Ruuxa & Raina: A Cheetah and Dog’s True Story of Friendship and Miracles

*U.S. Entries Only*

This is a tale about two best friends and two miracles—one for each of them. Ruuxa & Raina is an empowering, hardcover, children’s book about a pair of devoted friends who grew up together at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park: a cheetah named Ruuxa and his Rhodesian ridgeback pal, Raina. Both animals beat the odds stacked against them. Ruuxa, born with front legs that were bowed, and Raina, diagnosed with terminal cancer, prove that miracles can—and do—happen when you have a best buddy by your side.

Ruuxa and Raina’s heartwarming story, written by Georgeanne Irvine, is illustrated with engaging photographs, and includes a section featuring fun facts about cheetahs and Rhodesian ridgebacks. Ruuxa & Raina, published by San Diego Zoo Global Press, is part of its new San Diego Zoo Kids Hope and Inspiration Series.

Beneath the Flames

*U.S. Entries Only*

Beneath the Flames is an intimate combination of love, race, and life as an urban firefighter.

A fire in a neighboring farmhouse has young farmer and volunteer firefighter, Mitch Garner, blaming himself for the tragic outcome. He loses all hope of forgiving himself. His only hope for redemption is to leave Jennie, the girl he has loved since high school, and journey from Wisconsin’s lush farmland to the decaying inner city of Milwaukee to prove himself as a professional firefighter.

Mitch is assigned to the busiest firehouse in the heart of one of the most blighted areas of Milwaukee, the Core, where he’s viciously hazed by senior firefighters. He struggles to hold it together at horrific scenes of violence and can t do anything right at fires. Within weeks, he’s ready to give up and quit. His salvation comes in the form of a brash adolescent girl, Jasmine Richardson. Mitch is assigned to tutor her little sister through a department mentoring program. Despite Jasmine’s contempt toward Mitch, her courage and devotion to her little sister inspire Mitch to stay and dedicate himself to helping her and the neighboring children overcome the hopelessness of growing up in crushing poverty.

Trouble on the farm has Mitch torn between returning home to Jennie and staying in Milwaukee where he’ll be forced to risk his life to protect Jasmine from the leader of the One-Niner street gang.