I’m going to tell kids the way things really were.
The waiting that people do in Turkey to get aboard one of these boats is incredible.
I allow readers to fill in the details as necessary. But I don’t force kids to have to digest something they’re not mature enough or ready for yet.
I don’t know that I would have the courage to come over to a new country where the religion is different, the language is different, where I don’t have any money.
Baseball, more than any other sport, has a magical way of connecting fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, grandparents and grandchildren and ancestors back down the line. – From The Brooklyn Nine
Waiting is a huge part of being a refugee. You’re waiting at borders to get across. You’re waiting for transportation.
People will ask me, “How do you approach writing books for young readers differently than for adults?” My answer is always: I don’t change anything about the story itself.
And then when they finally do get aboard, it’s the last place they want to be. It’s harrowing. That is the horrible irony of a refugee’s life.
If they are, they can fill in the details even better than I could, just with their imaginations.
Your family immigrated to this country – whether they came over on the Mayflower or whether they came over on a raft last year.
You wait and wait for the next step, and when you get to the next step, it’s awful.
What I don’t do – and this is the only thing I do differently in writing for kids – is that I don’t revel in the gory details.
I think kids are incredibly savvy readers.
One of the things I tell about Refugee is that unless you’re Native American or a descendant of slaves.
You don’t want to be doing it. But you have to. You have to keep moving forward.
The thought of starting over like that in the way that many refugee families have to start all over again – that’s an incredible thing to think about.
I think we should give them all the credit in the world. They want to know the truth.