The other day, I read a really good book called Refugee. It is about three refugees from different time and countries, but the stories end up fitting together perfectly. The characters are Mahmoud (Syria, 2017), Isabel (Costa Rica, 1995), and Joseph (Israel, 1930). Mahmoud goes on a crazy journey to get to England after his house gets bombed and collapses. He and his family go through many hardships such as drowning, being put in prison, cheated out of their money, and many more. Isabel leaves Costa Rica on a homemade boat to escape the riots. The police are after her father so she and her neighbors leave as soon as possible. Her story involves problems such as her mother being 9 months pregnant, running into a steamer, death, and sharks. Joseph deals with being forced out of his home because they are Jewish. They take a boat and don't think about what might happen to them.
I had the chance to interview the author of Refugee, Alan Gratz. Below is my interview with him!
Q: At what age did you decide to become an author?
A: I knew I wanted to be an author since I was in the second or third grade!
Q: Why did you choose to live in Western North Carolina?
A: My family and I were living in Atlanta before we moved to WNC, and I came up there to go to the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games to write my third book, Something Wicked. I loved it so much, we moved to WNC less than a year later!
Q: What inspired you to write Refugee?
A: Three things: the story of the MS St Louis, the reports about the Syrian refugee crisis on the news every night, and a raft someone had used to come to America I found on the beach in Florida.
Q: Why did you want to write children/young adult books?
A: I love kids books, because kids are the best, most demanding readers anywhere! I have to be exciting and interesting right from page one, or young readers will put my books down. I love that challenge.
Q: How long does it take you to write a book?
A: It usually takes me about a year to a year and a half!
Q: How old were you when you wrote your first book?
A: I wrote my first book when I was in fifth grade. It was called REAL KIDS DON'T EAT SPINACH.
Q: Do you have any suggestions on how to be a better author or writer?
A: 1) Read a lot. 2) Write a lot. 3) Keep an idea book, where you write down all your crazy story ideas for later.
Q: What are some of your favorite books? (other than your own)
A: Unbeatable Squirrel Girl comics. Philip Reeve's Mortal Engines series. And anything by Jason Reynolds
Alan Gratz is a young adult author that lives in western North Carolina. His books are: Samurai Shortstop, Something Rotten, Something Wicked, The Brooklyn Nine: A novel in nine innings, Fantasy Baseball, Starfleet Academy: The Assassination Game, Prisoner B-3087, The League of Seven, The Dragon Lantern: A League of Seven Novel, Code of Honor, The Monster War: A League of Seven Novel, Projekt 1065, Ban This Book, Refugee. He has also produced many plays. If you're looking for a good book to read, I suggest checking out Refugee, or any of Mr. Gratz's other books!
Story by Sophie Kafka