Chrystal Giles’s debut middle grade book, Take Back the Block features Wes, a fly middle schooler who realizes the need to stand up for his community and rapidly growing gentrification in his neighborhood. I read, loved and reviewed this book. Today, I’m pleased to be chatting with Chrystal about gentrification, Black joy, great teachers, and her day job (which is very different from writing!) among other things.
Rajani LaRocca’s latest middle-grade book Red, White and Whole is a beautiful novel-in-verse about Reha, an Indian-American girl straddling cultures in the 80’s. Until her mom gets sick — and her world is changed forever.
I chatted to Rajani LaRocca about this book, family, the 80’s and balacing her career as an internal medicine physician with writing books for children. Enjoy!
E.L. Shen is the author of The Comeback, a vibrant middle-grade novel about a young ice skater with a lot of passion. I spoke to E.L. about her debut middle-grade book, ice-skating, writing an emotionally honest novel, and handling racism, microaggressions and macroaggressions on the page. I enjoyed this interview just as much as I did her book.
Jennifer and I discuss the similar threads running through both of her books, why she writes for “one reader,” her love for ice skating, why she became a writer, and what she likes to do when she’s not writing. Enjoy!
My introduction to Saadia Faruqi’s writing was in A Place at the Table, the middle-grade book she co-wrote with Laura Shovan (another author whose writing I love). Saadia’s solo middle-grade debut, A Thousand Questions is out today!
I absolutely loved talking to Saadia about this book, writing about home when home is a third world country, creating two vastly different characters, and of course, Pakistani food in her books. This is one of my favorite interviews I’ve ever done! I learned so much about Saadia, and gained deeper insight into the book. Enjoy!
I’m thrilled to participate in my first blog tour with author Kereen Getten and her debut middle-grade book, When Life Gives You Mangoes! This lovely book is set on an island (which is close to my heart, because I lived in the Caribbean for five years). It’s such an honor to be the first stop in this month-long blog tour. We talk about her book, her journey as a writer, and some of her childhood memories from Jamaica. Please enjoy my interview with Kereen.
Jamie and I discuss her choice to write about a child with cerebral palsy, the inclusion of a grandparent with Alzhiemer’s, baking, and how she makes time for writing despite a busy schedule. We also talked about how others can show more consideration to people with a disability.
Hena Khan and I talk about her love for Little Women, why she finally started to believe she could write books for a living, and the best writing advice she’s ever received.