Cover Reveal: Dave Barry’s Return to Middle Grade
I’d just graduated college when a book came into my possession that was to have a surprising amount of sway over my life from that point onward. Its title? Dave Barry’s Book of Bad Songs. The year was 1997 and it may well be that I’ve never enjoyed a book quite as much since.
Fast forward to 2014 and I’m asked if I would like to officially reveal the next Dave Barry middle grade novel. Note: It does not involve Peter Pan in any way, shape, or form. Well, heck sure yes! And better still, they told me that Dave would be willing to answer some of the inane questions I felt like lobbing his way. Here then is the cover:
. . . . and here the questions:
Betsy Bird: First off, why class trips? Was there a particularly awful class trip of your own that you were able to pull from here?
Dave Barry: I did have a fairly eventful class trip when I was in ninth grade. My class went to Boston, as was the tradition at my school then, and the trip was so eventful that we were the last ninth grade ever to go on it. But what really inspired this book was my experience as one of the chaperones on my daughter’s class trip. It occurred to me that many bad things can potentially happen when you send a bunch of kids on a trip under the supervision of clueless amateurs like myself.
BB: I don’t think it’s crazy to say that kids know you primarily through your Peter and the Starcatchers books with Ridley Pearson. You haven’t done high action real world books since Science Fair back in 2008. Why the return to the genre?
DB: I always liked Science Fair, and I thought it’d be fun to take another stab at the real world — lthough it might be A stretch to call middle school (or for that matter Washington D.C.) the “real world.” Also I had this image stuck in my head of a kid flying over the White House on a kite.
DB: I don’t know about the kids, but Brad Pitt would play me.
BB: Any plans for a sequel in the works?
DB: Maybe! I really enjoyed writing this book, and I really like the way it came out.
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About Betsy Bird
Betsy Bird is currently the Collection Development Manager of the Evanston Public Library system and a former Materials Specialist for New York Public Library. She has served on Newbery, written for Horn Book, and has done other lovely little things that she'd love to tell you about but that she's sure you'd find more interesting to hear of in person. Her opinions are her own and do not reflect those of EPL, SLJ, or any of the other acronyms you might be able to name. Follow her on Twitter: @fuseeight.
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