Words From the Wise

Words From The Wise #1--Erik, This Kid Reviews Books

Being that today is President's Day, why not have an inauguration?  

Today is the inaugural post for my new Monday feature. . .Words From the Wise.  Every Monday I will feature either an interview or a guest post from someone in the kidlit world.  It may be an author, editor, agent, pre-published author, illustrator, student, librarian, teacher, or someone who you suggest.  I am ALWAYS open to suggestions for people who you would like to learn about. 

Enough with the introduction. . . let's get to our first interview!

Erik the creator of the blog This Kid Reviews Books.

  1. What inspired you to start your blog?

It was actually the book by Tom Angleberger “The Strange Case of Origami Yoda.” My grandmom told me that a kid in a book store told her to get me “The Strange Case of Origami Yoda” when she was looking for a book for me. She took his advice and got the book. I thought that if my grandmom would take the advice of a kid maybe other kids and grown-ups looking for books would take advice from me. First I wanted to write for a newspaper but my Dad suggested that a blog would be a good place to start. My parents helped me learn how to set the blog up and I wrote my first post in January of 2011.

2.  Your blog is always up to date, and full of great book reviews.   It takes a great deal of time to do all of the reading and writing reviews.  Being that you are still in school, how do you balance your homework, friends, family, and keeping up with your blog?

I love to read and I am always reading (I actually get in trouble at school for reading when I am not supposed to). I think I am a pretty fast reader too, so reading the books isn’t a problem, but I am much slower at writing (although I started to be faster at typing!). School is pretty easy for me because I am quick to catch on. I get through my school work and homework pretty fast. I really don’t watch TV or play video games, maybe 1 or 2 hours a week (seriously). I don’t really mind it though because I want to do other things. I go to TaeKwon Do classes and I belong to a LEGO robotics club and a Boys Book Club and I am also on the Reading Olympics Team at school.
I get up pretty early in the morning so that’s when I like to read other people’s blogs and make comments. Some days after school when I am having my snack, I read other blogs or check email. I usually write my blog posts on the weekend or days off of school and I write a whole weeks worth then and save them to post during the week. I also have to write a book summary every week for school, so I also use that for one of my posts that week. I have a formula I follow when I write reviews that makes writing them a lot faster. It’s called a “hamburger paragraph”. I learned about them this year in school. They are a way of writing good paragraphs. For my reviews I have 2 hamburgers, one for the story summary and one for my opinion. My parents help me with finding kid appropriate things on the internet (like if I need a picture or a video or if I want to research something).
I spend a lot of time with my family. My parents also read a lot so sometimes we all read together (my little sister too). We like to play games (Apples to Apples is our favorite and we had a game of Risk going for a month once!) and have “family movie night” sometimes. We also like to do outdoors stuff. I usually have friends over on the weekends or a day when I don’t have school.

3.  What is your favorite type of book to review, and why?  What is your least favorite type of book to review, and why?

I really like to review picture books because a lot of times they are very funny and they are all about learning.  My very favorite is fantasy fiction. I like how authors make up new worlds or different realities or even an alternate history or superheroes. It is amazing how authors can think of these neat people and places, like The Jack Blank Adventures by Matt Myklusch. The “Imagine Nation” world that Mr. Myklusch created is awesome! I think it is easy to review books like this because I really get into the story (if it’s a good one).
Some non-fiction books are difficult for me to review because it’s too many facts and I think it gets kind of boring. I like learning from books but I like a story told with it like the 39 Clues series from Scholastic. There is a lot of history and geography in that series and the story makes if fun to learn about it.

4.  If you had the ability to travel any where in the world, where would you go, how would you get there, and what would you do when you arrived?

This was a hard question that I had to really think about. My first thought was Florida - LEGOLAND, Disney World, The Kennedy Space Center. Then I thought about ANYWHERE in the whole wide world. So I also thought about South Korea because I take TaeKwon Do (TKD came from Korea) I learned some Korean words and a little bit about the culture there through my training, and I am interested in learning more. But the place I decided I would want to go to the most is Australia. I’ve read a couple books (The 39 Clues “In Too Deep” by Jude Watson, “Toad Heaven” by  Morris Gleitzman and “The Magnificent 12” by Michael Grant) that take place (at least part of it) in Australia and it seems like a really cool place!  I would get there by cruise ship (I’ve never been on a cruise ship). I would really like to see and learn about the animals there. They have the coolest animals – kangaroos, koalas, kookaburra (I know it’s a bird but it is a cool name), platypus, wombat, TASMANIAN DEVIL!!! I want to visit Coober Pedy and see all the underground houses and also explore the Outback. I am pretty good at snorkeling and I think it would be AWESOME to snorkel around the Great Barrier Reef. I just went to a talk about conservation of sea turtles and I read that you can volunteer as a turtle conservationist in Australia as a vacation! I would definitely want to do that. Then I’d also like to go over to New Zealand and see a kiwi, count the sheep and see the awesome environment there (kidding about the sheep). Mostly I want to say “G’Day Mate.” Here in Pennsylvania that’s not used too often. J

5.  What do you see yourself doing in 10 years?

In ten years I guess I will still be in college but I hope that I am already working as an inventor. I am really interested in holographic technology and I have an idea about using nanobots and nano-technology to clean up garbage. I would like to make it so the nanobots can speed up decomposition of garbage in landfills in a clean way. I have some other ideas using nano-technology to help the environment. I’d like to go  to college for science, history and engineering (but I’m not sure exactly). I also hope that I have a book or two published. I like to write stories as much as I like to read.

Thank you very much for asking me to do this interview Ms. Hershenson ! I had fun answering your questions!

Erik is 10 years old and is in the fourth grade.  He writes a monthly book review column for Upper Bucks Free Press.  Erik also writes a regular blog, This Kid Reviews Books.

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