5, 4, 3, 2, 1 Interview Patricia Hruby Powell


It is always a good day when I get to celebrate a book with Mr. Schu and Nerdy Book Club. Today we celebrate Josephine by Patricia Hruby Powell illustrated by Christian Robinson.

I’m honored to have the opportunity to interview Patricia today. Today’s interview is of the 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 variety.

5,4,3,2,1 Interview

Here are the rules:

1. I give the interviewee 5 questions

2. They have to answer

  • 1 question with 5 sentences

  • 1 question with 4 sentences

  • 1 question with 3 sentences

  • 1 question with 2 sentences

  • 1 question with 1 sentence

3.  They get to pick which question which question to answer with each number of sentences

4. Have fun!


1. Can you tell us a little bit about Josephine?     

In spite of being raised poor on the black slums of St. Louis, Josephine Baker did practically everything she set out to do.

Because she danced with such abandon and originality on the street she was asked to perform on a theater stage, to tour with the Dixie Steppers, and ended up performing in New York City, where she was invited to perform in Paris, France.

In Paris Josephine became a super star, learned to fly an airplane, which led her to become a spy for the French during WW2, and ultimately she became a French hero.

Back in the USA Josephine worked hard for her race as a civil rights pioneer and returned to France to adopt 12 children.

Josephine never stopped dancing and entertaining, and as she wished, died breathless and spent at the end of a dance.

2. What is your favorite thing about being a writer?

Getting lost in my work and forgetting time. Connecting to readers.

3. What’s the hardest thing about being a writer?

Sitting still.

4. If you could spend one day inside the world of any book which book would you pick?

It would have to be Virginia Woolf’s Orlando because the main character lives through various centuries, starting as a woman in 1608 London when the Thames River froze over and a Winter Fair took place on the ice.

Orlando visits a stately British home and then travels to old Constantinople.

She runs off to live as a gypsy before sailing back to England.

Somewhere in there she wakes up to discover she’s a man and she has traversed back and forth through the 18th and 19th centuries.


5. What advice do you have for the young writers in my classroom?

Read. Read the kind of books you want to write. Read the kind of books you’d never write.

Photo credit: Jon Dessen

Photo credit: Jon Dessen

A big thanks to Patricia for stopping by today!


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