Science is magic and magic is science is an idea I play with in Weird Little Robots. [...] I pretty much live my life thinking miracles and magic are around every corner, and I’d love it if kids were inspired to think the same way after reading my book.
If Spy Runner alerts young readers to clandestine methods by which one state asserts influence over the other, then my hope is that today’s youth might be better equipped to make sense of what is happening in the United States today.
It’s easy to spend years in school without ever really learning about women, people of color, or LGBTQ people. And invisibility is one of the most powerful forms of oppression. If you don’t see people like yourself represented, then people like yourself must not exist.
I imagined a story that combined reality television and middle school hijinks, practical jokes and ancient philosophy, untamed goats, and equally untamed kids. After a while, I began to write this story down instead.
I have been fascinated with falconry–the art of hunting using falcons, hawks, owls, and eagles—my whole life. In fact, I spent about 10 years attempting to write a book about a boy and a hawk, but it never quite worked.
I spent the entire summer of 1978 at the local public library reading as much as I could find about the last tsar and his family, and of course about the mystery of Anastasia. Did she survive? Was she Anna Anderson? I felt like a young investigative reporter.
“the condition of the human heart is unchanging. Your age, the period you live in, and your economic or cultural background don’t matter; we are all linked by our need to be loved and understood, and our fear of loneliness and sorrow.”