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Tagwi Teacher is Celebrated Children's Author
Tagwi Teacher is Celebrated Children's Author
Posted on 10/20/2015

Guindon Wins Fourth Children’s Book Award for The Reading Promise

By Mark Calder

(Cornwall) – A teacher at Tagwi Secondary School is now an award-winning children’s
author – for the fourth time.

Troy Guindon, who teaches Grades 9, 11 and 12 English, recently won a 2015 Mom’s Choice Gold Award for his first book The Reading Promise. He can now place the prestigious Mom’s Choice Award seal on the book, along with those from three other awards: a 2015 National Indie Excellence Award, a 2015 Moonbeam Children’s Book Award and a 2015 BookChoice4U Award.  Like a whirlwind, three of the awards have come in the last three weeks.

Winning books in the Mom’s Choice Awards are selected following an intensive review by a panel of judges. Entries are evaluated based on a number of elements including production quality, design, educational value, entertainment value, originality, appeal and cost. Judges are especially interested in books that help families grow emotionally, physically and spiritually; are morally sound and promote goodwill; and are inspirational and uplifting.

The Reading Promise, published in July 2014, excels in all of these criteria. The book, written under Guindon’s pen name of Troy Kent, is about an impoverished mother who has nothing to give her child. She stumbles upon the public library and discovers that maybe she can give him something after all. She starts reading books to him every night, and both come to realize the time they share together is more important than any material thing.

“That’s why so many mothers make a connection with the book, because they do the same thing,” explained Guindon. “I’m hoping it will help parents instill a love for reading and learning in their children. The book shows that you can do that regardless of your financial status. You don’t have to have anything to spend time reading to your child. And the time spent is always quality time.”

The author says he is excited by the recognition because the publicity will ensure more families are reading his books, helping him with his mission of encouraging children’s love of reading.

“The big thing for me as an English teacher is to encourage kids to read,” he said in an interview. “In this book the message is to read to your kids at an early age and engage them in reading because, if it’s done properly, they’ll be lifelong learners.

“From my point of view everything I do with writing is to get children motivated to read at a young age.”

Guindon credits inspiration for the storyline to wife Robyn, who studiously read to their children at an early age, instilling in all five a love for reading and learning.

He believes the story has caused such an impact because of the emotional response it engenders among readers, particularly mothers. At book signings at Chapters and other stores, the book has brought some mothers to tears, while others have walked up to him and hugged him.

The awards have opened new doors for the Long Sault resident. He has been invited as a guest speaker to the Michigan Reading Association’s 60th Annual Conference in Detroit this March. He will be joining the likes of New York Times best-selling young adult novelist Matt de la Pena and multiple Corretta Scott King Honour Award winner Sharon Flake. The prestigious four-day conference will be attended by thousands.

“I think it’s really exciting that, as a high school teacher at Tagwi within the Upper Canada board, they have asked me to go down to Detroit to talk with them about reading.”

In future, he wants to expand on his love for writing children’s stories, perhaps as a part-time night lecturer with a university children’s literature program.

For now, he is working on his third children’s book. While he can’t say much about the project, the first draft is already in his publisher’s hands.

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