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I am thrilled to announce that the American Library Association has distinguished The Lives of Tao with the Alex Award as part of the ALA’s 2014 Youth Media Awards. The Alex Award honors adult books with teen appeal. You can see the list of winners here.

This is a big deal for me because I basically grew up in a library. When I was a kid back in the 80s (I know, right?! I once walked 5 miles in the blizzard to buy kindle), my teachers used to hand out book catalogs in class. The kids could order books off the list and a few weeks later, we’d all get fresh batches of new adventures to read. I’d devour the whole damn list. Pretty much impoverished my parents.

In the end though, it wasn’t my parent’s funds that were exhausted but the variety of books carried by the catalogs. Hell, I even had to delve into girl book territory (Animal Hospital, Babysitter’s Club, Nancy Drew, here’s looking at you ladies.) In the end though, these book lists were far too limited so I eventually found myself camped in my local library.

I was a book-eating monster and burned through everything the library had on its shelves. I guess you could say that’s how I started my path to becoming an author.

So yep, morals of the story:

1. Thanks Mom and Dad for buying me books instead of Transformers. I didn’t see the wisdom of that back then. I do now.

2. Thank you American Library Association and thank you libraries everywhere for launching dreams and imaginations.

3. Parents, nurture your kids. Teach them to love reading. Don’t teach them to love it too much or they’ll want to become writers (usually a bad career move).

4. Supposedly I am now allowed to put Award Winning Author next to my name. Now, as much as I’ve tried, there’s no non-douchey way to writing that next to your own name. It just doesn’t work. As a Jedi master told me, it’s my publisher’s job to toot that. For now, I’ll just go with “Wes.”  (But… “Wes the Award Winning Author” sounds pretty dope.)