Tuesday, September 27, 2011

September Meeting Wrap-Up

The Book Buddies Book Club met yesterday afternoon to discuss the book The Lemonade War and to interview the author, Jacqueline Davies! We had a terrific meeting and a wonderful time talking with the author! And, of course, we had snacks and lemonade to drink.

Everyone liked the book and the sibling rivalry between Evan and Jessie. We talked about our own experiences with siblings, having our own lemonade stands, what it would be like to skip a grade in school, and what we would do if we each had $100 to spend, save or donate. We liked the format of the book, told in alternating chapters from Evan's and Jessie's perspectives and the inclusion of graphs, receipts and charts. We would all recommend this book to our friends and look forward to reading the sequel, The Lemonade Crime.

Following our discussion we had the privilege of interviewing the book's author, Jacqueline Davies. She was absolutely delightful to speak with and thoughtfully answered all of our questions.

The most exciting thing she told us is that there will be 5 books total in The Lemonade War series! The third installment will be out in the Spring of 2012 and takes place over New Year's Eve when Evan and Jessie visit their grandmother. We can't wait!

Ms. Davies told us that there are parts of her in both Evan and Jessie but that she's probably a little more like Jessie. Some of her children's traits are mixed in to their characters as well. She never bases a character entirely on one real person because it would be too difficult to do.

She did not have a conscious reason for eliminating Evan and Jessie's dad from the story but she knew she wanted the focus to be on the kids with limited adult interference. However the dad's character does keep coming up and will be come important and the series progresses.

Ms. Davies does not write everyday because she is busy with her family, school visits, research and traveling and also because she has to be in the right frame of mind to work creatively. But she writes as often as her schedule allows and yesterday when we spoke with her, she told us she had written for 4-5 hours that day!

In her free time she likes to read, go to plays, watch basketball and football, knit, garden, run and spend time with her friends.

She also has very detailed advice for young writers:
1- READ as much as you can and read widely - not just books you think you'll like but ones you ordinarily wouldn't choose as well
2 - WRITE as often as you can and try different kinds of writing like non-fiction, poetry, etc.
3 - SHOW your writing to someone else and LISTEN to what they have to say - feedback is critical so get the tips you need to make it better!

A BIG thank you to Ms. Davies for her time and willingness to participate in our book club. It was a thrill to speak with her and hear about her life.

A great start to the school year! See you next month!

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