I first decided to write for kids, another writer told me to join SCBWI,” said Smith, whose book can be reserved at the South Pasadena Library. “It became my go-to place for launching my career. So it means a lot to be recognized by this community of my peers. It is like I’ve been sitting in the back of the classroom for a long time and now I’m sitting in the front row.”
The award was presented at the group’s virtual conference and announced Feb. 19. Smith said it is her first national award and a $1,000 donation will be made in her honor to the L.A. Regional Food Bank.
She participated along with fellow author Danzy Senne and moderator Ron Koertge in the Oct. 24 virtual program sponsored by the South Pasadena Public Library. She has also presented several creative writing sessions during summer tween programs at the library.
Her novel “Flygirls” was named as one of the American Library Association’s 2010 best books for young adults. Other novels by Smith include “Lucy the Giant,” “Hot, Sour, Salty, Sweet,” “Pasadena,” and “Orleans.”
Smith also teaches writing at Goddard College in Vermont and Hamline College in Minnesota.