Skip to main content

Erin Entrada Kelly: Writing for children

Author Erin Entrada Kelly difficult years in middle school are what help make her writing so real and relatable. 

This video appears in:

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’m often asked, “Why I write for the age group that I do?” And for those who feel like the characters were written authentically, which I always hope they are. How that happens. And in my case middle school was a very, very difficult time in my life. Probably the most difficult and, because of that I can still remember what being 12 felt like, what the school hallways smelled like, what sneakers sounded like against the floor, what it felt like to be picked last in gym? All those things are still so palpable even decades later, and I think, because that that well is still so deep for me, I’m able to tap into it. I would have a harder time writing a book for grown-ups.