Amy Noelle Parks is the author of the YA romantic comedy The Quantum Weirdness of the Almost-Kiss and the middle-grade realistic fiction novel Summer of Brave, both of which we absolutely loved! We were thrilled to interview her for this month's feature!
Rapunzel Reads: Middle-grade books often focus on a single issue or topic, or become waylaid by too many plot threads--but Summer of Brave does neither, instead painting a beautiful, nuanced portrait of the many layers of one girl's life. How did you go about weaving together the many aspects of Lilla's life in such a balanced, realistic way?
Amy Noelle Parks: Thank you so much for the kind words. I really wanted to write a book that captured—for me anyway—what it was like to be twelve or thirteen. And for the most part, that means many things happening at once. I don't really love issue books in part because they can be heavy handed but also because issues don't tend to wait neatly on the sidelines until we can give them our full attention. The rest of our life doesn't stop because we get catcalled. For Lilla's story I really wanted to explore themes of people-pleasing, introversion and bravery so I tried to think about all the ways those might come up in a girl's life and then weave them together—hopefully in a way that made sense!
RR: Lilla constantly feels the pressure of how she's 'supposed' to be a girl, particularly when she struggles with wanting to do things that are seen as 'girly', or not do things which would be groundbreaking for her gender, and I loved how she slowly realizes there is no one
Author photo credit: Katie Murray
Book Reviews By & For Kids
Everyone knows that Rapunzel spent her early years locked up in a tower. We’d like to think she had plenty of books to while away the time, and that she’d appreciate our own favorites.
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