Anastasia was born in 1979, at the age of ten.She's been around ever since, and she's only thirteen now. I never get tired of writing about her and her family. Katherine Krupnik, her mother, reminds me of myself.
Sam was born when Anastasia was ten, and for a long time he existed only in the books about her. But kids liked him. Maybe he reminded them of their own little brothers. So at the request of young readers, I gave Sam his own series.
Caroline and J.P. Tate are so much like real kids in real families: a bickering sister-and-brother pair, with a long-suffering single mom. They live in New York City, but in one book they spend a summer with their dad in Iowa. In truth, the Tates could exist anywhere.
Mrs. Pidgeon's second grade has one student who is, shall we say, somewhat unusual. New to the school in October, by Thanksgiving she has completely entranced the entire class. And there's a whole school year yet to come
Each of these is an all-by-itself book, not part of a series. They take you from Denmark to West Virginia to Boston, - and many other places - and three of them come from my own life. (See if you can figure out which three!)
It's Future Job Day at Sam's nursery school, and Sam, who has zookeeping aspirations, is thrilled when his teacher says he can tell the other children about a series of zoo animals: "For six weeks he could stand in front of the circle and feel that feeling of being the most interesting person in the room."