Today Sue Walker is back at Kids’ Book Capers to talk about how she wrote her new junior fiction book, Arnie Avery.
Sue, can you tell us what your new book is about?
Arnie Avery is about your typical 13 year old boy. He has a sense of humour, he likes riding his bike, and he likes being with his friends. But he also has a few serious problems – one is his family, and the other is the school bully, Jacko.
I think the story demonstrates that no matter how tough things might seem…you can turn your life around.
What age groups is it for?
The story is suitable for children 8-12 years, but the content and style would also be appropriate for older, reluctant readers.
Why will kids like it?
I think kids (particularly boys) enjoy stories with action and characters they can relate to. Arnie Avery has both, as well as a sprinkling of humour and a couple of twists that should keep kids reading. Plus there’s a mix of strong male and female characters.
What do you like about your main character, Arnie?
13 year old Arnie is funny and he’s small for his age, but what I like most about him is his courage. Even though he’s going through a tough time, he overcomes his fears to triumph in the end.
Are there any teacher’s notes, or associated activities with the book?
Yes. Teachers can find notes on the Walker Books website (www.walkerbooks.com.au/Teachers/Classroom-Ideas).
Some important themes and values in Arnie Avery include – treating people fairly, friendship and loyalty, and family support.
Is there something that sets this book apart from others?
Arnie’s distinctive voice speaks directly to young readers and kids will quickly be drawn into his world.
The problems Arnie faces are serious, but he tackles them head-on with a strength kids will admire.
What did you enjoy most about writing this book?
The thing I enjoyed most was developing the relationship between Arnie and his best friend Belly.
They’re great mates and they made me laugh often, especially Belly with his huge appetite.
Sue Walker has written almost twenty books for children. You can find out more about Sue and her books at www.suewalkerauthor.com