Artist and author Molly Idle talks about her latest book, her life, and her obsession with Prismacolor pencils.
SLJ Talks to Author Andrea Cheng: Her latest book, ‘Etched in Clay,’ charts the courageous life of Dave the potter | Under Cover
Author Andrea Cheng’s latest book, ‘Etched in Clay,’ charts the courageous life of Dave the potter, a 19th-century slave who became an accomplished artist.
Life After Death: Susin Nielsen’s tenderhearted novel, ‘The Reluctant Journal of Henry K. Larsen,’ explores the aftermath of a school shooting | Under Cover January 2013
Canadian novelist Susin Nielsen talks about her novel The Reluctant Journal of Henry K. Larsen, which explores the aftermath of a high school shooting.
When Temple Grandin was born, her parents didn’t know she had autism. In fact, her father thought she was retarded and wanted to send her to live in a mental hospital. Today, she’s a renowned scientist who designs humane environments for cattle and other animals we eat. What impact has she had on the industry?
Thirty-five million cattle are raised annually for beef in the U.S. Half of them spend their final minutes in buildings Temple designed, but her […]
Your first novel, Legend, triggered a major bidding war, Hollywood can’t wait to turn it into a movie, and you’re only 27.
It’s just been a really, really exciting ride. I wake up all the time and I pinch myself, because it’s all just so overwhelming sometimes.
Legend features two teens from opposite sides of the tracks in postapocalyptic L.A. Day is the Republic’s most wanted criminal, and June is a military protégé who’s charged with taking him down. […]
Your gorgeous new picture book is about Sylvia Earle, an oceanographer and leading spokesperson on the importance of the ocean to our planet’s survival. She’s designed undersea research vessels and has spent more than 7,000 hours underwater. Have you ever gone scuba diving or snorkeling?
No, and while doing this book I was thinking, how can I do this book without snorkeling? I’d love to do it, boy. But I’m not a brave soul. I share Sylvia Earle’s love […]
Hollywood’s eager to turn your New York Times best sellers into movies, your book tours take you all over the globe, you play a few instruments and paint, plus you have two small kids—and you’re not even 30. What’s it like being such a slacker?
[Laughs] I always dreamt when I was a little kid of being a best-selling author. I used to have this fantasy of walking into a bookstore and someone would recommend my own book […]
Fish of a Different Color: Pat Schmatz’s novel ‘Bluefish’ features some unforgettable characters | Under Cover
Thirteen-year-old Travis can’t read. To make matters worse, he’s moved to a new town far from his beloved woods. But when he meets good-hearted, outgoing Velveeta, his life takes an unexpected turn. It’s a perfect story for you to write, given that both your parents were reading teachers.
My father grew up struggling with reading. He was an outdoors guy, and all he cared about was the woods and the swamp. As a […]
Absolutely Dino-mite!: Jessie Hartland’s latest picture book puts a new spin on kids’ favorite reptiles | Under Cover
How the Dinosaur Got to the Museum tells the true story of how a 145-million-year-old Diplodocus longus ended up at the Smithsonian in Washington, DC. Were you crazy about dinosaurs as a kid?
I was not one of those kids who were especially excited about dinosaurs. I didn’t really know much about them, and I didn’t think there were dinosaurs in the United States. I thought they were in Africa or India—in […]
Da Do Ron Ron: Ron Koertge’s sequel to ‘Stoner & Spaz’ is even better than the original | Under Cover
Now Playing: Stoner & Spaz II is about an unlikely romance between a sexy, foul-mouthed druggie and an isolated kid with cerebral palsy who lives with his rich grandmother. No offense, but I thought you were much younger.
Oh, Christ! I’m 71! Yeah, a youthful 71.
Are kids shocked when they meet you?
I don’t do a lot of school visits, like a lot of young adult writers, but I do some. I walk in […]
Say What?: Allen Say’s ‘Drawing from Memory’ charts the story of his improbable journey | Under Cover
While growing up in Japan, your father discouraged you from drawing. And in your new book we first see him from behind.
It’s the only time I show him.
When I saw that illustration, I knew it meant trouble.
You’re very perceptive—no one’s picked up on that. That was the only way I could depict my father and live with myself—to show him from behind and not his face. We had a very bad relationship. […]
Frenemies: Jack D. Ferraiolo’s hilarious new novel features dueling superhero sidekicks | Under Cover
Sidekicks opens with Bright Boy, aka Scott Hutchinson, the teen sidekick of superhero Phantom Justice, getting aroused as he’s rescuing a hot young woman. The bulge in his bright yellow tights is caught on camera, and now everyone’s cracking jokes at Bright Boy’s expense. Is any of this autobiographical?
[Laughs] The whole thing is autobiographical, right down to saving a woman from falling off a building. Everything! No, actually, I mean like any […]
Australia’s Craig Silvey tackles racism and hypocrisy in ‘Jasper Jones’
Jasper Jones opens with a horrifying scene—the body of a young girl is found hanging from a tree. Can you set up the story for those who haven’t read it?
It’s set in the summer of 1965 in a rural town in Western Australia. It’s chiefly about two boys who set out to solve a crime on their own because they’re rightly distrustful of the community. One of these boys, […]
Gill Lewis’s first novel is about friendships, tragedy, and unexpected connections
In Wild Wings, two kids protect a pair of endangered ospreys by keeping their existence a secret. Somehow, it seems fitting that you write in a tree house—at least, when the weather’s nice.
Since we live in England, that’s probably about one day a year. [Laughter]
When one of the birds, Iris, is in danger of dying, Iona and Callum share their […]