Learning to Fall | Interview with Sally Engelfried

Posted January 2, 2023 by Kaity in Book Tours, Interviews / 0 Comments

Learning to Fall | Interview with Sally Engelfried

Happy Monday and welcome to my spotlight on LEARNING TO FALL! I’m so excited because today I have an interview with Sally Engelfried to share with you! This book is truly amazing and I’m so excited to for you to find out more about it!

Learning to Fall | Interview with Sally EngelfriedLearning to Fall by Sally Engelfried
Published on September 6, 2022 by Little Brown Books for Young Readers
Genres: Contemporary, Middle Grade
Pages: 272
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Author Links: Website, Twitter, Goodreads, Instagram

Daphne doesn't want to be stuck in Oakland with her dad. She wants to get on the first plane to Prague, where her mom is shooting a movie. Armed with her grandparents’ phone number and strict instructions from her mom to call them if her dad starts drinking again, Daphne has no problem being cold to him. But there's one thing Daphne can't keep herself from doing: joining her dad and her new friend Arlo at a weekly skate session.
When her dad promises to teach her how to ollie and she lands the trick, Daphne starts to believe in him again. He starts to show up for her, and Daphne learns things are not as black and white with her dad as she used to think. The way Daphne’s dad tells it, skating is all about accepting failure and moving on. But can Daphne really let go of her dad’s past mistakes? Either way life is a lot like skating: it’s all about getting back up after you fall.

What would you do if you spent the day with Daphne? Where would you go to eat, hang out, relax, etc.?

I’d definitely make Daphne take me to the Town Skate Park in Oakland so she could show me her sick tricks. She would insist we get some boba afterward, of course, so I’d take her to my favorite boba shop, i-Tea in Oakland’s Chinatown. Then, since Daphne’s mostly seen the more urban side of Oakland, I’d take her for a hike in the hills on the Sausal Creek trail. That would make us hungry, so we’d get tacos from Sinaloa, my favorite taco truck, and we’d end the day by going to a movie at the historic Grand Lake Theater, a vintage movie theater and an Oakland icon. 

If Daphne were to hang out with other fictional characters, who would they be and why?

Daphne’s friends Sam and Arlo are very different from each other, but they both accept Daphne for exactly who she is and she does the same for them. That’s what Daphne looks for in a friend, so I think she’d get along great with Malú from Celia C. Pérez’s The First Rule of Punk because she’s such a nonconformist. I also think Daphne would have a lot to talk about with Sunny from Ashley Herring Blake’s The Mighty Heart of Sunny St. James because Sunny is just so gutsy, and she also has an alcoholic parent like Daphne.

If there was one fictional place you could travel to for a day, where would it be and why?

Holly Black’s Elfhame. I know it’s dangerous for mortals, but I’d be sure to wear a rowan berry necklace so no glamours could be laid upon me. 

If you buried a time capsule with three items inside, what three items would you choose and why?

I’d have to include a copy of Learning to Fall, of course! Then, to give a glimpse into some of the things that are most important to me, I’d add one of the family photo albums I put together in the mid-2000s and an old iPod with 500 of my favorite 21st century songs. Those old iPods never die!

What was your favorite bit of research you ended up not using?

I learned about so many cool women skaters that impacted skateboarding history: Patti McGee, the first female skate champion in the early sixties; Peggy Oki, who was part of the Dogtown Z-boys team in the seventies; the only three women skaters who have ever graced the cover of Thrasher magazine: Jaime Reyes, Cara-Beth Burnside, Lizzie Armanto. I wanted to name drop them all, but the only one I got in there was Nora Vasconcellos, because Daphne’s first skateboard was one of her Welcome boards.

What is your favorite quote, scene, or moment from Learning to Fall?

I’d have to say the scene in Chapter 15, where Daphne’s dad gets so frustrated about not finding a job that he loses his temper. It scares Daphne—he’s acting so strange that she’s afraid he’s started drinking again and she calls her grandmother for help. It’s a tense scene, but it’s also a turning point for Daphne and her dad that ultimately allows them to be more honest with each other.

About Sally Engelfried

I live in Oakland, California, in a converted warehouse that once stored groceries but now holds me and my family, as well as lots of books, music, and art; a skateboard ramp; a swing; a couple of cats; and a dog who is very fond of stealing slippers. We chose this somewhat unusual living space for my husband’s metal work and art studio, but to us it’s just home. My two daughters learned at a young age to avert their eyes when the welder was going, and we occasionally have to step over huge pieces of steel, but we also have the usual bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchen, and my favorite place: an office where I do my writing!

I read a ton of books! As a children’s librarian it’s part of my job, but I’ve always read a lot. When I was growing up it was my best escape from feeling too shy, and I loved getting recommendations from my five older siblings. I still do! These days I read books for kids, teens, and grownups: a lot of fiction, a lot of graphic novels, and a little bit of nonfiction. I also write reviews of kids’ graphic novels on the website No Flying, No Tights and I make book lists for Nerdy Book Club.

Music is very important to me. One of my first jobs was working at a music magazine, and I played bass guitar in a couple of rock bands that released records and CDs and performed all over the U.S. These days I love listening to other people’s music and occasionally stumble through a Rodgers & Hart song on the piano. I like all kinds of music from different time periods and different places, but my go-to is moody indie folk type stuff.

I’ve thought of myself as a writer for just about as long as I can remember, but it took me a while to figure out I wanted to write for children. Now it’s the thing I love to do most!

What do you think about Learning to Fall? Have you added it to your tbr yet? Let me know in the comments and have a splendiferous day!

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