Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Our Interview with Cynthia Lord

Last spring, Karen Aupperlee (@KarenAupperlee) and I had the wonderful opportunity to create a Battle of the Books experience for a group of third and fourth graders.  These students gave up their lunch and recess over 8 weeks to read, discuss and celebrate eight outstanding books.  The books were chosen from a variety of genres and were both newer and older titles .One of the books that students read was Rules by Cynthia Lord.  Our students thoroughly enjoyed this book and had some amazing discussions about it.  Cynthia graciously agreed to answer some questions that our students had regarding the book and about her life as a reader/writer.  (She also kindly agreed to let me repost her answers here at Kids Talk Kid Lit.)

1.)  What inspired you to write Rules?

was inspired by my children. My daughter is 24 years old, and my son is 21. My son has autism, just like David in Rules. Though the characters in Rules are not my own family, some of the small details in the book are true. When my son was young, he loved “Frog and Toad,” and he used to drop toys in our fish tank!

2.)  What is your favorite scene?

I have two favorites. I love the running scene with Catherine and Jason in the parking lot, and I like the scene where David drops the Barbie in the fish tank.
3.)  What is your favorite genre to read?

I like a variety of genres. I like to read poetry, realistic fiction, some fantasy, and non fiction.

4.)  What is your favorite book that you did not write?

Charlotte's Web, because I've read it at least 6 times and I've read it at different times in my life (as a child, as a mom, as a teacher). Every time I read it, I cry near the end. I've experienced the scene before, and I can even tell you the sentence E.B. White uses: "No one was with her when she died." Even though I know that line so well, E.B. White touches me in that moment, each and every time. That's the mark of a very powerful writer. 
5.)  What lesson do you want us to learn from reading

Well, first, I hope you just enjoy it as a story. But I hope readers take away less fear of people who are different. It can be scary to meet people who act in ways we don't always understand. I hope through meeting David and Jason, you'll look at the people you meet who have severe disabilities with more understanding and less fear. They really aren't so different, and I guess that's the main lesson I'd like the book to give.

Thank you for taking the time to answer our questions.  We really appreciate it!
Cynthia Lord is the author of Rules, Touch Blue, Half a Chance, the Hot Rod Hamster series and coming August 26, 2014 Shelter Pet Squad #1:  Jellybean.