Happy Tuesday and welcome to my stop on the blog tour for DAD’S GIRLFRIEND AND OTHER ANXIETIES! I’m so excited because today I have an interview with Kellye Crocker to share with you! This book is truly amazing and I’m so excited to for you to find out more about it!
Published on November 22, 2022 by Albert Whitman & Company
Genres: Contemporary, Middle Grade
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Anxiety has always made Ava avoid the slightest risk, but plunging headfirst into danger might be just what she needs.
Dad hasn't even been dating his new girlfriend that long, so Ava is sure that nothing has to change in her life. That is, until the day after sixth grade ends, when Dad whisks her away on vacation to meet The Girlfriend and her daughter in terrifying Colorado, where even the squirrels can kill you! Managing her anxiety, avoiding altitude sickness, and surviving the mountains might take all of Ava's strength, but at least this trip will only last two weeks. Right?
What would you do if you spent the day with Ava? Where would you go to eat, hang out, relax, etc.?
If Ava visited me in Denver, we’d tour a bunch of wonderful indie bookstores, stopping in between to see cool street art and eat fancy ice cream. (In the novel, she also visits Red Rocks, a Rockies baseball game, and the mountains.)
If Ava were to hang out with other fictional characters, who would they be and why?
I just read—and loved—Jaime Formato’s debut middle grade novel Roll for Initiative. Riley, the main character, initially is shy, like Ava, but slowly breaks out of her shell and brings together a great group of girls to play Dungeons & Dragons. Ava, like me, has never played D&D, but she loves stories and has a great imagination, and I think she’d have a blast with those girl nerds and would fit right in.
If there was one fictional place you could travel to for a day, where would it be and why?
I’d visit Ellingham Academy, the Vermont boarding school in Maureen Johnson’s Truly Devious YA mystery series. But it’d be way more fun if—just for the day—I could be a teenager again. Fantasy Teen Me would be way cooler than Real Teen Me, and I’d become instant friends with Stevie Bell and her crew. I’d visit in the winter, too, on the eve of a blizzard that might knock out the power, and we’d wear cozy hoodies and flannel pajama bottoms, share witty banter, sip cocoa, and solve all the mysteries. (I ‘d prefer to visit on a day nobody dies.)
Why this place? Maureen Johnson’s setting is so evocative. I’d have loved to have attended a non-traditional school like this, which caters to bright, creative, eccentric kids. It would be fun to spend time with Stevie and her friends. I discovered the series early this year and have read all four books—and I’m thrilled that there’s a fifth coming in December. (FWIW, I do not know MJ and have no financial interest in this series! LOL.)
If you buried a time capsule with three items inside, what three items would you choose and why?
* Takes a deep breath. *
I’d include: 1)The US Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision stapled to the Roe decision; 2) the Jan. 6 Committee’s forthcoming final report, and 3) a stack of wonderful books for young readers, particularly by authors of color and LGBTQIA folks, that have been vilified and banned.
Forget the 1950s. Some folks seem to want to whisk us back to the 1850s! They seem to think they know what’s best for everyone and are determined to impose their ideas on the rest of us. Never in my lifetime has our democracy been so vulnerable. Other countries have lost their democracies, and ours is not immune from the same fate.
A lot of us are furious, heartbroken, and tired. These authoritarian bullies also want us to feel hopeless. I refuse! We need to support marginalized creators, librarians and teachers. Please vote in November!
When this imaginary time capsule is opened, I hope Future People are shocked that things got so bad here. I hope they celebrate everyone in this time who stood up to—and defeated—white supremacy, patriarchy, anti-LGBTQIA bias, religious intolerance, vast income inequality, able-ism, and age-ism.
What was your favorite bit of research you ended up not using?
As a former newspaper reporter, I love research and do a lot of it. In editing, I had to streamline Colorado’s many dangers. One example is that we ended up listing the names of poisonous plants but didn’t include their horrible effects. For example, ingesting Western Water Hemlock juice can cause convulsions, fever, delirium, and death. Death Camas can make you vomit blood, put you into a coma, and kill you. Purple Larkspur: paralysis, respiratory failure, death.
What is your favorite quote, scene, or moment from Dad’s Girlfriend and Other Anxieties?
Don’t make me pick “the” favorite! LOL. Here is “a” favorite. There’s a scene where Ava is feeling brave about trying something new, but loses her nerve, is publicly humiliated, and flees to a public restroom. Her dad’s girlfriend goes to comfort her and helps Ava realize that there’s nothing wrong with her. She’s human. This is an important turning point for how Ava thinks about herself, and, also, for her relationship with this new woman in her life. This is when Ava starts thinking of her as “Jenn,” instead of “The Girlfriend.”
Thank you so much for including me in your blog! These questions really made me think!
What do you think about Dad’s Girlfriend and Other Anxieties? Have you added it to your tbr yet? Let me know in the comments and have a splendiferous day!
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