Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Interview with Eleanor Robins, author of Just Be Yourself

Just Be Yourself
by Eleanor Robins
Saddleback Publishing
ISBN-10: 1562547720

Saddleback Educational Publishing, Inc., established in 1985, is a distributor of educational books that offers High Interest curriculum materials for grades K-12, adult, and ESL students.

The students of Carter High return for their senior year. These books continue the stories from Carter High Chronicles and introduce new characters. Topics are involving and pertinent to young adult readers: romance, sports, friendship, exams, work, and family. In just 48-pages, even your least motivated readers can easily finish these novels!

In his senior year, main character Rick is attending a new school, Carter High. He really wants the other students to like him and thinks that he has a better shot making friends if he leaves his hearing aid at home. After all, he believes no one would want to be friends with a kid who wears hearing aids.

Once school has started, he makes a good friend Ed and even gets a chance to talk to the cute girl, Gail. Everything seems to be going perfectly until he begins ignoring Ed and Gail and then refuses to share his paper with the class when Mrs. Vance asks him. Is Rick just mean or has he not heard what his friends and teachers are saying? You'll have to read the book to find out.
I recently had the opportunity to interview the author of Just Be Yourself. Read my interview with Eleanor Robins below.
SPW: How did you decide to include a hard of hearing character who uses hearing aids in your story Just Be Yourself?

ER: I decided to include the character because I had taught students who used hearing aids and because I have friends who are hard of hearing.

SPW: What kind of research did you do in order to make the characters Rick, Ed, and Gail appear like real teenagers?
ER: I didn't do any special research, but when writing the book, I did think about the concerns, problems, and misunderstandings that some teenagers I know have had.

SPW: How did you become an adolescent literature author?

ER: When I was teaching, I had difficulty finding fiction books on this reading level for my students. I saw a need at that time so that’s why I began writing books for this age group.

SPW: What do you hope young readers will gain from Just Be Yourself and its characters?

ER: I hope they will realize that not wearing their hearing aids or glasses when they are needed could cause them to have problems and that those problems might have been prevented if they had worn their hearing aids or glasses.

SPW: What advice would you give to young people who are reading your books for the first time?

ER: Work hard in school and read a lot for fun. (I wish I had worked harder in school.)
For more information about Just Be Yourself and other Saddleback books, visit the publisher's website:

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