A Gardnerville author’s book of an island paradise, endangered species and friendship was awarded for its attention to family, faith and imagination.
Linda Chambers’ 10th book, “Pons and the Miracle of Réunion Island,” won The Mom’s Choice Award 2014 on July 29.
“When I heard about winning the award, if you’re kind of a calm person you would say ‘ok, well they are going to read the book’ and go about your business and I didn’t really expect anything,” the 67-year-old said. “I was very, very humbled by their decision.”
According to The Mom’s Choice website, the award is given to books “that help families grow emotionally, physically and spiritually; are morally sound and promote good will; and are inspirational and uplifting.”
Usually books that receive the award are sent directly to The Mom’s Choice Award for review, however, the committee personally asked for Chambers’ book.
“When the book was released from the publisher I sent our a notice to a variety of people and one of them forwarded the information to The Mom’s Choice people,” Chambers said. “ They contacted me and asked me to send the book to them.”
“Pons and the Miracle of Réunion Island” is an adventure story for intermediate readers.
“The setting of the book is Réunion Island,” Chambers said. “ It is a beautiful tropical paradise in the Indian Ocean.”
The story follows a brother and sister who live on an island with their parents and grandfather. Living so close to the ocean the duo spend a lot of time in the Indian Ocean where they meet and befriend a dugong, an endangered manatee-like creature.
They name him Pons, an antiquated French word for ‘of the sea.’
“It is a book that centers on faith and friendship and perseverance, of course,” Chambers said. “Pons is a guardian of the children and watches out for them. It is a wonderful relationship between the children and this sea creature.”
Chambers has written a book a year since 2004, and this book was released in May of this year.
Inspiration for her previous books has come from her grandchildren, but this book was Chambers’ own inspiration.
Chambers was researching herbivores that lived on land for her book when she discoverd her muse.
“I saw this wonderful dugong,” Chambers said. “They are just the cutest creatures and I learned how they are endangered and how gentle they are and I changed the location of my herbivore; I placed him right in the Indian Ocean.”
Illustrator Barbara Dessi brings Chambers’ characters and their coastal adventure land to life.
“Dessi ironically lives on an island near Greece; Sardinia,” Chambers said. “She has done a beautiful job.”
Dessi created illustrations of flowers for the end of each of the book’s chapters.
“She was able to recreate the flora and the fauna of the island,” Chambers said. “There is a lot of interest in the book not only for the story line, but also what the children can learn from the area.”
“Pons and the Miracle of Réunion Island” has been translated into French for international distribution and can be purchased at www.lindachambersbooks.com or Amazon.