Meg Rosoff

What books did you read when you were a child?
I was one of those kids who read everything – classics, pony books, James Bond – my two favourite books were probably The Secret Garden and A Wrinkle in Time.

If you could be a storybook character who would you be?
I’d definitely be The Cat In The Hat. I always loved the fact that he was kind of dangerous, and that he hung around with Thing One and Thing Two.

What is the best thing about reading?
There are two best things – you get to escape from the world into a completely imaginary place, and your brain feels like it’s been on holiday afterwards.

What is your all time favourite book?
It’s impossible to have a favourite book when you’ve read as many books as I have. But for argument’s sake….I’ll choose Catch-22 by Joseph Heller because it’s hilarious and sad at the same time.

Other than reading books what is the most important thing a parent can do to help develop their children’s communication skills?
I was born long before computers and my daughter grew up before every parent was staring at a mobile phone all the time. If parents don’t talk to their kids and listen to them, there’s no hope for the future.

How big a part did your parents play in encouraging your writing skills?
My parents realised very early that I was a good writer and that I loved to read more than anything. They always encouraged both skills, and were very proud of my ability.

How do you encourage your children or grandchildren to read, what books do you enjoy reading with them?
I think the hardest thing with little children is to find books that you can read over and over again because kids love repetition. Some books are fine first time around, but by the 10th reading, they get very old. So if you choose classics, you’re not saying they’re better than what’s written now, but they have managed to survive over time. My daughter loved the Dr Seuss stories, Dear Zoo and Hairy Maclary. I think my favourite children’s books of all time are Not Now, Bernard, The Cat in the Hat, and Winnie the Pooh.

Meg Rosoff was born in Boston, USA, and moved to England in 1989. Her first novel, How I Live Now, was published in 2004. Since then, she has won or been shortlisted for 22 international book prizes including the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award in 2016. Her most recent book is McTavish Goes Wild, the second in her middle-grade series about a rescue dog who rescues a chaotic family. Meg lives in London with her husband.

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