Book Briefs: an interview series where authors talk about...what else? Books!
Jessica Leader's debut middle-grade novel, Nice and Mean, will be published by Simon and Schuster/Aladdin MIX on June 8.
What book are you reading right now? The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver (a lacuna is a gap or opening, in case you, like me, had forgotten)
Your favorite children’s book: Ogads! Just one? I plead the fifth. But E. Lockhart's The Boy Book and Edward Bloor's Tangerine come to mind.
Your favorite non-fiction book: A Primate's Memoir by Robert Saplosky (Who's nuttier: the orangutans or the guy who's studying them?)
Your favorite classic (read: book they made you read in school) book: The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky. And I will add that in the movie (which no one will ever make, because the book is 500+ pages), Dmitri should be played by Will Ferrell.
The last book that made you laugh: The Five Children and IT by E. Nesbit. Magic in a big British family. A classic!
The last book that made you cry: When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead.
The last book you recommended to a friend: Boys R Us, part of the Clique series by Lisi Harrison. I think these are way underrated and should start getting nominated for awards.
A novel you’ve re-read (and re-read): Vegan Virgin Valentine by Caroline Mackler. Overachiever reevaluates her life. Plus lots of descriptions of cheese. Yum.
One sentence that gives the gist of your book best: A truly nice girl and a truly mean one face off in their middle-school video elective.
Avoiding spoilers, a 1-2 sentence passage from your book that you really like:
I snapped my pen shut. If Sachi had come up with the Victim/Victorious idea, Mr. Phillips would have been like, "Oh, Sachi, you are a genius, let me have your autograph." Instead, he was trying to make me feel like I had twisted her arm, when in reality, her idea reeked of squeege. Did teachers talk about who to like and who to be mean to? I lay my arms across my desk and rested my chin on my hands. I hated school. I just hated it.
Learn more about Jessica and Nice and Mean at her website: www.jessicaleader.com.