Erik Weibel

  • 6 min read

Erik interviewing Librarian of Congress, Carla Hayden

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  1. When you were my age (9), did you read a lot? OH yes! I have always been an avid reader. I started independently reading when I was three and ever since then, I have read anything and everything I could get my hands on. I typically have three or four books going at once.
  2. What was your favorite book? I am sure, being a book fan yourself, you know how hard a question that is! The book that I feel the most attachment to is Redwall by Brian Jacques. I forget how old I was when I read it, but the imagery Jacques creates and the depth of his characters made a huge impression on me. The quality of his writing is something I greatly admire.
  3. How did you get idea to start book blog at 9? Well, I actually had the idea when I was eight. At eight years old, my grandmom told me she was shopping for a book for me and didn’t know what to buy and a kid in the store told her to get me “The Strange Case of Origami Yoda”. He said it was a good book and that I would like it, so she bought it. Well, it is a good book and I did like it. I thought that if my grandmom would take the advice of a kid maybe “this kid” (me) could help other kids and grown-ups looking for books for kids, find books they like. So I announced to my parents that I was going to get a job at a newspaper and write book reviews for them because none of my friends at school really wanted to talk about books. Not wanting to discourage me (but also realizing newspapers probably won’t hire an eight year-old) my parents suggested starting a blog and by the time I got it up and running, I had turned nine.
  4. How have you kept it up so long? Blogs and school are hard to balance. It is a commitment, but so is playing sports or being in a club. I’ve been doing it so long it seems just like another part of my life. I guess I have learned ways to stream-line it too. I think the secret is, I love it. When you love something, it’s easy to do.
  5. What is coolest thing to happen because of your blog? Like who did you get to meet or what book did you get early? That’s a really hard one because I’ve got so many things I am very grateful for. Because I am a reviewer, I do get many ARCs to consider reviewing and the mail is like Christmas every day for me. As far as things I got to do, I’ve skyped to a grade-school class in Honduras and a children’s literature college class in Singapore as a guest speaker. I’ve traveled to all kinds of fantastic book festivals (I especially LOVE the National Book Festival in Washington DC – if you’ve never been, you have to go), got a job as a Scholastic Kid News Reporter, and, my original goal of writing for a newspaper, well they didn’t hire an 8-year-old, but they did hire a ten year-old! I landed a monthly column in the Upper Bucks Free Press after their content editor overheard me interviewing an author at a book signing. I wrote my first column when I was ten and I still am writing for them today. I also freelance for some other papers. I met so many wonderful people who have become mentors to me. Author Michelle Isenhoff encouraged me to finish writing and then helped me edit my first book, which I published when I was eleven. I’ve had a chance to publish poems and short stories in anthologies. All of this wouldn’t be possible without my blog. As far as people I’ve met, that again is something I am forever grateful for. Jude Watson was my first interview. She was so nice to me and was very encouraging. I’ve developed a close friendship with Eileen and Jerry Spinelli whom I met years ago. We are pen pals still today. I’ve met Rick Riordan (I totally forgot my questions for him I was so excited), Chelsea Clinton, Kate DiCamillo, and when I was a Scholastic Reporter I met and interviewed Carla Hayden and Michelle Obama. I’ve also met absolutely amazing editors and publicists and also pre-published and self-published authors. Really, the entire kid-lit community is just amazing. I am profoundly grateful to be a part of it.
  6. What authors do you really like? Any lesser known or new ones? Well I need like 40 pages for that but I will list some that come to mind. I already told you Brian Jacques, Rick Riordan is awesome, The Spinellis, Brandon Mull, Tom Angleberger, Margaret Peterson Haddix, Roland Smith, Gordon Korman, John David Anderson, Kate DiCamillo, Sandra Boynton, Gene Luen Yang, Lois Lowry, Christopher Paul Curtis, gosh I could keep going and going. As far as lesser known authors, a read a lot of self-published books and there are authors, I run across where I am amazed they do not have a publishing house scooping them up. Elise Stokes has a series “Cassidy Jones” that is A-MAZING! My mentor, Michelle Isenhoff has several historical fiction (one of my favorite genres) series that are wonderful. Also, many kids today don’t read classic authors and I think they should – Agatha Christie, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Jules Verne- Alexandre Dumas – kids probably have never heard of these authors and should know them!
  7. If you could portal into any book, what would it be? That’s easy – Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child! Maybe I could review food too!
  8. What do you want to be when you grow up? I am planning on going to school for engineering and also journalism. I am interested in how journalism is rapidly changing in today’s world and perhaps developing different platforms for media to be circulated from. I also plan to keep writing and reading. Maybe I’ll have my own publishing house. That would be cool.

Erik interviewing Chelsea Clinton about her book,  It’s Your World: Get Informed, Get Inspired & Get Going!

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