The Waiting Place: Dina Nayeri's 2022 BGHB Nonfiction Honor Speech

I am so honored to have received the Boston Globe–Horn Book Award silver plate. Thank you so much for recognizing The Waiting Place with this beautiful piece of art that I can use to always remember this honor. When I learned that this was an award for books that challenge the imagination and enrich literature for children and young adults, I was so moved. I don’t think there could be a better description of what I hope for in all of my writing. It’s so important to share with our children these stories from all around the world and those from displaced people. People who are displaced have such rich tales to share about simple things like waiting and hope and starting again. It’s important that we start to understand those stories and take them to heart at a young age so we can have empathy later on, so we can be welcoming.

[Read Horn Book reviews of the 2022 BGHB Nonfiction winners.]

I’m grateful that you’ve made room for this book in your hearts and on your lists and on your shelves, and especially in your children’s schedules. That is the thing that means the most to me. I hope many kids around the world read this book, look at Anna’s beautiful photos — which she took with such artistry and care — and travel with us into this (hopefully) brief moment in these children’s lives. A moment of waiting, uncertainty, and maybe fear, but also a time when they have found joy in one another and in the possibility of a future elsewhere.

Thank you again! This is an honor. And many congratulations to the winner.

From the January/February 2023 issue of The Horn Book Magazine. For more on the 2022 Boston Globe–Horn Book Awards, click on the tag BGHB22. Read more from The Horn Book by and about Dina Nayeri.

Dina Nayeri

Dina Nayeri is the author of the 2022 Boston Globe–Horn Book Nonfiction Honor book The Waiting Place: When Home Is Lost and a New One Not Yet Found, photographs by Anna Bosch Miralpeix.

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