Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Interview with Laura Shovan, author of Takedown

1. What have you been working on since the last time we spoke?
Hi, Tanya. Thanks for inviting me to Bookish Fangirl!

Last time we spoke, my debut middle grade novel, The Last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementary, had just been published. It’s been a busy and exciting time since then. Takedown, the story of the first girl on an all boys’ wrestling team, came out in 2018 and was chosen for the Amelia Bloomer List offeminist books for children. I just found out it's an Amazon Prime Book Box for children selection! I’ve been working on a collaborative middle grade novel with Saadia Faruqi, author of the Meet Yasmin! early reader series. A Place at the Table publishes in May, 2020, from Clarion/HMH.

2. How many books that you’ve written been published?
In addition to my three middle grade novels, I have one poetry chapbook for adults (Mountain, Log, Salt, and Stone, CityLit Press), and two poetry anthologies -- one which I edited and one I co-edited with poet Virginia Crawford. They are Life in Me Like Grass on Fire: Love Poems(MWA Books), and Voices Fly, a collection of poetry workshops and student poems from the Maryland State Arts Council’s Artist-in-Residence program, for which I teach. Voices Fly is available to educators as a PDF. https://laurashovan.com/book/voices-fly/

3. Can you share a little bit of what you’re currently working on?
Saadia and I are putting the final touches on A Place at the Table. Our last task is to review recipes, which will be included in the book!
I am also working on a book of robot poems for kids, inspired by the robot doodles that I post on Instagram. That has been such a fun project. I’ve missed the playfulness of poetry since Takedown and A Place at the Table are written in prose.

4. Does your next book have a release date?
A Place at the Table publishes on May 12, 2020.

5. What books are you currently enjoying?
I’ve been reading middle grade ARCs as part of the #bookexpedition group. Some recent favorites are: Nic Stone’s Clean Getaway and the graphic memoir I Was Their American Dreamby Malaka Gharib. I can’t wait to dig into Jeanne Zulick Ferruolo’s new book, A Galaxy of Sea Stars, which publishes in February. The ARC is on top of my TBR pile.

Laura Shovan's debut middle grade novel, The Last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementary, won several awards, including NCTE 2017 Notable Verse. Her novel Takedown was selected by Junior  Library Guild and PJ Our Way, and was on the ALA’s Amelia Bloomer list of feminist books. Look for A Place at the Table, co-written with author/activist Saadia Faruqi, in 2020. Laura is a longtime poet-in-the-schools in Maryland. She likes to knit, bake bread, and doodle robots. 

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