Fourth Grade Journey

A Fourth Grade Teacher's Journey Through the World of Books

Monday, September 11, 2017

An Inside Look #34 - Season #THREE (Author Interview)

An Inside Look With Corey Ann Haydu
(Author of The Someday Suitcase)

*This was a new feature I added to the blog during the summer of 2016.  It was a shot in the dark that it would work, but much to my surprise; it took off and over first season I conducted 22 interviews with a variety of authors.  

*It has been such an honor to connect with authors and "chat" about their novel, characters, and thoughts about the story.

*I ran a series of interviews for Season #TWO over the summer of 2017.  It was great to get back to these conversations, that I decided to run Season #THREE during the 2017/2018 school year.  

*Thank you to Corey Ann Haydu for being the FIRST author of the third season.  I truly appreciate it.  

*Here are links to the first THIRTY-THREE interviews…

*This was one of my favorite middle-grade reads during the summer of 2017.  I can remember sitting by the pool and reading the entire book during one sunny afternoon.

*There was so much depth and meaning woven throughout the pages of this incredible story.  As soon as I finished I knew I wanted to know more and "chat" with the author.

*Corey Ann Haydu was kind, gracious, and giving with her answers to my questions.  I'm thrilled to share with novel with my fourth graders and I highly recommend you read it.  

*Here is a link to my review of The Someday Suitcase...

*Thank you Corey Ann Haydu for writing this novel for middle-grade readers and taking the time to share your thoughts with us here on the blog...

The Someday Suitcase
by Corey Ann Haydu (Released June 27, 2017)

How did you come to know Wavie?

When I first met Wavie she had a mom in the suburbs of Atlanta, then she moved to a trailer park with Gilbert and Camille in Kentucky, and finally landed alone in Conley Hollow. It was a process, but I learned more and more about her through each of her incarnations.

What do you think is Wavie's most admirable quality?

Her resilience and her determination. She may get down, but she never really gives up on hope.

 Is there anything you wish Wavie would have changed or done differently in her story?

I wish she’d trusted some of the adults sooner. If she’d talked to Mrs. Chipman, or told the Bowman’s the truth from the beginning, she might have spared herself some heartache.

What do you think Wavie can offer to other children that are experiencing similar situations to what she went through?  

That despite the circumstances of your birth, or your current situation, there is still hope for a better future. Everyone, rich or poor, has the right to find their own good life.

How did you research Wavie and the circumstances she found herself in?

Lots of different ways! I’m from a small southern town, so I’ve seen poverty up close. I spoke to my family that lives in a coal-mining town, complete with coal trains running in their back yard. I know a couple like the Bowmans who were kind enough to share their story with me. And of course, I spent lots of hours on the internet!

Do you and Wavie share any similarities?

Her early life was much harder than mine, but we both love our mama’s. Like Wavie, mine loves me deeply and I know it. 

What was the hardest scene to write about Wavie?

The scene where Wavie reads the letter her mom wrote to her was tough. As a mother, I got a bit teary-eyed thinking about the dreams moms have for the children and what it would be like to leave them to other people.

Who do you think was Wavie's biggest supporter and why?

Her mother! Ronelda wanted so much for Wavie to find a better life and she did what she could to prepare her.

Why do you children even when faced with difficult situations and/or people remain to be hopeful more often than adults?

They still have faith? As adults we look at things so rationally,  at what we can do in our own strength, and we have a history with disappointments. I think kids know that anything can happen – whether it’s a miracle or magic, or just plain luck, life can change on a dime.

What do you think Wavie is doing as the present time?  

I think she’s sitting on her canopy bed, looking out the window at the blooms in the yard, and thinking of all the words that can be made out of H-A-P-P-I-N-E-S-S.

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