Congratulations are in order! 

THE GROVER SCHOOL PLEDGE by Wanda Taylor has won the Northern Lights Book Award for Middle Grade Fiction!

The Northern Lights Book Awards considers children’s books to be an art form and honors books that excel in aesthetic and literary qualities with an emphasis on permanency. The judges seek works that will leave a lasting impression, ones which will resonate with the reader not only now but in years to come.

You can see the full list of winners here:


A true-to-life story about the pains and triumphs of growing up, perfect for readers of Renée Watson and Lisa Moore Ramée.

Arlaina Jefferson is eager to prove herself. Tasked with caring for her cousin’s rabbit, Obeena, Arlaina knows all that stands between her and the grown-up world of middle school is one year of staying out of trouble and making sure to clean up Obeena’s turds. It would be easy—if growing up didn’t also mean growing wiser.

Having faced thoughtless comments from fellow students, Arlaina is already struggling to explain the hurt she feels to her best friend, Tina. But when their teacher, Mr. Matthews, asks an ignorant question about classmate Nadia’s headscarf, Arlaina has the confirmation she needs: Mr. Matthews is part of a larger problem that plagues Grover School. All those comments that Arlaina—and several other students—once brushed off suddenly seethe under the light of truth. Some things just can’t be fixed by Obeena’s warm and fuzzy charms.

Bolstered by her father’s childhood experience in the Million Man March, Arlaina teams up with no-nonsense Nadia and a host of other Grover School students to right a systemic wrong. After all, proving you’re grown up doesn’t always mean staying out of trouble!

About the Author:

Wanda Taylor is the author of both fiction and non fiction books across childrens’ and adult markets; including THE GROVER SCHOOL PLEDGE and BIRCHTOWN AND THE BLACK LOYALISTS. Her writing has appeared in numerous publications, including Quill&Quire, The Globe and Mail, and Atlantic Books Today. Her poems and essays have been published in magazines and anthologies across Canada, the US and the UK. Wanda Taylor teaches courses in journalism, screenwriting, documentary filmmaking and writing in Toronto. She is also a Faculty/Mentor for the MFA Fiction program at the University of King’s College.

Wanda is represented by Léonicka Valcius. 

Congratulations Wanda!