By: Sharon Aron Baron
A book penned by a mother and daughter after being inspired by an elementary school teacher’s garden, has won a Purple Dragonfly Book Award in June.
The Purple Dragonfly Book Awards, which recognizes excellence in children’s literature, awarded Coral Springs residents Lisa and Samantha Colodny in the school issues category for Ms. Abrams’ Everything Garden, a book that describes how new friendships and school years are cultivated into beautiful bouquets of new beginnings that last a lifetime.
“I was very excited when we were told the book won the Purple Dragonfly Award,” said Lisa.
According to Linda F. Radke, president of Five Star Publications, the sponsor of the Dragonfly Book Awards, “Winning any place in the Purple Dragonfly Contest is a huge honor because in order to maintain the integrity of the Dragonfly Book Awards, a minimum score is required before a First or Second place or Honorable Mention will be awarded to the entrant – even if it is the sole entry in a category. Competition is steep, too, because there is no publication date limit as long as the book is still in print.”
Lisa said she was inspired to write the story after experiencing Christina Abrams’ third grade flower and vegetable garden at Heron Heights Elementary School in Parkland. When parents were invited to the school, they were able to try salsa and chips, which included tomatoes the students had grown themselves from the garden. They also incorporated a journal Samantha brought home describing the tasks associated with planting and cultivating the garden. With that, they both got to work.
As the Director of Pharmacy with Broward Health Coral Springs for almost 20 years, writing is still a part-time passion of Lisa’s. She received her doctorate from NSU in 1994 and MBA in 2004. During her tenure in healthcare, she’s been published multiple times for healthcare related topics.
“I’ve always thought about writing, but was never confident enough to try. When my Dad passed away in 2011, I spent a lot of time reflecting and decided I didn’t want to spend the rest of my life wondering ‘what if?’”
Last year, Lisa was diagnosed with breast cancer, and after finishing radiation in the fall, she said that she is currently cancer free. She teaches Sunday school two times a month at First United Church in Coral Springs and sings in the adult choir. Samantha, who will soon be attending Westglades Middle School is very active with ballet and performs in the Nutcracker at the Coral Springs Center for the Arts every Christmas.
Lisa has also written another book. This time, its a work of adult fiction called The Town Time Forgot. “At the present time, I’m working on final edits for a second fictional story and have another children’s book out for query.”
You can find both books here at www.lisacolodny.com.