Carol Weston: Ava is a good kid who does a bad thing. She’s also a ten-year-old with a passion for palindromes, which are words that are the same backwards and forwards. (A-V-A, P-I-P, S-I-S, M-O-M, D-A-D, H-U-H, W-O-W…) Ava’s big sister Pip is painfully shy, and Ava feels sorry for her-- but mad too, because their parents are constantly worrying about Pip, and Ava hates feeling invisible. Thanks to an enemy-turned-friend, Ava helps Pip find her voice—and ends up finding her own.
What planted the seed for Ava and Pip?
Carol Weston: I’ve been an advice columnist for 20 years. I’m “Dear Carol” at Girls’ Life Magazine, and my first book, Girltalk: All the Stuff Your Sister Never Told You, came out in 12 languages. I’m dedicated to helping girls, and while I care about kids in crisis, my heart also goes out to kids who struggle simply with feeling overshadowed by a sibling, overlooked by a parent, or locked inside a shyness shell. Ava and Pip comes from a lifetime of answering letters, but psssst, as the youngest kid of two working parents, I sometimes got lost in my own family too—though my dad was around more than my mom.
Tell us about your reading life.
Carol Weston: As a child, I kept diaries but was afraid of big books. I read Aesop fables, Greek myths, and Archie Comics. When I was 11, someone gave me a copy of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and my world opened up. I majored in French / Spanish Comp Lit at Yale, and have now been in the same book club for over twenty years. Favorite places to read: in a hammock or on my sofa with my cat. Favorite authors: Stegner, Wharton, Lahiri, Otsuka, Atkinson, Tolstoy, Garcia Marquez, and yes, Aesop. So far, just books, no e-books. When my daughters were little, I also spent four glorious years running Redbook’s “Top Ten Picturebooks of the Year Award.” Lucky me, I read every new picturebook that came out from Feathers for Lunch to The Incredible Painting of Felix Clousseau! I'm definitely a "word nerd," so I'm afraid Ava Wren is too.
Tell us about the cover of Ava and Pip.
Carol Weston: It defines adorable, doesn't it? I love how Ava hangs upside down from a tree, and was tickled when I found the photo below of me as a kid.
I feel immensely grateful to Victoria Jamieson and to my editor Steve Geck at Jabberwocky Kids for reaching out to her. The covers of my Melanie Martin series (Knopf) were bold and striking, but right now I am totally smitten by sweet.
By the way, my most popular video on my YouTube channel, is "Turn Your Kids Into Readers." Thank you, Mr. Schu, for connecting authors with readers and kids with books!
Thank you, Carol!
Thank you, Carol!
I am giving away one copy of Ava and Pip.
Rules for the Giveaway
1. It will run from 2/8 to 11:59 p.m. on 2/9.
2. You must be at least 13.
3. Please pay it forward.
Ava and Pip will be released on March 4, 2014.