Fourth Grade Journey

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

Monday, March 19, 2018

An Inside Look #48 (Author INTERVIEW)

An Inside Look with Jacqueline Resnick
(Author of Raffie on the Run)

*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 Jacqueline Resnick for being the Forty-EIGHTH author of the third season.  I truly appreciate it.  


*Here are links to the first FORTY-SEVEN interviews…

SEASON #ONE













*Years ago I got to know Jacqueline when I used her novel The Daring Escape of the Misfit Menagerie for my Breakfast with Books Book Club.  The story was always a winner with my readers and we enjoyed chatting with Jacqueline via Skype. I was excited to learn she had a new novel coming out and was even more thrilled when she sent me an ARC.  This is our current Breakfast with Books book club selection.  We are going to Skype with her on March 29th.  

*She were kind, gracious, and giving with with answers to the questions.  It is an honor to post the responses with my "Inside Look" feature.   

*Here is a link to my review of Raffie on the Run



*Thank you Jacqueline for writing this story for readers and taking the time to share your thoughts with us here on the blog...


Raffie on the Run 
by Jacqueline Resnick (Released February 13, 2018)

Jacqueline Resnick Website


How did you come to know Raffie?  
I often draw inspiration for stories from a location: a town, a street, a building, or in Raffie’s case, a subway station. While living in Brooklyn, I spent a lot of time at my local subway station, waiting for my train. I liked to think about the rats who lived there and imagine what their life was like. Slowly, a character grew from those imaginings. He was a young, small subway rat who told amazing adventure stories, but wasn’t quite as brave in real life. His name was Raffie, and I knew I had to write about him.


What do you think is Raffie's most admirable quality?
Can I choose two? I’d like to say it’s a tie between his creativity and his loyalty.


Is there anything you wish Raffie would have changed or done differently in his story?
I wish he hadn’t let Ace the rat get to him so much! I wish he’d known that even though he was small, he was strong in his own ways. But some lessons need to be learned.


What do you think Raffie can offer to children that are experiencing similar situations to what he went through?  
Be proud of who you are and believe in yourself, and you WILL get where you want to go—even if the path looks a little different than you imagined.


How did you research Raffie and the circumstances he found himself in?
That part was really fun! I started out by reading a lot about rats. (The book RATS by Robert Sullivan was one of my favorite resources.) I also did some investigating into the New York City subway system. I learned about underground subway stations that were long ago abandoned (there was even one right by my apartment!), and entire train tunnels that were no longer in use. And my favorite part: I did first-hand research by spending time in subway stations and searching out rats!


Do you and Raffie share any similarities?  
We both love to tell stories. And we both have younger siblings who are our best friends.


What was the hardest scene to write about Raffie?
I find scary scenes the hardest to write. I don’t want to give too much away, but Raffie has a scary, dangerous adventure in an abandoned subway tunnel. That was probably the hardest scene for me to write.


Who do you think was Raffie's biggest supporter and why?
Raffie’s little brother, Oggie, is usually his biggest supporter. But with Oggie missing, Raffie really comes to lean on new friend, Kaz. I love how Kaz proves to Raffie that true friends come in all shapes and sizes. They can be the brother you’ve had by your side your entire life, or the street pigeon you just met.


Why do you think young people and/or animals can be so much more determined than adults to accomplish/reach their goals?  
I think most people are born with an innate sense of faith that things will work out, and sometimes people (or rats!) start to lose that as they grow up. Kids still have that faith that if they just keep at something, it will happen. And you know what? They’re usually right!


What do you think Raffie is doing at this present time?  
It’s daytime as I write this, so I bet Raffie is behind the wall in his subway station home, snacking on some “aged” pizza, and telling Oggie an amazing story! 

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