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Nessie and the Living Stone Wins

Independent E-book Award for Children's Literature 2001


A boy must choose between keeping a treasure and saving a monster in Nessie and the Living Stone, by Lois June Wickstrom and Jean Lorrah, published by

Similarly, book buyers now have a choice between old-fashioned tree-books and new instant-downloadable e-books. The Independent E-Book-Award was created to bring attention to and honor the best of this new type of book.

"For e-books to be judged correctly," said Sunny Ross, owner of Mystic-Ink which sponsored the awards, "one has to look at the total reading experience, which includes words but doesn't have to stop there." Nessie’s artist Sara Silvestris Strand created the illustrations to be seen on a computer screen, allowing parts of each picture to glow. Ross adds, "One should take into account the suitability of the work to be in e-book form and the quality of the complete presentation which often includes multimedia arts," she said

Wickstrom and Lorrah have written a clear, compelling story of a child's moral choices, and learning to care about the world around him. The authors deftly handle the siblings' growing affection and developing independence as the story's events demand their strengths. When Craig faces his ultimate test at the door of Nessie's grotto the reader feels the difficulty of Craig's choice.

On one level this is an adventure story with a satisfying ending. It's also a tale of a maturing sibling relationship and a growing awareness of the world. Mostly, it's a story about Nessie. As the landlady says, "Most of the folk around here think that we need Nessie—to give this place a bit of mystery. Truth is she needs us—to keep her house in order."

On another level, Nessie brings story telling to a new medium – the computer. Downloadable e-books are priced under $5, less than most paperback books, so children can afford them. The same story-telling skills are required, but e-books must also appeal to computer savvy-children, and their parents.

Plus authors don’t just rely on the appearance of their book on the bookstore shelf. Many build websites, such as to promote not only their e-book, but their subject matter. was selected by Yahoo as one of the top four lake monster sites on the internet. Nessie and the Living Stone is available as a downloadable e-book, a CD-ROM, and a paperback book. If you email the authors, you can even request a digital autographed page.