BELLINGHAM - The kids of Washington state have voted and Bellingham author Royce Buckingham has won top honors for his spooky book "The Dead Boys."
His book competed against 11 other books from authors throughout the country to take home the 2014 Sasquatch Award.
Librarians throughout the state nominate books for the award each year, and children in grades four through six who have read at least two of the books can vote for their favorite. Buckingham said he was humbled by the win.
"When you write monster stories, you're not expecting to get awards for writing a good book," he said. "I tried to make it literary even though it's about a monster."
"The Dead Boys" was a personal one for Buckingham, set in his home town of Richland, which provides an eerie backdrop as the main character tries to figure out why the boys he meets keep disappearing and why the tree in his yard seems to be increasingly threatening. The book managed to be literary enough to get librarians on board and fun enough to entertain young readers.
"It's really the best of both worlds," Buckingham said.
This year, two of the 12 books nominated for the award were from Bellingham authors. Buckingham's friend, fellow Bellingham resident Clete Smith, took sixth place for his book "Aliens on Vacation," set at a bed-and-breakfast near Mount Baker that hosts interstellar travelers.
Reach Zoe Fraley at 360-756-2803 or firstname.lastname@example.org.