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Erin Entrada Kelly: Why book choice matters

Author Erin Entrada Kelly wants readers to be able to choose the books that inspire and interest them.

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Erin Entrada Kelly

Folktales, Fantasy, Fiction

Erin Entrada Kelly

Erin Entrada Kelly is the author of chapter books for tweens and teens, including Hello, Universe — winner of the 2018 Newbery Medal. Her books explore coming of age with sensitivity and honesty, dealing with issues such as bullying, building friendships, and feeling like an outsider.


I have talked to kids who struggle with reading, and adults, and teachers, and parents who struggle with the fact that their kids struggle with reading. And, you know, one of the greatest joys is to find out that one of my books excited them enough that they read it or read it more than once. But one thing that I like to say is that young people should be able to pick which books they want to read, and I think there’s a common misconception that kids need to read certain kinds of books, You know, some books are the right books, and some books are the wrong books. And at the end of the day, if they’re able to select what want to read, whether it’s comic books, or graphic novels, or Captain Underpants, or whatever is, they should be able to explore what they’re interested in rather than us explore what they’re interested in. Rather than us pushing our classics or whatever. it may be on them. Because that’s how you get people excited about reading, by not making it an assignment.