In each installment of "Three Questions With" we ask a different author or illustrator questions about their work, their process, and their interests. This month we're chatting with Lisa Greenwald, author of several book series for tweens, including the TBH series, told entirely in text messages. Lisa was also part of the inaugural PJ Library Author Israel Adventure, a trip that took a group of established writers and illustrators on a tour of Israel to help inspire a new generation of great Jewish children's literature.
If you could go back in time and talk to your tween self, what’s the one thing you’d want to make sure you told her?
I'd tell her to chill out a little--that one day she'd be able to talk to adults and not feel super awkward, that where you sit at lunch in middle school isn't the most important thing in the world, that it's okay not to be great at math and science. I'd tell her that middle school is terrible and not to worry--life totally gets better.
Tell us about the most surprising moment of the Author Israel Adventure.
This is really more than a moment, but the most surprising thing was how deeply connected I felt to Israel and its people while I was there and after the trip. I had a sudden urge to pick up, grab my kids and husband, and move to Israel, maybe even to a kibbutz. Four months after the adventure, I still listen to Naomi Shemer and David Broza daily. I was also surprised at how connected I felt to my fellow author travelers. It was the most wonderfully intense, powerful, memorable experience. Every moment was surprising and magical.
What’s the secret to keeping kids reading?
The secret to keeping kids reading is to allow them to read whatever they want (as long as it's mostly appropriate). Graphic novels! Comic books! Vampire novels! It's all good! Whatever appeals to them. Adults shouldn't tell kids what to read and what not to read. Audiobooks are great, too. To encourage and foster a lifelong love of reading, we have to let kids read what they want to read!
Lisa Greenwald is the author of the Pink & Green series, the Friendship List series, the TBH series, and four other books for tweens. She lives in New York City with her husband and two young daughters. She loves sunglasses, reading, the beach, and sushi. Visit her at www.lisagreenwald.com.
September 17, 2018