Thursday, November 14, 2019

A Guest Post by Kate Messner

Kate Messner

Hello Kate Messner!  Welcome to Mrs. Merrill's Book Break!  Congratulations on having your book, The Exact Location of Home selected for the Intermediate New York State Charlotte Book Award Ballot!  

Kate says . . .

1.      I wrote THE EXACT LOCATION OF HOME because at the time, a young person's loss of a home  wasn't something that was addressed in many middle grade novels, and yet more than a million kids experience homelessness each year. As a former middle school teacher and as someone who wants all kids to feel seen, it was important for me to explore this experience in a way that's realistic but also offers hope.

2.       Readers should read my books if they're curious people, like I am! Probably most writers to answer this question by saying something like "if they like mythology!" or "if they love nonfiction!" But the truth is, I write all over the place, just like I enjoy reading lots of different kinds of books. The one common thread, though, is curiosity. Every book begins with me wondering about something, whether that's how we might be able to manage invasive Burmese pythons in Florida, to what it's like to experience homelessness as a middle schooler, to what happens during a prison break. So I think my books are great for readers who have that same kind of thirsty curiosity about lots of different things.

3.       My favorite place to read is on my deck in the summertime, overlooking Lake Champlain.

4.       A book that has touched my heart is TWO NAOMIS by Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich and Audrey Vernick. I loved this story about two girls finding friendship and family, even though it means uncomfortable changes. (And the sequel, NAOMIS,TOO, is wonderful as well!)

5.       I collect my ideas for writing in a notebook that I carry with me everywhere I go. As a writer, you never really turn off your writing brain, so you never know when you'll see something or hear something and think "Ohh! I want to know more about that!" or "Ah! That's a cool idea for a book!"  

6.       A project I’m currently working on is a new nonfiction series aimed at undoing the lies we tell small children about history. It's called HISTORY SMASHERS and the first two books, about the Mayflower and Women's Right to Vote, will be out from Random House in July. They're illustrated by Dylan Meconis (including some graphic/comic sequences!)  and I can't wait for you to see them! 

7.       Readers should know that I believe in telling kids the truth, even when that truth makes adults uncomfortable sometimes. That's why I've written novels for kids about homelessness, and the impact of the opioid epidemic on families.


For lots more information about Kate and her books, be sure to visit Kate's website.   

Thank you for visiting my blog Kate!

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