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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
by Stefan Bachmann, Katherine Catmull, Claire Legrand, Emma Trevayne
illustrated by Alexander Jansson
Review by Lina
PS: Just as a warning, whatever you do, do NOT read the book I have suggested before bed. It may give you nightmares because some of it’s kind of gory.
Here’s a brief summary of this book. It’s a collection of 36 slightly gory short stories. They’re a collection of short stories brought together by curators who want to show the world how alive stories can become. The curators are the authors of the stories. They are kind of pretending to be characters themselves by writing letters to each other themed on the stories.
One thing I liked was that they were kind of funny but in a gory way. One of my favorite stories was “The Sandman Cometh” by Claire Legrand, based on a fairy tale by the Brothers Grimm. It was a quest and it showed that you didn’t have to be brave to do something hard. In fact, Harvey, the main character, was given six tasks to complete to free his family after an awful wish. So even though he messed up on one, the Sandman actually–seeing that he completed the others well–was quite merciful. Although it was a bit of a challenge, Harvey freed his family.
There was one I hated because I think it’s going to give me nightmares. “Jack Shadow,” by Emma Trevayne, was about a shadow that was a living being, sort of. So he kills other shadows in order to take their places. He is kind of like Slappy from the Goosebumps books–very overconfident and expects everyone to bend to his will, although he is way more murderous and way more dangerous because for shadows the normal laws of gravity and physics don’t always apply. If you are easily creeped out by things like that, I’d suggest not reading it before bed or skipping it entirely.
I’d recommend this book to anyone who likes creepy but not-so-creepy stories and who does not have problems with very gory books. The book is practically a nightmare machine for some people. Make sure you have a good degree of resistance to nightmares before you read this. Overall it’s slightly darkly funny but a good book.
This is a very funny book. It is very silly to think of two dogs going to school and the teacher not noticing. My teacher sees everything. I know because I get in trouble a lot for no reason.
The dogs go to school because they want to rescue their human. They find school to be fun so stay. The music teacher thinks they are good singers. One even talks like a person. I do not think my principal would two dogs in a trench coat coming to school. I also think she would know they are dogs.
Kids who are not enjoying school would like this book. It makes school seem fun. I also think kids starting to read chapter books would like this. I have been reading it by myself and sometimes with an adult.
Lots of books show up for Bridget every week. Sometimes I steal them because I want mail. She is starting to let me read picture books first. This is one I got first!
This shark really wants friends. He doesn’t always make good choices in how he is a friend. That makes it hard for the people who would be his friend. In this book, he has to deal with eating a friend at the end of the last book. He is trying to make it up.
This is fun to read out loud. It is silly to think of a shark trying to make friends. It is silly to think about eating a friend. I hope someone reads this book out loud at school.
Bridget may not have finished Enginerds but I did. I love it! Last weekend I watched IRON GIANT and I don’t believe Jarrett when he says he has not seen it. The book and movie are very close to each other though one has farting robots and the other has a weapon robot.
You can find out what the book is about in a lot of reviews so I am going to talk about why I liked it.
1. It is a very fun book to read out loud
2. Farting, eating robots are funny
3. The robots build themselves which is cool (and like the Iron Giant does)
4. The boys are kind of naughty. They should not keep secrets! (like the boy in Iron Giant)
5. There is a second book coming out and I am excited about it. (Bridget is too so I will probably have to borrow her copy)
I recommend this book to people who like robots, who like the Iron Giant movie, people who likes to eat a lot, people who think farting is funny and people who just need to laugh. Little boys will definitely like this book. Grouchy teachers will not. And I wonder if I could get my principal to read it.
Hi Jarrett! I know you are reading this. I want to know what you think of Iron Giant….. 🛳🚝🤖🤖🥰
This is the start of the Lil Brother take over. And I am in charge, I am not annoying. I am amazing.
I was very happy to see this book at the school book fair. I like all the Construction Site books. I love Construction site stuff. You should see my pajamas right now.
In this story the trucks are getting ready for bed on Christmas night. They each get a present which is a new piece of construction equipment. You also find out what they have been building all along. It is a new firehouse. There are new fire trucks in this book.
I like the rhyming of this book. I like it is the same trucks from the other books. I like you have watched the construction site grow in the books.
I recommend this book to everyone who like construction trucks.