CLA member and retired Holy Infant School (St. Louis, MO) librarian Cynthia Reeg recently won the 2017 Zia Award for outstanding children’s literature for her debut middle grade fantasy, From the Grave, published by Jolly Fish Press/North Star Editions. The book combines horror, humor, and heart for a compelling monster adventure, highlighting the issues of bullying and diversity. Reeg, a part time resident of New Mexico, was awarded the prize on April 22 by the New Mexico Press Women.

Cynthia Reeg is a former school librarian, who describes herself as someone who ventured out from behind the stacks to become a children’s author. “As an advocate for children’s literacy and supreme defender of reluctant readers,” Reeg said, “I love to manipulate words into wondrous, kid-friendly creations.” She is the author of several picture books and her work has appeared in Highlight, Faces, Clubhouse and other magazines and anthologies. Reeg and her husband live part-time in Angel Fire, New Mexico, and have two grown sons and two grandsons.

The Zia Award was started by members in 1953 to honor an outstanding woman in New Mexico media. The New Mexico Press Women is the state chapter affiliate of the National Federation of Press Women and exists to provide professional development, networking and First Amendment right protection to professional journalists and communicators.