I was thrilled to learn that Catacombia: Descent into the Deep, my adventure novel for young readers written under the pseudonym R.L. Ferguson, has received a Leipzeiger Lesekompass award in the 10-14 age category. The first volume in a fantasy trilogy, the book tells the story of a boy called Sam who is unexpectedly plunged into a secret realm hidden deep underground.
A collaboration between Leipzig Book Fair and Stiftung Lesen, the Lesekompass – or “Reading Compass” – is an annual German initiative that recommends ten books from three different age groups. Here’s a summary of its overall mission statement:
More than 8,000 books for children and young adults are published in the German book market every year, but it’s not easy to find the right book for every reader. The Reading Compass helps parents, grandparents and educators to make a choice. Each year, it honors 10 outstanding titles of children’s and YA literature in three age categories. The jury consists of experts from schools, libraries, the book trade, specialist press and social media, plus young reading scouts. This jury selects titles that pick up on current trends and create a connection to the living environments of children, recommending titles that appeal to passionate readers and “non-readers” alike.