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.
Each month, we ask one distinguished author or illustrator to write an original post that reveals insights about their process and craft.
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.
It’s important to remember how volatile the world was during World War I, and how fragile it remained in the aftermath. With this fragility came a new threat.
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.
When my daughter was old enough, I told her stories about dark brown girls like herself, girls who sailed the skies and saved the world. It was important to me that she saw herself in stories.
“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.”
Injustice makes me want to leap into the fray and help, but it also leaves me with a feeling of helplessness because I’m not sure how to be most effective.