The very first book by a Swift Current author is on the shortlist for the 2022 Saskatchewan Book Awards.
Circle Star Ranch Adventures by Jackie Cameron was announced as one of five finalists for the G. Murray and Edna Forbes Foundation Children’s Prize on April 1.
“It was totally a surprise, I never thought it would happen,” she said humbly on Monday afternoon. “My publisher (Your Nickel’s Worth Publishing) sent the book to the people who received the book award.”
The original idea came to the 25-year-old former teacher-librarian as her career drew to a close.
“When I was going out to visit schools, I realized there weren’t a lot of books that talked about the lifestyle kids would live here, especially on the ranches,” she said. .
She began putting ink to paper on the 60-page paperback shortly after retiring in 2014 from the Chinook School Division. It was sent for publication in 2020, and in 2021 it was available for purchase locally and online.
“[It’s about] a nine-year-old boy, Ben, and his sister doing various activities that they would have on a ranch,” she explained. “It involved little adventures. At the same time, these things were happening… Cattle are going missing… And in the end, it’s Ben and his sister who solve the mystery. As a spoiler, there are cattle rustlers.”
Shortly after the book’s release last year, Cameron recalls reading in the news about a case of cattle rustling near the Saskatchewan-Alberta border.
The Sask Book Awards will be held online on June 23, when Cameron will find out if she has won the award which also comes with a $2,000 prize.
Anyone wishing to purchase the book in Swift Current can visit The Sputtergotch Toy Company, Cowtown and Pharmasave. Or online at Indigo and Sask Books.