The third finalist for the 2023 Best Book of the Year Award is Sarah Sebring Binder, author of Pack Rat’s Lost and Found

Congratulations to our third and final finalist for the Outskirts Press 2023 Best Book of the Year award, Sarah Sebring Binder!

Her book is one of three finalists to be announced this week, vying for Outskirts Press’ highest literary honor. The first and second finalists were announced earlier this week.

Voting will begin on this blog ( in a public poll starting tomorrow, Friday, September 15th, and will close promptly on Friday, September 22nd at 5:00 PM Mountain Time.

Everyone’s votes will help determine the winner of the $1,500 Grand Prize, along with a lot of bragging rights. So be sure to check out all the finalists and then vote for your favorite starting on Friday.

Allow us to introduce you to our third finalist…

The desert critters concoct a clever plan when Pack Rat’s wish is granted.

Book of the Year Finalist and EVVY Gold Medal Winner!

Every night, by the light of the moon, Pack Rat whispers to the glittering stars, “Star bright, star light, first star I see tonight, wish I may, wish I might, have the wish I wish tonight. I wish I might find a treasure tonight!” When Pack Rat’s wish comes true and he finds a glittering, gorgeous star, he is ecstatic and takes it back to his desert palace. But oh no, Mrs. Binder is missing one earring—a very special glittering gold star, a gift from her husband. Cat helps in the search and then recruits the desert birds. “Meow, meow, have you seen a glittering star?” Roadrunner races here and there spreading the word. The doves coo and call a crowd. Cactus Wren twitters. Gila Woodpecker tat-a-tat-tats and knocks on Owl’s door. Red-Tailed Hawk squawks, “I know the rat who stole the star. Pack Rat dragged it to his nest, and now he’s taking his daily beauty rest.” Now Cat must concoct the purrfect plan, with the help of his desert backyard critters, to retrieve the glittering gold star.

About the Author – Sarah Sebring Binder

Sarah Sebring Binder has been an educator for more than 40 years, sharing her love of reading, writing, and storytelling. When not writing, she loves to garden, dance, fiddle, travel, and quilt.

About the Illustrator: Virgil Pedro makes his home in Arizona. He became interested in creating art when his daughter became an artist, and honed his skills by taking classes, attending workshops, and working in art studios. He and his wife enjoy spending time with family.

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