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Interview with Edge of the Forest

What's in Their Backpack?

by Kim Winters, Kat's Eye Journal for Writers

This month I surveyed children's writers about what they're reading and why. In a short time, my inbox was overflowing with responses so thoughtful and compelling that my list of to-read books has grown considerably. Here's what some of today's children's writers are reading:Kate Gingold, the author of Ruth by Lake and Prairie, a narrative history of the founding of Naperville, is currently reading "Sense and Sensibility, by Jane Austen, for the umpteenth time."

Here's what she wrote when asked how the book made it to her nightstand:

Actually, I keep a metallic basket on the side of the bed that holds nearly all of Jane Austen's books, even the little History of England she wrote as a youngster. If I'm not involved in another book, I can always pull out one of hers and enjoy it all over again. I love the elegance and the humor, and since my own writing deals with that period of time, it gives me a better understanding of their mindset and manners.

When asked what books are next in line, she says:

I'm embarrassed to say this, but I haven't read the last Harry Potter book yet. I promised myself I wouldn't read it until I finished writing my own, and now I'm so busy I'm afraid to start reading and get swept away.

Kate Gingold resides in Naperville, Illinois. Writes Kate:

We raised our family, launched our Internet business and became involved in the community of Naperville. While the city planned its 175th anniversary celebration, I realized there were no children's books on the subject. What I thought would be a quick re-write turned into months of research. Ruth by Lake and Prairie was released this year, a narrative history of the founding of Naperville, written for her youngest citizens.