Thursday, May 24, 2012

Bookanistas: Another YA has come to visit!

One of the coolest parts about being a writer for young adults, is actually hearing from young adults. Each week we get emails from readers that make our day, every month we meet with girls in my neighborhood and discuss books and at family events we get to catch up with our younger cousins.

Today, YOU are lucky enough to meet our cousin Alex who is extremely well-read and absolutely adorable. We pass on as many books as we can to her and she devours them. Today, Alex is going to tell us about herself and her experience meeting Laurie Halse Anderson--that's right the Laurie Halse Anderson. She was also deeply touched by Anderson's book SPEAK (who isn't?!)--next week we'll share an incredible project Alex was involved in!

How old are you and in what grade? What's the coolest part about your age? What's the not-so-cool part about your age?
When I met Laurie I was in seventh grade and thirteen years old. The coolest part of my age is the new freedom. I'm not a kid, I'm not an adult, but I'm not yet a teenager. It's pretty awesome. It's like getting a taste of all these new and exciting things that you'll be doing in high school and so on, but much less dramatic and much more fun. The not-so-cool part about my age is with more freedom, comes more attitude and the feeling that "you are all grown up". Which is definitely not how it goes. The attitude also gets you in a lot of trouble with the boss. (AKA Mom)
When did you first read SPEAK? Have you read anything else by Laurie Halse Anderson?
I first read speak last year after my one friend, Toni, (who happened to be in my song group) recommended it to me, because we are into the same books. My reading teacher then also highly recommended it, so of course I HAD to read it. I have read Wintergirls by Laurie for a school project, and also Fever 1793, also for a school project. I highly recommend both books, however Wintergirls is like Speak; talking about an issue that girls face all around the world while Fever 1793 is a dip into the past talking about a horrible tradegy.
How did the book speak to you? What part of the book was most memorable?
The book 'Speak' really spoke out to me because it was so mature, and unlike most books intended for Young Adults, it didn't sugarcoat anything. It made me feel like this is how it really is for some girls. It opened my eyes that not everything in the world is right and that there is more then meets the eye. The part of the book that really stuck with me was when Heather left Melanie for the "Martha's". It stuck out so much because I absolutely despised Heather from then on. I didn't care that she didn't know what happened to Melinda. I just knew that Melinda was hurting, and once someone came to pick up the pieces, they left her without a doubt. Melinda was going through so much, that she didn't need the only friend she had to ditch her. I thought it was the most inhumane thing in the book.
Why do you think it's important for kids/adults/EVERYONE to read Speak?
I think it's important for everyone to read Speak because it's the truth. That happens to people, and it's absolutely horrible. Most people don't want to think about that because it just makes this world evil, but they need to realize that by reading this book, they will understand how hard it is to speak up when something awful happens to them. Yeah, it's not an ideal book for younger girls who haven't quite understood the world, but I encourage most parents to read this book, and then their children. It will teach them to speak up, because that's how you will get help.
Speak has been censored in some communities. Why do you think some people are afraid of the book? Do you think this is fair?
Well, I believe people are afraid of this book because as I said earlier, it's the truth. People don't want to have that burden on their minds when they'd rather read something that makes them laugh, or be happy. I think it is fair in some cases because most schools don't want their younger students picking it up and reading about something they didn't know happened. I don't agree that it should be banned from public libraries though because it is literature, and the people have a right to chose want they would wish to read, and I'm sure there are similar books in public libraries.
What part of the book inspired you to write your award-winning song?

The part of the book that inspired my friend and I to write our song is when "It" comes back to hurt her once more. It tore us up inside and we knew at that moment "It" would be apart of the song, and we would try to incorporate Melinda's despair and heartbreak, but also her courage and strength into a song. We threw ourselves into the lyrics, putting ourself in her position, and letting everything fall onto the pages.

What are some of your other favorite books?

That's a tough one, I love all books and it's hard to chose a favorite. But if I must say, The Hunger Games Trilogy is definitely one of my favorites. It's beautifully written with such an original idea, Suzanne Collins made me feel like I was in the arena facing life and death, while also running the rebellion that would and had cost many lives. Honestly, they are amazing. I also am in love with The Matched Series (Matched and Crossed) It too was an original idea, and obviously the idea of rebellion appeals to me. Both books are so different, but yet they symbolise more than what you can get off the pages. They have a lot of depth to them. My last favorite book(s) is The Harry Potter Series. Not much to them besides pretending I was a secret friend of Harry, Ron and Hermione they never spoke about. Or having fought the war with Vold- I mean He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. Or being heartbroken at twelve when I did not recieve an acceptance letter into Hogwarts. You can probably say the Harry Potter Books were my second friends, family, and life while I was a child. Heck, they still are.

Pretty incredible thirteen-year-old, right? Tune in next Thursday to hear Alex's award-winning song!

Check out what the other Bookanistas are up to:

Shannon Messenger celebrates SURRENDER – with arc giveaway
Stasia Ward Kehoe unearths “shadowy” YA titles
Jessica Love is all about IN HONOR
Christine Fonseca interviews author Jo Ramsey


Anonymous said...

Pretty cool kid, looks like she had some amazing role models

Joni said...

She is one smart cookie! Love her.

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