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Awards & Honors


Oregon Literary Arts Fellowship Judge’s Comments

It’s impossible to resist the charm in Sonja Thomas’ *Mira & Whiskers*. Starting with the unforgettable opening line, “I live in a world of suck,” Thomas immerses her reader instantly into Mira’s world—a place rich with love, hope, humor, and an infectious abundance of youthful energy and optimism. Seeking solace and wisdom from her “massive, humongoid cat” Whiskers, Mira is an endearing protagonist who agonizes over cleaning her room, her father’s unemployment, and her desire to become the World’s Greatest Scientist. Not once does Thomas’ authentic voice falter. It’s evident she has a masterful command of creating relevant stories for young people, written in an accessible and truthful narrative that consistently comes across as genuine. Here she has painted a compelling, heart-warming tale of a young girl discovering her potential and true self. Young readers will certainly identify and connect with Mira—and many will fall in love with the equally adorable Whiskers. As a writer, Thomas maintains an extraordinary ability to find beauty in the ordinary and celebrate it for all it’s worth.

—David-Matthew Barnes

*original title for my middle grade debut novel SIR FIG NEWTON & THE SCIENCE OF PERSISTENCE

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