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ASK THE EXPERT SERIES- INTERVIEW WITH AN 8TH GRADER
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Today I’m excited to start my Ask the Expert series. It’s where I interview kids between 5th and 12th grades about how they find out about books.
Today I’m interviewing an 8th grader who loves to read.
1. Please tell us a little bit about yourself, your school, and what you like to read.
My name is Justin, and I go to an Ann Arbor middle school. I tend to read mostly science fiction and fantasy books.
2. How do you find out about the books you read? What about new books coming out?
A lot of the time I find out about new books from friends when I see what books they are carrying around and reading. I find out about new books coming out when I see posters at bookstores or read about them online. I read about them in ads for books on Facebook and on Wikipedia.
3. Interesting that you find out about books on Facebook and Wikipedia ads. That’s not places I would think to go to. What are you reading now? What books are you waiting to be released?
Right now, I am reading the Isaac Asimov books; that will take a while to finish. I am waiting for the sequel to I Am Number Four to be released. I am also waiting for the next book in the Eragon series and the next book in the Wheel of Time books.
4. I can’t wait for the I Am Number Four sequel too. I found about the series from my daughter and her friends. Do you buy most of your book or get them at the library? How often do go to a bookstore?
Whether I buy books or get them from the library depends on the time of year and the book. If I have recently received a gift card to a book store, I use it to get newer books. I usually get books from the library when they are older or not as many people are interested in them. I don't actually go to bookstores very often; just enough to get 2-4 books a couple times a year.
5. Do you read any teen book blogs, author blogs, or author or publisher websites? Become a fan of an author on Facebook? Why?
I don't follow any blogs or websites regularly. However, when the sequel to a book is taking an abnormally long time to be released, I may search around the internet to see if/when it will be released. I really don't have the time to follow any sites, and they usually are not updated regularly with new and interesting content.
6. I can definitely see how time would make it hard to follow blogs. Eighth graders are busy! Has your teacher recommended any blogs or websites to your class or to you?
My English teacher has recommended Teenreads.com to my class. Also, I have her added as a friend on Facebook and I periodically see and follow links that she posts.
7. Are there things your favorite authors could do that would make you more likely to visit their website, their blog, or become a fan on Facebook?
If authors had websites that looked nice, loaded quickly, and were updated on a daily or weekly basis, I would follow them.
8. Have any authors visited your school? Who? Is there anything you’d recommend that an author do to make their presentation more interesting to you and other kids at your school?
I believe several authors have visited my school, but I really don't remember. Something on age appropriateness: we aren't little kids, don't treat us as such. Also, they could keep things moving; when they just talk and talk and talk and go off onto tangents, we get bored. Enthusiasm would help presentations immensely. Another thing is to make things interactive: ask questions, answer questions, make sure we are participating.
You’re right. Authors shouldn't talk down to kids and should make the presentations interactive. Thanks for all your great advice Justin and for taking the time to answer my questions.
For those of you commenting, how do your kids find out about books? And if you have a kid between 5th and 12 grades willing to be an expert, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Put Ask The Expert in the subject line. I have a few interviews lined up but am looking for other kids to interview.
Don’t forget that the next WriteOnCon event is tonight at 9:00 pm EST. It’s a live chat with Mary O’Neill, an associate editor at Katherine Tegen Books and agents Joanna Stampfel-Volpe and Michelle Andelman. I’m planning to attend. I really recommend them. I always learn so much. Hope to see you there.
And be sure to come back next Monday when I interview Beth Revis and give away a copy of her awesome book ACROSS THE UNIVERSE. I’m so excited she agreed to an interview. And on June 6th, I’ll be having a big debut party for Elana Johnson. Her book POSSESSION comes out on June 7th. I’ll be doing a BIG giveaway.
Hope to see you next Monday.
Posted by Natalie Aguirre on Monday, May 16, 2011