June 26, 2015 was a special day for two reasons. First, it was the day that the Supreme Court declared in favor of same-sex marriage. Second, it was the day that the wise judges at Foreword Reviews decided to give my book an honorable mention in the “Multicultural” category. This means that my book beat out such traditional “multicultural” topics as the tale of a little girl with dark skin born to a mixed family that was desperately trying to pass as white and tales of Native Americans wrestling to preserve their identity in an America that tries to pretend that it wasn’t genocidal in the nineteenth century. In that competition, my little tale of a young black girl trying to deal with being abandoned in a world overrun by zombies seemed a bit out of place.
At first I was a little confused (and even disappointed) that I had been passed over in the “Horror” category, but then I realized that the judges had really confirmed what I (and reviewers) had been saying all along: “Everything I Know About Zombies, I Learned in Kindergarten” really isn’t a traditional horror novel, and it certainly isn’t just a zombie novel dressed up with black and Hispanic characters. As Harriet Goodchild, the first person to review it said:
“…the book gives itself the space to use its characters to explore ideas, important ideas about race, and society, and parenting, about self-sufficiency and inter-dependence and violence. And that’s where the fiction starts holding up a mirror to reality, and why – over and above the wonderful Letitia – I think this is a book (and a genre) worth reading.“
Henry Caum chimed in with
As I said, the judges confirmed what the reviewers had been saying: this is a book worth reading for its literary merit. I’m proud of that, and I hope you will take their advice and buy the book.