Sharon Creech

What books did you read when you were a child?
Books were not readily available in our home, but we traded comic books with the neighbours. In retrospect, those offered pretty good immersion in succinct plotting and characterisation.

If you could be a storybook character who would you be?
Hmmm. I wouldn’t be able to choose just one. That’s why I write: because I can be anyone I choose.

What is the best thing about reading?
I love that every book or story is its own journey: you begin and off you go! I love the freedom of it, the chance to explore other people and places. You don’t know who you will meet along the way, nor where you will go.

What is your all time favourite book?
I have a zillion favourite books, but no single one rises above all the others. Some that come to mind right now include: Shiloh, The One and Only Ivan, Wonder, and Skellig.

Other than reading books what is the most important thing a parent can do to help develop their children’s communication skills?
Listen to them, talk with them, listen to audio books, encourage them to write their own stories or plays and present them to others.

How big a part did your parents play in encouraging your writing skills?
My parents gave all five of us the freedom of time and exploration, and out of that we developed strong imaginations and the urge to create. We did not have structured time or activities after school or in the summer. I wrote a lot: poems and plays, mainly, because that is what appealed to me, and I credit my parents with giving us that freedom to explore and play.

How do you encourage your children or grandchildren to read, what books do you enjoy reading with them?
I read loads of picture books every day with my own children, from the time they were toddlers until they were in school (the only ones I can recall now were the Dr Seuss books). I’ve also read with my grandchildren. When they were young, they especially loved the Mole books and I gave them books for presents. Once they were old enough to read my books, they fortunately and happily devoured those.

Sharon Creech has written twenty-one books for young people and is published in over twenty languages. She has won numerous awards including the Carnegie Medal for Ruby Holler as well as the Newbery Medal for Walk Two Moons. Saving Winslow is her new novel, illustrated by Sarah Horne, out now and published by Guppy Books, hardback £9.99).
Sharon now lives in Maine, USA near a farm where her teenage granddaughter raises sheep.

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