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Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Interview and Giveaway: Robin Mellom

Robin Mellom is stopping by today to talk about her middle-grade book The Classroom!
You can read my review here. And you can see the full March MG Madness schedule (including big giveaway) here.

The Classroom
Purchase: Amazon / B&N / Book Depository
In 2012, a documentary crew descended upon Westside Middle School to detail the life of an average seventh grader and his classmates.
What they uncovered, though, was far from average. Mostly, it was upper average along with moments of extreme average, highlighted by several minutes of total epicness. 
This is the story...

Trevor Jones--perfect attendance award recipient, former neurotic (he hopes)--has been preparing for the start of seventh grade his entire summer.But he is NOT ready for the news his best friend, Libby (proud neurotic, in a color-coding sort of way), drops on him: he must ask a girl to the fall dance. By the end of the day.
Trevor decides he would rather squirt hot sauce in his eyes than attend the dance. Everything changes when he meets mysterious new student Molly (excessive doodler, champion of unnatural hair colors). Trevor starts to think that going to the dance maybe wouldn't be the worst thing ever. But what if she says no to his invitation? More important, what if she says yes?!

The Classroom: Student Council Smackdown
Coming 6/25/13

What three words best describe THE CLASSROOM?
Middle school. Documentary. Awkward.

Can you give us your best one sentence pitch to convince readers (especially reluctant readers) why they should give THE CLASSROOM a try?

Trevor Jones has been preparing for the start of seventh grade his entire summer, but he is NOT ready for the news his best friend, Libby drops on him: he must ask a girl to the fall dance…by the end of the day. It’s a story of awkwardness that turns to epicness.
 WS: Grab a copy of THE CLASSROOM and answer the following:
Favorite chapter?

Chapter four, when the school gossip, Cindy Applegate, is introduced.
Favorite page?

The last one.
Favorite character?

The main character, Trevor. He’s adorably neurotic.
Flip to a random page and give us 1-2 sentence teaser:

When Libby and Trevor were little and playing in the mud, Libby wouldn’t just made mud pies, she’d make mud civilizations with democratic government structures in place and everything. She felt most comfortable when covered in dirt, creating voting rights for imaginary mud people.

Why did you decide to write a middle-grade series? What do you love about writing middle-grade?

I’ve been writing middle grade for years. I’m a former middle school teacher so my heart is with kids this age. I adore them. Middle schoolers are discovering how they fit into the world-- it’s a wonderful age to write for! 

As an author who has written both YA and MG, do you prefer one over the other? Do you approach each differently when writing?

I love writing both, actually. Don’t make me pick one over the other—they’re like children! I do approach each differently: different music, different attitude, different everything. I’ve heard it said somewhere that middle grade is when kids are trying to figure out how the fit into this world, and teen is when they’re trying to figure out how they’re different. 

Why do you think middle-grade is such a popular and important category of books?

Middle graders are voracious readers. They are proud when a book they’ve read is LONG (thank you, Harry Potter) and they are dedicated to a series when it’s one they love. These books are important since this is when our kids are discovering what they’re opinions are about the world and often they look to a book for inspiration.

What is your all time favorite middle-grade book?

Two books, actually, and they’re both written by Louis Sachar: Holes and Sideways Stories from Wayside School.

Who is your favorite middle-grade hero and heroine?

Harry Potter is quite a cool guy. That kid never gives up!

Fill in the blanks:
I'm really awesome at 

re-heating my coffee often
I'm really embarrassed to admit that 
I constantly re-heat my coffee. If it isn’t super hot, I don’t drink it!
If I could live in the world of any book, I'd choose 
Wayside School—those people are wacky cool!
My favorite midnight snack is
 Pirate’s Booty—great snack, great name.
The last great book I read was
 a middle grade novel called BETTER NATE THAN EVER by Tim Federle.
WS: If you were to create and bake a cupcake inspired by THE CLASSROOM, what would it look and taste like, and what would you call it? 
It would be a basic vanilla cupcake STUFFED with Raspberry Zingers since that is Trevor’s favorite motivational snack. I’d call it The Trevor.

Robin Mellom
Robin Mellom grew up outside of Atlanta, Georgia. She has taught grades five through eight and has a master's degree in education. She now writes full time for kids and teens and lives with her husband and son on the central coast of California.
Win a signed hardcover copy of The Classroom plus bookmarks!
Robin Mellom has generously offered one hardcover copy of her book and bookmarks to one winner.
-US/CAN only
-will run from 3/6 - 3/31
-must be 13+, one main entry per person
-winner will be emailed and must claim prize within 48 hours
-I am NOT responsible for lost, damaged, or stolen prizes in the mail
Fill out Rafflecopter form


Paige said...

This book sounds great! I can't wait to check it out :)

Anonymous said...

This kind of sent me back to my own school days. Although they were nowhere near this interesting.
Cool cover design. Both books look like DVDs :)