We interviewed Linda Sue Park, veteran author and Newbery medalist, whose books have inspired children in many ways, appealing to a wide range of readers with books like A Single Shard, The Mulberry Project, Keeping Score, Yaks Yak, and A Long Walk to Water.
Which celebrity, living or not, do you wish would invite you to a coffee shop?
My paternal grandmother, whom I never got to meet. However, I suspect she wouldn't invite me to a coffee shop; she'd invite me for naeng-myun instead (Korean cold noodle soup. Delicious.). And I realize that she is not a celebrity in the conventional sense, but I believe that all brave women should be.
Which book do you find yourself recommending passionately?
Currently: All American Boys, by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely
What’s your favorite late-night snack?
Really good guac with really fresh chips. I will eat mediocre chips if they're all that's available. The guac is what matters.
Favorite city to visit?
Most cherished childhood memory?
Saturday mornings at the public library.
Roller-skating and ice cream, 6th grade, with a boy named Curtis. Where is he now?
Illustrator’s work you most admire?
UNFAIR question. Registering protest by not answering.
No, strike that: I’ll name the illustrators of my two most recent picture books: Matt Phelan (Xander’s Panda Party) and Jennifer Black Reinhardt (Yaks Yak). ‘Admire’ is too staid. Their work for my texts THRILLED me.
Tea? Coffee? Milk? Soda? What’s your favorite go-to drink?
Tea in the morning, espresso once or twice a day, swee' tea when I'm in the South. My go-to is water.
What’s your dream vacation?
Snorkeling, reading on a beach, and eating fabulous food, both street and fine dining, with family and/or friends, somewhere that has lively outdoor markets.
What gives you shivers?
Morning person? Night person?
NIGHT. Morning is a recurring insult to the psyche.
What’s your hidden talent?
It has faded with time, but I used to be able to identify red M&Ms blindfolded.
Your favorite candy as a kid …
As a kid? Why not now? As a kid: Bit O'Honey. As an adult: pecan rolls.
Is Pluto a planet?
Of course not. He's Popeye's nemesis—that big guy, with the arms. 😉
What’s the strangest tourist attraction you’ve visited?
The DMZ, border between North and South Korea.
Brother and sisters or an only child? How did that shape your life?
One of each. I'm the oldest. I don't think my life has a shape. Or maybe it's constantly changing.
Best tip for living a contented life?
1) Find a way to do work that you love. 2) When you've got the blues, do something for someone else.
Your hope for the world?
Every child a reader.
Linda Sue, thanks for these candid answers for our Bookology readers. If they haven't read all of your previously published books, we encourage them to have a Linda Sue Park read-a-thon. Could you share with us which books comes out next?
I hope you'll enjoy the second book in the Claw & Wing series, Cavern of Secrets. It follows Book #1, Forest of Wonders. You'll find the book in bookstores on March 7, 2017. Raffa sets off on a treacherous journey across Obsidia to save his friends and family ... and the world!