Happy Tuesday and welcome to my stop on the blog tour for A THOUSAND MINUTES TO SUNLIGHT! I’m so excited because today I have an interview with Jen White to share with you! This book is truly amazing and I’m so so excited to for you to find out more about it, PLUS enter for a chance to win a print copy!
A Thousand Minutes to Sunlight by Jen White
Published on April 20, 2021 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (Byr)
Genres: Middle Grade, Contemporary
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Jen White's A Thousand Minutes to Sunlight is a sensitively-written middle grade novel about a girl struggling with anxiety, family secrets, and the meaning of friendship.
Cora is constantly counting the minutes. It's the only thing that stops her brain from rattling with worry, from convincing her that danger is up ahead. Afraid of the unknown, Cora spends her days with her feet tucked into sand, marveling at La Quinta beach's giant waves and her little sister Sunshine's boundless energy.
And then danger really does show up at Cora's doorstep--her absentee uncle, whose sudden presence in the middle of the night makes her parents nervous and secretive. As dawn breaks once more, Cora must piece together her family and herself, one minute at a time.
A Thousand Minutes to Sunlight is an endearing and revelatory middle-grade novel that is perfect for fans of Counting by 7s and Fish in a Tree.
What would you do if you spent the day with cora? Where would you go to eat, hang out, relax, etc.?
We would absolutely go hunting for the Cat’s treasure at Cat’s Cove with our metal detectors. I hope we would find a lot of lost coins and then we could get pancakes at IHOP, but that’s only if Cora was feeling brave. If she couldn’t face all the eyes in IHOP, we would go the pier and get a frozen banana like she did with her best friend Minny before she moved to Florida. I would want to take her to Fairfield Park to ride the Shake and Bake but would be okay if she wanted to watch and it was just Patrick and me.
If cora were to hang out with characters from other books, who would they be and why?
Cora and Liberty, from Survival Strategies of the Almost Brave, have a lot in common. Although Cora would never be as bold as Liberty and try to get home on her own, or sneak into someone’s car, or steal anyone’s money. But I think they would appreciate each other’s minds. Liberty, while brave and adventurous, has a very analytical mind. Cora would appreciate all of Liberty’s animal facts and especially her notebook.
Would you rather be a superhero or a supervillain? And what would your powers and name be?
Personally, I think villains have more fun. Could I be a villain who turns nice in the end? Or a villain who has a tragic backstory that makes me very human and sympathetic? Like the evil fairy in Sleeping Beauty? Really she just wants love and friendship. Or Mother Gothel in the movie Tangled? All she wanted was to keep her kidnapped daughter safe and to have eternal beauty. What’s so wrong with that? I’d definitely be a villain like Ursula in the Little Mermaid, with a stolen trident and purple hair and a great voice. Villain name: Jenificent. I should trademark that. 😉
If you buried a time capsule with three items inside, what three items would you choose and why?
I’d choose my Disneyland annual pass. (Which is really a relic now that the annual pass program has been retired because of COVID-19. P.S. Disney, if you’re listening, bring back passes please.) I’d add a cup of sand from my favorite beach and maybe a shell because shells are hard to find. And I’d add my passport, the one that has stamps from Ireland and Paris. I’d like to remind future citizens of the world that once there was a magical land that was lush and green and contained the Cliffs of Moher. And in Paris you could get a warm, chewy, yet slightly crispy, pan au chocolat on every street corner. Patrick, my character, will have perfected his time machine by then, so I could go back and get one.
What was your favorite bit of research you ended up not using?
I did a lot of research about the theories of time travel. Patrick is convinced he can create a time machine, so I had to have some solid theories about how he could accomplish this. As it turned out, I didn’t need that much detail about time travel, he only needed to believe it could happen. I didn’t need to go into all the theories of time, physics, and relativity, but it was very interesting to learn. I still think someone should build a time machine.
What is your favorite quote, scene, or moment from A thousand minutes to sunlight?
In Chapter 35, Patrick and Cora are preparing to ride their bikes to the pier to do a run through of Patrick’s time machine plan. In this scene Cora senses that Patrick’s neighbor Marbella and his grandma don’t think he can build a time machine. Cora thinks they’re making fun of him. Immediately she comes to his defense. Normally shy and worried, Cora sheds that persona and defends Patrick. In doing so, she feels this surge of power course through her. She feels alive and brave, no longer beholden to the criticism of Brain.
Patrick and Cora circle their bikes around his grandma and then off they zip, through the trailer park (where they’re supposed to walk their bikes, but don’t). Here they become, one hundred percent, a team. Their friendship is solidly formed, and Cora realizes she needs Patrick maybe even more than he needs her. This feeling of freedom and exuberance turns out to be a bright, shining light on the fact that Cora is not the same girl she was at the beginning of the book.
What do you think about A Thousand Minutes to Sunlight? Have you added it to your tbr yet? Let me know in the comments and have a splendiferous day!