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An Interview with Lisa Greenwald P’28: Author, Library Teacher, and Parent

Director of Library Services Rhonda Rigrodsky recently interviewed her BWL Library colleague, Lisa Greenwald P’28, who is the author of ten books for tweens. Greenwald’s latest novel, TBH This is so Awkward, was published in January and the story is told through texts exchanged by middle school girls. The interview with Ms.Rigrodsky follows:

RR: Where did you get the idea for TBH?
LG: I actually got the idea from a Hudson Valley Library Association listserv post. A colleague wrote that she was looking for books that were similar in format to TTYL (Myracle) but were more appropriate for younger students. I knew I HAD to write TBH. While I was working on it, my 6th grade Library students helped me with the texting lingo.

RR: How does working in the BWL Library inspire you?
LG: It keeps me up to date with current trends in tween and YA literature. I love to be surrounded by books. It helps me to see different reading levels in an age group. I wanted to write a book that would obviously interest all tweens, but may hold a special appeal for reluctant readers. Observing the way kids interact is so interesting! The drama is similar to what I experienced in my childhood, but there are so many changes in the way that kids communicate with technology. I’m fascinated by the latest slang, such as “things are lit”. Personally, I hated being in Middle School, but as an adult working with tweens, I can see the rapid changes in their growth and the way they straddle the line between childhood and adolescence. They switch back and forth so quickly!

RR: Who are some of your favorite MR and YA authors?
LG: My very favorite book of all time is Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt. I also really enjoy Gabrielle Zevin’s, Coe Booth’s and J.Courtney Sullivan’s books.

RR: What are you working on now?
LG: The second in the four book texting series, TBH This May Be TMI , will be out in June. I’m currently working on the third, TBH Too Much Drama. Two current BWL 7th graders helped me choose the title :)


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