Monday, August 12, 2013

Meet Audrey, my guest reader from Texas!

You may wonder how I ended up with a guest reader I've never met who lives more than 2,000 miles away.  That's the wonder of the connections we share in today's world. Audrey's grandmother was my professor for several classes at University of St. Thomas where I attended graduate school in the mid 90's.  I loved her classes because she loves books as much as I do.  We are friends on Facebook.  When I shared the link to Sweet Summer Reads on my Facebook account this summer, Dr. Clay mentioned that granddaughter Audrey, an avid reader, would be willing to be a guest reader.  We had hoped to Skype our visit, but due to conflicting summer vacations I ended up emailing the questions to Audrey.  My questions and comments will be in black, and Audrey's answers will be in blue.
Audrey and her grandmother are both avid readers.
I have to begin with a tidbit about Audrey, shared by Dr. Clay, her proud grandmother.  "Audrey wrote a musical about explorers this spring.  The teachers gave the students practice time, made sets, and got costumes. The two fifth grade classes presented the play twice -once for the school and once in the evening. It was amazing."  So today's guest reader, Audrey, is also a writer.  I'm not surprised.  Good  readers make great writers!

Hi!  Thank you so much for letting me be a guest reader on your blog.  I’m 11 years old and I’m going into sixth grade this year.  I live in Richardson, TX and school starts in a little over two weeks!  Summer flies when you’re having fun (and reading good books)! Thank you again and here are my answers to your questions.   Audrey 
I'm  excited to hear from a sixth grader who mentions fun and reading good books in the same sentence!  

1.  Share some of your favorite books, and tell me why each one is a favorite book. 
      One of my favorite books is The Sixty-Eight Rooms by Marianne Malone.  I enjoyed this book because of the real location (Chicago’s Thorne Rooms), the magic and fantasy, and of course the history!  I enjoy books where the author can put both fantasy and history together, but still make the story seem realistic.  I also enjoyed The Boxcar Children mysteries by Gertrude Chandler Warner. These books have been favorites ever since the librarian suggested them to me when I was in second grade.  I still read them and adore them, and I like them because they are mysteries that cover a wide range of topics such as history, science, and survival.  Some other books that I enjoy are the Dear America historical diaries that are written by various authors from the point of view of girls and boys living during important times in history such as the Revolutionary War, The Oregon Trail, the Titanic, etc.  I like these books because the characters seem so real and of course once again for the history!  I absolutely love historical fiction books!  Lastly, I enjoy the books by Andrew Clements.  Some of his books are Frindle, The Landry News, The Report Card, and No Talking.  I love his books because the characters seem real and the books always make me laugh and smile.
      Audrey, I'll have to add The Sixty-Eight Rooms to my TBR (to be read) pile.  It's a new title for me.
      I read the Boxcar Children books to my own children, and I remember when they were read to me as a child, a wonderful series.   
      Historical fiction is one of my favorite genres too!  Have you read Hattie Big Sky by Kirby Larson?  
      My daughter read many books by Ann Rinaldi when she was in middle school.  Ann Rinaldi is an excellent writer of historical fiction.
      Andrew Clements is a favorite of many of my students.  I think Frindle is my favorite, and you're right, they are humorous books.  

2.  How do you find books to read?  Where do you get ideas for next books?  
Many of the books that I read were read by my older sister before me.  Other books that I read have been featured on middle grade book blogs.  A lot of the books I read have been on display shelves at my public library.  I get ideas for which books to read next from friends, librarians, and my parents.  I also will read books from the same series if it is possible.

And here's a picture of Audrey at the public library in Richardson where she looks
 at display shelves and talks to the librarians for ideas on what to read next.
3.  Where is your favorite place to read?  
My favorite place to read is my room.  The bed, the floor by the bookshelves, wherever the books are is the place you’ll find me!  My favorite place varies, but I really love beanbags, pillows, and big soft chairs to read in.
      I love this line, "...wherever the books are is the place you’ll find me!"  Your enthusiasm for books shines through your answers and your gorgeous smile in these pictures taken at your library. 

Here's Audrey in a cool reading seat at her library, waiting for her siblings to finish checking out books. 
4.  Do your have a favorite author or genre? 
      My favorite author is either Rick Riordan or J.K. Rowling.  The Percy Jackson and Harry Potter books are some of my greatest favorites of all time.  My favorite genre is either mystery or fantasy.  Both have tons of adventure, so I’m great with them!
 If you enjoy fantasy, you might like Breadcrumbs or The Apothecary (in my TBR pile & highly recommended by Carrie, our local librarian).  We read two books for our Mock Newbery book club last year that were great mysteries, Three Times Lucky and Liar and Spy.  

5.  Have you met any authors in person?  If you could meet any author, who would it be?  
Unfortunately, no, I have never met and talked personally to an author.  Once an author handed me a cookie at a show, but I didn’t know she was an author until later.  If I could meet any author, it would be J.K. Rowling.  I love her books, and meeting a foreign author would be so amazing!
It would be so exciting to meet J.K. Rowling!  I've been lucky to meet quite a few authors, and I  always cherish the chance to chat with them and have them autograph my books. This summer I met Kate Messner and Amy Ludwig VanDerwater at a conference I attended in Indiana.  Kate autographed my favorite book of hers, The Brilliant Fall of Gianna Z. Amy who blogs at The Poem Farm penned a lovely inscription in her book, Forest Has a Song.   Since you like mystery and historical fiction, you might enjoy Capture the Flag (and its sequel) by Kate Messner.  It's about the historical flag that is stolen from the Smithsonian Museum.  

6.  Do you have a favorite bookstore or library?  
      My favorite bookstore is Half-Price Books because they have all my favorite books for a cheap price.  Sometimes, I can get 3 or 4 books for fewer than ten dollars there.  My favorite library is my school’s library.  The librarians can help you find anything you need and will always remind you about your fines.  I try not to get fines but it just happens. Maybe I should write the due dates on my hand! 
      I love Half-Price books too!  I was so excited to discover Half-Price books in WA when we moved here from TX.  Unfortunately, I no longer have one within walking distance of my house like I did when we lived in Houston, but there are several in our area.  I enjoy the one at Crossroads Mall, in Redmond, and the one in the University district.  Shopping at Half-Price books is like going on a treasure hunt.  You never know what you'll discover for a great price in one of their bookstores.  

7.  Do you start more than one book at a time?  
I have the bad habit of starting more than one book at a time.  Sometimes I have to take a whole day of reading to get caught up! 
It's not always a bad habit to have more than one book going at a time (lots of readers do this), but spending the whole day reading just to catch up is a delightful habit!   

8.  Who has influenced you to become a avid reader?  Feel free to mention several people who may have helped develop your passion as a reader.    
Several people have influenced me to become an avid reader.  Firstly, my grandparents, who always had books to read at their house, and allowed me to stay up late reading.  Next my parents, who have always encouraged me to read in my free time and such.  Also, all of my amazing teachers who have taught me how to read and write and have shaped me so that I am the way I am.  I was influenced by my siblings who were always eager to lend me a good book.  I have also been influenced by librarians.  People just don’t appreciate them as much as they should.  My school librarians have always been eager to help me to find the right book and to talk about it when I was finished. And that is why I am what I am today.
Wow!  It's clear that you've been influenced by many people to become a reader. Grandparents, parents, teachers, siblings, and librarians - it takes a village to raise a reader!

Well that’s the end of these questions.  Thank you again so much for letting me be on your blog.  It means a lot to me.  I enjoyed answering the questions, and I hope you are satisfied with my answers.  Let me know if you need any more information.  I can’t wait to see my appearance on the blog!
Thanks again,
Thank you, Audrey, for sharing your reading life here at Sweet Summer Reads!  Your enthusiasm for the books is contagious.  Thanks for inspiring other readers.  
Feel free to leave some comments here for Audrey, our guest reader from Texas.       


  1. Wow Audrey, you are a voracious reader. I love all of both of your suggestions and those that Ramona added in...

    Ramona, this is a terrific idea. I hope that you are enjoying the rest of your summer, it is back to school tomorrow and I'm so excited. xo

  2. Loved hearing all your thoughts about reading, Audrey, & thanks Ramona for sharing this interview with us. I love the idea that your reading includes different kinds of books, Audrey, & hope you enjoy more good ones coming in the fall!

  3. What a great reading role model! Keep it up Audrey!

  4. Audrey,

    I love to hear about your voracious reading! Wow! So many great titles!

    Best of luck and happy reading!