The inspiration I felt leaning back on the brilliance of the original book, even as I forged new, unexpected writing paths forward, afforded a world of creative possibility and play that enchanted me as I wrote the book.
Each month, we ask one distinguished author or illustrator to write an original post that reveals insights about their process and craft.
In book terms, we were all partners in the best senses of the word. And the book was made better because of that.
Birdsong is a celebration of relationships, an intergenerational friendship between two neighbors, an older artist named Agnes, and a young girl, Katherena, told from the child’s point of view. Agnes sees Katherena as an equal, and I hope readers will be able to find themselves in this book.
She discovered Jo March and said meeting Jo awakened something within her that she didn’t know she had. She began to believe in herself, and her new vision and sense of agency began to lead her dreams.
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.
So much of the power of visiting a national park is the feeling of wonder that you experience when you turn a corner and come upon an incredible vista or see an animal cross your path.
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.