Meet Avital! This 10-year-old reader from the United States is a passionate fan of the Heidi Heckelbeck series by Wanda Coven, a lover of mysteries, and a future business-owner/actress! Avital also has some excellent advice for authors regarding the power of descriptions and suspense, and the importance of including children's authentic inner lives in our novels. I know you'll enjoy hearing her insights as much as I did!
Avital, 10, a reader in the USA
What are your three favorite books and why?
Heidi Heckelbeck, by Wanda Coven, because she's a wizard and she casts spells and they go horribly wrong, but then she ends up fixing them with another spell and it ends up working. Also, Nancy Drew and the Clue Crew, by Carolyn Keene, because they are mysteries and there is always a party where they find clues and then they get the suspects and end up solving them. And Nancy Clancy, by Jane O'Connor, because there are many different types of books and there's always a twist and it always has a happy ending.
What do you like about reading?
I like that you can imagine the pictures, and there's always something new to read, and everyone imagines something different.
Is there a book out there that you think is seriously underrated? Tell us about it!
Yes. The book Heidi Hecklebeck. Most people don't know about it!
Where is your favorite place to read? Can you describe it for us?
I like to read on the bed because it's soft and cozy. I like to read when it's quiet, but can concentrate even if it's noisy.
Which character in a book you’ve read is the most like you and why?
Probably Heidi Hecklebeck. She's my age, she has an annoying younger sibling, has favorite clothes and she has a strict teacher.
Is there any aspect of being a kid that you think authors don’t write about enough?
They don't write about the pressure that is put on kids and how everything needs to be done then and there.
If you could be best friends with any character from any book, who would it be and why?
I'd be best friends with Nancy Clancy from the Nancy Clancy book collection because she is my age in the books. She wears very cool clothes (crazy clothes), she has a great attitude, she's very honest, she speaks her mind, and she supports her friend when she's being bullied. I think we would be good friends because she's super nice and she has blonde hair, like me. If she was my best friend IRL we would have fun scootering, drawing and drinking milk shakes together.
If you’ve started a book, but you don’t like it, do you force yourself to finish it, or do you stop reading? How long does it usually take for you to stop?
I really don't like to read books that I don't like because I find it frustrating. I will try to read one more chapter and if it doesn't get good then I put it down and don't read it.
If you, as a reader, could give advice to authors of kids’ books, what would it be?
Put more descriptions. Like, don't write "she got a cookie." Write that it was hard for her to get a cookie because she was short. Also, put more kids' emotions and feelings into it.
And lastly, what is something you dream of doing one day (from becoming a dog owner to running for President, nothing is too big or too small for this answer!)?
I want to be a an actor and start a dog business where you can rent a pre-trained dog that's fully groomed that would come with everything a dog needs (a leash, bed and a chew toy). So you can enjoy a dog without having to own it. You can have a full dog experience without all the responsibilities of actually owning one. You can have all the fun and then return it when you get bored.
If you're a middle grade reader interested in being interviewed, please visit my contact page. :)