Author Adam Shaughnessy

Happy August! Every Friday, I invite an author or an illustrator to finish my sentences. This week's special guest is Adam Shaughnessy. We chatted about Prudence, Norse mythology, ties, and reading. I wrote the words in purple, and he wrote the words in black. Thank you, Adam! 

Eleven-year-old Prudence Potts thinks that Prudence is a stupid name. After all, the word prudence means caution or good judgment. But the world is an unpredictable and unsafe place. What’s the point of even trying to use caution or good judgment when you can’t ever know all the things that could happen to you or to the people you love? Better to act first and think later (if at all).

Click here to meet the cast. 
Did you know Middleton is laid out to reflect the landscape of Norse mythology? The universe of Norse mythology has three worlds, each one on top of the other. Niflheim, the world of the dead, is on the bottom. Midgard, the world of people, is above that. Asgard, the world of the gods, is on top. Middleton is set up in a similar way. The town rests on a slope. At the bottom of the slope is the cemetery where the dead are laid to rest. Above that is the town proper where the people live. And at the top of the slope is Winterhaven House. Of course, this arrangement raises a number of questions about just who lives in that great mansion of timber and stone at the top of the hill…
Download a guide to Norse myths
Norse mythology is one of the most exciting mythologies out there! It has a fascinating cycle of myths that ends with the death of most of the gods. It has characters that are funny, heroic, sneaky, terrible, and wonderful. Sometimes all at once! It even has magical landscapes you will want to get lost in. But, in my opinion, the best thing about Norse mythology is that it has a talking insult squirrel named Ratatosk. A talking insult squirrel! How fun is that?

A professional fibber is someone who knows the secrets of “THE UNBELIEVABLE FIB.” What is “THE UNBELIEVABLE FIB?” Good question. You’ll have to read the book for the answer, though…

Reading is play.

Explore Adam's website.
When I was in middle school I had to wear a jacket and tie to school every single day. I learned something very important from that experience. I hate ties.

Mr. Schu, you should have asked me about how magic works in my book. One of the popular conventions we see in stories for children is that you have to believe, and believe completely, in magic to experience it. That’s a romantic idea and it has made for some wonderful stories! But it seems to me there’s something a little troubling the notion of absolute belief, too. I think we should all be a little wary of people who tell us to believe something without question. There are times when it’s good to seek one’s own answers instead of just accepting the certainty of another’s truth. So in The Entirely True Story of the Unbelievable FIB it’s the people who are uncertain—about themselves, their world, and their place in the world—who are able to experience magic. In short, it’s the people who don’t yet know what to believe. Which works out fine, because if there’s one thing my readers absolutely should not believe, it’s “THE UNBELIEVABLE FIB!”

Borrow The Entirely True Story of the Unbelievable FIB from your school or public library. Whenever possible, please support independent bookshops. 


  1. Great interview, Mr. Schu!! Congrats, Adam--can't wait to read your book & celebrate it on Emu's Debuts next month!!

  2. I just realized my thank you comment never got posted from my phone! Thanks to Mr. Schu for inviting me to be a part of this very fun experience. And thanks to all the blog's readers who shared on Twitter. What a great group!


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