Goddard MFA faculty member Sherri L. Smith received the Southern California Independent Booksellers Association’s 2016 Middle Grade Award for The Toymaker’s Apprentice (Penguin/Random House, 2015), a “gorgeously imagined retelling of the Nutcracker.”
SCIBA, as the group is known, is a non-profit trade association of independent booksellers, book wholesalers, publishers and other industry professionals located primarily in Southern California and Southern Nevada. SCIBA award recipients are the best in their category, loved by Southern California independent booksellers, represent the incredible literary talent in Southern California.
The Toymaker’s Apprentice follows Stefan Drosselmeyer, a reluctant apprentice to his toymaker father. When his father is kidnapped, Stefan is enlisted by his mysterious cousin, Christian Drosselmeyer, to find a mythical nut to save a princess who has been turned into a wooden doll. Stefan embarks on a wild adventure through Germany. He must save Boldavia’s princess and his own father from the fanatical Mouse Queen and her seven-headed Mouse Prince, both of whom have sworn to destroy the Drosselmeyer family.
Smith, a resident of Los Angeles, has worked in movies, animation, comic books and construction. She is the author of Lucy the Giant, Sparrow (Delacorte, 2006), Hot, Sour, Salty, Sweet (Delacorte, 2008), Flygirl (Speak, 2010) and Orleans (G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 2013). Her books have been listed as Amelia Bloomer, American Library Association Best Books for Young People, and Junior Library Guild selections. Flygirl was the 2009 California Book Awards Gold Medalist. Smith was a 2014 National Book Awards judge in the Young People’s Literature category.
Scholastic’s Graphix imprint will publish Smith’s forthcoming graphic novel, Pearl, in 2018. Christine Norrie illustrates the book, set in 1941, which follows a 13-year-old Japanese-American girl visiting family in Japan when Pearl Harbor is attacked. After the attack the young heroine is “enlisted as a ‘monitor girl’ to translate radio transmissions for the Japanese army, and must learn how to adjust to her new life in a foreign, war-torn land.”
ABOUT GODDARD COLLEGE
The mission of Goddard College is to advance cultures of rigorous inquiry, collaboration, and lifelong learning, where individuals take imaginative and responsible action in the world. Goddard College offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in a number of disciplines. Founded in 1976, Goddard’s low-residency MFA in Creative Writing Program was the first of its kind in the nation. The low-residency program is offered at campuses in Plainfield, Vermont, and Port Townsend, Washington. It is a 48-credit, student-centered program ideal for students with family, work, or personal obligations who choose to hone their writing skills while maintaining their other commitments. The program regularly hosts luminaries from the theater and film industries and the publishing trade, and conducts a Visiting Writers Series and Visiting Alumni Writers Series as well.