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Author News & Interviews

Interview: Carol Weston, author of Ava and Pip

Mar 12, 2014

Carol Weston has been an advice columnist at Girls’ Life magazine for 20 years, so she’s received her fair share of letters from kids seeking advice on everything from family problems to friends to boys to shyness. It’s the last topic that she chose to tackle in her new book, AVA AND PIP, which follows the spunky, 10-year-old Ava and her painfully shy older sister, Pip. Ava will do anything she can to get attention from her parents and help Pip get out of her shell…but she has a lesson or two to learn herself, too. Read O Assistant Book Editor Abbe Wright’s interview with Carol below, and learn more about the book, Carol’s advice for kids who feel shy and Carol’s childhood writing habits.

Interview: Natalie Lloyd, author of A Snicker of Magic

Feb 12, 2014

What do you get when all of the magic leaves a town, except for a tiny bit? A snicker of magic, of course! And that’s what runs through Midnight Gulch, a small southern village that used to be known for its enchanted residents like the Brothers Threadbare --- whose music made clouds change shapes and inspired the whole community to dance in the streets --- but now has just the smallest snicker of magic left. Debut author Natalie Lloyd delves into this fascinating town in A SNICKER OF MAGIC, where Felicity Pickle --- a 6th grader who sees words wherever she goes --- tries to bring Midnight Gulch back to its original glory and hopes that her wandering family can finally settle down. In this interview, Natalie tells us about her inspiration for A SNICKER OF MAGIC, the real people who inspired her characters and her favorite pair of cowboy boots.

Interview: Kate DiCamillo, author of Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures

Feb 10, 2014

There's no denying it --- Kate DiCamillo has one of the best "children's book author" resumes out there. She's written 17 children's books, has won the Newbery Award (more than once!) and was recently named the National Ambassador for Young People's Literature. In this interview, Kate tells us where she was when she found out she won the 2014 Newbery Award for FLORA & ULYSSES, what she wrote about as a child, a particularly amusing plane ride and her plans as National Ambassador. 

Interview: Jimmy Gownley, author of The Dumbest Idea Ever!

Jan 29, 2014

For Jimmy Gownley, life after AMELIA RULES! looks a lot like life before it. Gownley ended his much-beloved YA graphic novel series after 2012’s HER PERMANENT RECORD, and now he’s back with a brand-new book, THE DUMBEST IDEA EVER! In this one, he draws on his own personal experience, detailing his difficult transition from grade school --- where he was tops in his class, both academically and on the basketball court --- to high school, where illness and increased academic pressures took their toll. Gownley’s solution to his falling social status?

Interview: Maira Kalman, author of Thomas Jefferson: Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Everything

Jan 6, 2014

Everyone knows that Thomas Jefferson did some extraordinary things for the United States --- he was a Founding Father, the principle writer of The Declaration of Independence and the third President. But did you know that he also played violin three hours every day, collected everything from maps to Native American artifacts and loved growing vegetables in his garden, especially peas? We didn’t! Maira Kalman explores all sides of this fascinating man in her gorgeous new picture book THOMAS JEFFERSON: Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Everything, including his interests, his contributions to the United States and even his monumental flaws. In this interview, Maira takes us behind the scenes and talks about her influential visit to Jefferson’s Virginia mansion, Monticello, some of her artistic decisions, and the one question she’d ask Jefferson, given the chance. Read on!