Today I’m excited to interview more kids in 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 two 8th graders, Dante and Micaela. Thanks Dante and Micaela for joining us.
1. Please tell us a little bit about yourself, your school, and what you like to read.
Micaela: My name of course is Micaela. I like to read poetry books as well as realist fiction mainly. I got to Scarlett and I'm a bit standoffish at times. I like to write poetry and draw sometimes. I enjoy being around others, most of the time.
Dante: I am an 8th grader from Scarlett Middle School, and I am still quite new to this country since I’ve been here for only two years. I enjoy many things such as sports, writing, reading, listening to music and hanging out with friends. Our school is very diverse and I am exposed to a variety of different people. Overall, our school gets along very well with each other whoever you are. My school is not the stereotypical middle school portrayed on tv or in books. I like to read fiction and non-fiction. Most of the fiction I read is contemporary realistic fiction, and the non-fiction I read is about history, geography or human relations.
2. I agree your school is very diverse. It’s one of the things I love about it. It’s interesting that you both like realistic fiction and not paranormal and dystopian, which is popular with so many teens. How do you find out about the books you read? What about new books coming out?
Micaela: I usually find a lot out about the books I end up reading from Mrs. Daniel because she gives me good suggestions. I began finding out about new books through Mrs. Daniel as well, but recently I've found The Huffington Post as a good source for looking for things I'd like to read.
Dante: I find out about books through recommendations, and reading finding other books by an author that I like. Also, I like to go to the library and just pick out some books that look interesting to me. I have no idea about what books are coming out.
3. Yes, Ms. Daniel (their language arts teacher) is very passionate about books and a great resource for recommendations. I love talking to her about books. I’ve never heard of the Hugffington Post. (FYI everyone, it’s an online newspaper.) I’ll have to check it out. What are you reading now? What books are you waiting to be released?
Micaela: I am currently reading The Peal by John Steinbeck. I haven't heard of any books I think I'd like to read so, I am not waiting for any releases.
Dante: Right now I am reading “Life is Funny” by E.R. Frank. I am not waiting for any books to be released.
4. Do you buy most of your book or get them at the library? How often do go to a bookstore?
Micaela: I tend to not buy books unless I've previously read them so I know I like them. I got to a bookstore about once a month or 2 because I tend to go to the library more often or read books that family members have previously read.
Dante: Almost all of the books I read are from the library. I rarely go to the book store.
5. I love the library too. I go there at least twice a month. Do you read any teen book blogs, author blogs, or author or publisher websites? Become a fan of an author on Facebook? Why?
Micaela: I tend not to read teen blogs or author blogs or websites about authors or publishers. To keep an open mind, I tend not to like one author the best unless I've read several books by them that I like. I don't tend to like things of Facebook, it started to become a nuisance.
Dante: I am not participating of any form of literary blog or page as of now.
6. Has your teacher recommended any blogs or websites to your class or to you?
Micaela: I don't recall her recommending blogs or websites to the class except for a few like teenreads.com of which that have lists of good authors that I began to look into.
Dante: A couple of teachers have recommended blogs about authors.
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?
Micaela: Lurlene McDaniel is a favorite author of mine and if she could write from a less morbid place, I would consider visiting her sites.
Dante: I don’t think that an author could do much to make me visit their blog. I am not a huge fan of blogging.
8. Dante, I can totally relate. You kids are so busy and blogging does take time. 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?
Micaela: No authors have visited my school unfortunately, but I'd like Stephanie Meyer to come to my school so she and I could speak as so I could probably talk about her books with her, just to see if there was something I may have been missing and caused me not to like Twilight or New Moon.
Dante: Authors have not visited our school this year. I think the reason for that is that how an author expresses themselves through literature, and they don’t need to make a presentation to students to do that.
Ha! I’d love it if Stephanie Meyer or JK Rowling would come to your school. Thank you both for taking the time to give us all the great advice. I know you are both busy with final exams.
For those of you commenting, how do your kids find out about books?
Don’t forget that the next WriteOnCon event is tomorrow, June 14th at 9:00 pm EST. It’s a live chat with Catherine Drayton at Inkwell Management and her client Becca Fitzpatrick who wrote HUSH, HUSH about the agent client relationship. I’m planning to attend. I really recommend them. I always learn so much. Hope to see you there.
Next week I’ll be interviewing Nathan Bransford. You know, THE Nathan Bransford, who used to be an agent at Curtis Brown Ltd. He’s a debut middle grade author. I’ll be interviewing him about his book JACOB WONDERBAR and the COSMIC SPACE KAPOW and doing a book giveaway.
On June 27th, I'm going to do a book giveaway of some books I’ve been saving for you to thank you for all the support you gave in the Elana Johnson contest.
Hope to see you next Monday.