Any day that I get to celebrate books and authors with The Nerdy Book Club and Mr. Schu is a good day. Today is one of those days. Today on Nerdy Book Club Jeramey Kraatz writes a beautiful post about his life as a reader. On Watch.Connect.Read Mr. Schu features some sweet Jeramey Kraatz resources, and here on sharpread I interview Jeramey.
Check out Jeramey’s Nerdy Book Club post:
Check out the resources Mr. Schu has put together.
I had a blast coming up with questions to ask Jeremy. I can’t wait to share his responses with my students.
If one of my fourth grade readers came up to you and said, “Could you please tell me about your book in 3 sentences?” What would you say?
Alex Knight is a twelve-year-old boy who can move things with his mind. He’s a fourth-generation member of The Cloak Society, a secret group of supervillains his parents now help lead, so he’s got a LOT to live up to. On his first official mission, however, he ends up saving the life of a junior superhero, and from there Alex starts to wonder if there’s more to the world than what his parents have been telling him.
Alex has some pretty sweet telekinetic powers in The Cloak Society. If you could have any super power for one day, which super power would you pick and how would you spend your day?
I’ve been trying to come up with a final answer to this question most of my life! I guess if I only had one day, I’d want the power to stop time. This is totally selfish, but I could set up shop in the local gourmet market between the cheese and dessert sections and just plow through my to-read list and write all the things I want to write. And I could visit all the secret, roped-off places in museums and fancy libraries you’re not allowed to go in…the possibilities are endless.
Or I’d want to fly. I could definitely just pick flying.
In your Nerdy Book Club post today you talk about your relationship with comics. A lot of my fourth graders are madly in love with graphic novels. If a young reader wanted to move into the comic book world, what would be a good comic for them to start with?
I really dig Marvel’s Oz series by Eric Shanower and Skottie Young. It might be a nice way of introducing young readers to a different medium since the first collection in the series is The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and even though it’s closer to the book than the movie, it’s familiar territory. Also, I’m just a huge fan of Skottie Young’s art—it’s incredibly energetic.
How does your career as in the animation industry help you as an author?
Definitely! I work with a lot of Japanese animation, covering a wide range of target age groups. I see a ton of new forms of storytelling—especially since anime can be so different from the kinds of cartoons I grew up watching—that it’s impossible not be inspired, to want to create.
My students love when I ask authors for book recommendations. What are three must read middle grade reads?
- I’m sure your students have already heard the praises of The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate many times, but I just read the book this morning, and there’s no way I could make this list without recommending it. It’s a book that makes you feel all the feelings.
- The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. This may be cheating because I think I like it more now than I did when I was a kid, but that’s part of its charm. I like books that can grow with you, that you can find different meanings in as you get older.
- The Enchanted Forest Chronicles by Patricia Wrede. I mention this series because I just kind of stumbled upon it when I was a kid, and don’t know that it gets enough love these days. I really liked these books when I was growing up, especially the first two—Dealing with Dragons and Searching for Dragons. They’re great, fast fantasy books that play against a lot of fairy tail tropes (the first one stars a princess who runs away to live with dragons and spends a lot of her time convincing knights and princes that she doesn’t need to be rescued).
Thanks for stopping by, Jeramey!