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The multi-talented, international award-winning author and entrepreneur, Michelle Worthington, is back to talk books! And not just any books, her exciting new, middle grade book about books; Sass and Traz Save the Library. Michelle is a big advocate for helping children to establish positive relationships with books (and libraries). We’re fortunate to have her here to reveal the inspiration and motivation of writing and sharing the first in her fabulous series. Thanks, Michelle! 🙂
Congratulations on the release of the first title in your exciting, middle grade series, Sass and Traz Save the Library!
What was your favourite part of developing this title and the series?
I loved researching about the Dewey Decimal System. I knew about it because I was a library monitor at school, but I loved researching how and why it was invented and then sharing that with students at school visits.
What has your relationship with libraries been like since you were a child? Have you always been a bookworm?
I have always loved reading, and being read to, and the library was always a safe space for me to retreat to when I couldn’t find anyone to play with at lunch time. Some of my best friends were in books.
What do you notice about the inclusion of school libraries and library programs when visiting schools? How do you encourage those children to ‘get into reading’?
It really is about accessibility and choice. They need to have time to wander the shelves, both fiction and non-fiction and choose something that appeals to them. That’s why having dedicated library time that is longer than 5 minutes and a full time librarian is so important. It shouldn’t be a rushed or forced thing. And if they want to borrow their favourite book every week, that should be ok, too.
A lot of your books are written for the picture book market. How did you find the process of delving into the middle grade arena?
It was difficult moving away from the picture book format and it took a lot of drafts to get my head around what a longer format book needed as far as balancing description and dialogue, but practice makes perfect. So does a great editor.
Are Sassafras and Alcatraz based on anyone you know? How did you develop their characters?
They are a combination of children I have met at school visits. Sass had autism and Traz has mobility challenges. When I was younger, I loved reading about twins in books and I knew I wanted to have characters that could sense how each other were feeling and talk in ‘twin speak’ because that always fascinated me when I was a kid. It was also to highlight that children with alternate abilities need to be represented not only in picture books, but books for older readers as well.
Can you reveal any secrets that await us with Books 2 and 3 of the Sass and Traz series?
Ms Burns goes missing. Sass and Traz need to save her. There may be a certain handsome knight involved.
If you could be in a bookish adventure story with any famous magical character, who would it be and why?
Anne of Green Gables. We are kindred spirits.
What do you hope readers and educators will gain from reading Sass and Traz Save the Library?
With a little bit of imagination, anything is possible.
Thanks so much, Michelle! 😊
We are thrilled to help celebrate the release of the fun-tastical first book in the series by Michelle Worthington, Sass and Traz Save the Library, illustrated by Naomi Greaves, published by Daisy Lane Publishing.
Please follow Michelle on her website: Home (michelleworthington.com)
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