Kelly Yang

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1. When you were my age (11), did you like to read? Yes! I loved reading books from the library when I was a kid because I never got to go on vacation so books were my vacation!

2.     What is a book that made an impact on you? A Tree Grows in Brooklyn — it was the first book where I saw poverty portrayed on the page. 

3.     Is it hard to come up with book ideas? It’s not hard to come up with book ideas for me because there’s so much in our world that inspires me and that I want to write about. But it is hard turning an idea into a complete manuscript!

4.     Diversity within books is a big topic right now. Can you share why it is important to you? Absolutely! We need diversity in books so that all children see themselves represented on the page. I remember growing up and thinking I was so different because I didn’t live in a big house with a dog. I hope that through books like FRONT DESK and THREE KEYS, more kids see themselves reflected in books and their own experiences validated!

5. Is there a new or lesser known author you think kids should be aware of? I was on a panel with Lyla Lee and think her books are great!

6.     What advice do you have for a kid who wants to be an author? Write, write, write and read, read, read! You need to develop your writing muscle — it is a sport and like all sports, you gotta practice! And read, read, read so you soak up all the wisdom and beautiful words!

7.     As an author, do you hear from your readers? What do you like about that? I LOVE hearing from readers! It makes my heart so happy knowing that my words made someone laugh or smile. I cannot wait until I get to see fans in person again after COVID!

8.     If you could portal into any book (yours or another person’s), what book would it be? Hmmmmm, I’d say Little Women! I’d love to meet Jo March! 

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