Fourth Grade Journey

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

Monday, October 9, 2017

An Inside Look #38 (Author INTERVIEW)

An Inside Look with Terri Libenson
(Author of Invisible Emmie)

*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 Terri Libenson for being the FIFTH author of the third season.  I truly appreciate it.  

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


*I read this novel over the summer of 2017.  The reading experience was such an enjoyable and positive one.  Plus there was a GREAT BIG surprise at the end.

*Terri Libenson was kind, gracious, and giving with her answers to the questions.  It is an honor to post her responses with my "Inside Look" feature.   

*Here is a link to my review of Invisible Emmie

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

Invisivble Emmie
by Terri Libenson (Released May 2, 2017)

How did you come to know Emmie?
Emmie is essentially me around that age: shy and artistic. She best expresses herself through her drawings.

What do you think is Emmie's most admirable quality?
Emmie has some really nice qualities. She is a loyal friend, she has a vivid imagination, and she has a good sense of humor.

Is there anything you wish Emmie would have changed or done differently in her story?     
Not really. I think the actions led to her ultimate learning experience.  

What do you think Emmie can offer to other children that are experiencing similar situations to what she went through?
I think many kids will find Emmie relatable, even if they are not shy like her. For instance, embarrassing things happen to everyone, but it doesn’t have to bring you down. Sometimes it’s how you react that makes a difference.

How did you research Emmie and the circumstances she found herself in?
Note-wise, something similar happened to me when I was in fifth grade. I took that (humiliating) experience and adapted it for EMMIE. One thing I’ve learned from these embarrassing situations: they blow over…faster than you’d think.

Do you and Emmie share any similarities?
Yes. As I said, I was very shy and artistic like Emmie. I like to think she’ll blossom down the road just like I did.

What was the hardest scene to write about Emmie?
I had stumbling blocks at first with the Katie chapters. Katie’s personality is quite different than mine, so I really had to stretch my imagination. I used my kids as models, which helped. They’re more outgoing than I was.

Who do you think was Emmie's biggest supporter and why?
I think both Katie and Brianna are huge supporters of Emmie.

Why do you think some children prefer to stay in the background, like Emmie; and others like Katie have the “stuff” to put them in the limelight?
I wish I knew! My own kids, who are now teenagers, have always been more confident and outgoing than I was. They let disappointment wash over them fairly easily and they stand up for others. They are more like their dad that way. Genetics, maybe? Anyway, I’m not sure Emmie likes to stay in the background. I think she has a lot to say but just doesn’t know how to “use” her voice yet.

What do you think Emmie is doing at the present time?
I like to think she’s hanging out with Brianna and her new friends, acting goofy, and being herself.

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