Inspired by Wordsworth’s Wild Child, Lucy Gray, Pagès’s book is also the recipient of Children’s Literary Classics Gold Award, Readers' Favorite Silver Award, Literary Classics Seal of Approval, and the Pinnacle Book Achievement Award
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Award winning author Christina Pagès has announced her new children's novel 'Lucy in Her Secret Wood' has taken the Eloquent Quill Book Award from Children’s Literary Classics. Inspired by Wordsworth's wild child, Lucy Gray, the book addresses a number of vitally important issues faced by young people today, among them the loss of connection with nature, and bullying.
The Eloquent Quill Book Award was created to honor one work of extraordinary youth fiction annually. Judging is based upon the criteria set forth by a highly selective committee which seeks to honor books promoting character, vision, creativity and learning, through content which possesses the key elements found in well-crafted literature (e.g. plot, climax, etc.) in books where such components are applicable. The judging committee consists of experts with backgrounds in publishing, writing, editing, design, illustration, and book reviewing.
Social media and technology have impacted children in a number of ways, some of them unexpected and many of them negative. Children as young as 8 have committed suicide due to bullying. For many young people the natural landscape has been replaced by the digital landscape. This unprecedented trend toward technology causes young people to lose touch with their natural environment. This is a subject that Pagès is passionate about. She manages to weave a tale that seamlessly presents the beauty of the natural world and the connection with Mother Nature with another subject that negatively impacts youth - bullying.
In the storyline of the book, Lucy’s step-father takes her from the tiny room where he has locked her away for years, and drives her out to a remote wood where he leaves her with a bag of food, and her only life-long companion, a stuffed bunny. When Lucy’s fear of her stepfather dies away with his footsteps, and her tiny room world opens up to trees and bluebells, she is in awe of the shapes and colors around her. She recognizes her friends and family in the sentinels of trees, the woodland life and no longer feels lost and alone. She felt more lost inside walls, separated from outdoor life. Lucy needs only a few days in the woods to realize that this is her true home. Through 9-year old Will, who brings her food, two live chickens, and a recorder to copy woodland music, she experiences her first human friendship, and a way to make music that enchants all who hear it.
She is now part of the magical world of woodland animals, birds and butterflies, not locked away from it. Through Lucy, children recognize they are more “alive” when surrounded by the sounds, colors, and music of outdoors, unlike the world of their computers and phone screens which is always ‘on the other side,’ at a distance from them.
Pages acknowledges the fascination young people have for electronic gadgets and for their feeling of connection with others through screens, but she also warns that their vital connection with nature is being jeopardized:
“Even babies are mesmerized by the light and movement behind a cellphone, ipad, or TV. But just as parents have come to realize that too much TV watching is undesirable for babies and young people, so too, and perhaps even more so, is the excessive use of cellphones and computers. Many children prefer to remain inside with their screens rather than go outside, or if they are on a hike, a picnic, at the beach, or simply out in their gardens, they feel compelled to look down at their phones, and check their messages, rather than look around at the miracles all around them -- the trees, the flowers, the surf breaking on the beach. They don’t hear the birds, or wonder about any animals that may cross their path. They are losing their sense of place in creation. Richard Louv, well known author, warns about the depression or malaise children can develop as a result of their disconnection with nature. He calls this “nature deficit disorder.’ Lucy, the nine year old girl in my novel, has known imprisonment – not inside a world of screens, but locked away in a room for years by her mean stepdad. When she is released into the miraculous world of nature, in the woods, she wakes up to her true self – her sensitivity, compassion and creativity. Her sense of being part of creation makes her feel truly alive for the first time.”
'Lucy in Her Secret Wood' has received high praise from readers and reviewers. In their review, Children's Literary Classics stated, "You know the sort of book that is so absorbing, so entirely enchanting, you wish it would never end? -- The type of book that has you crying at the finish just because it's over? That's what we experienced as we read 'Lucy in Her Secret Wood''"
Christina Pagès is available for media interviews and can be reached using the information below or by email at christinampagesgmail.com. 'Lucy in Her Secret Wood' is available at most book outlets. More information is available at her website.
About Christina Pagès:
Christina M. Pagès, Ph.D., grew up in the fields of England, spending hours wandering the countryside. In America, she raised four children while studying for her Ph.D. She was the California State Poetry Society’s Winner in 2005, won a publication award for 'Shadow Words' (2006) published her poetry collection, 'Remember Not to Forget', in 2013, and her children’s novel, 'Lucy in Her Secret Wood' in 2016. Pagès has taught literature in Universities and colleges since 1987. Her writing, painting, piano playing, and gardening, all come from her love of nature as a child. “Nature is our best friend,” she says, “patiently waiting to feed our imagination and spirit.”
Book 2 of the Lucy Series – 'The Woodland Adventures of Lucy and Will' is complete, and will be published by Waldorf Publishing in 2018.