Aaron Buchanan is the husband of Locus editor Kirsten Gong-Wong and the father of Theodora Buchanan, better known to all who have seen her at cons and behind the Locus table as Teddy. To answer my query on children’s literature, Aaron and Teddy decided to respond jointly in the form of this interview.
Aaron Buchanan: Hi Teddy! How would you describe yourself?
Teddy Buchanan: I am eleven years old and I grew up with books. I like many different authors and have been reading books since I was five. I have been listening to audio books since I was eight and have listened to as many audio books as I have read.
AB: When you were five, what were your favorite books, stories, or authors?
TB: I don’t think I can remember that far back. I do remember liking Mary Pope Osborne and her Magic Treehouse books, even at that early age. There are 47 books in that series and I have read all but six of them. I still have many of those books, but have moved on to other authors.
AB: Such as?
TB: Kenneth Oppel, Rick Riordan, Tamora Pierce, E. L. Konigsburg, Gail Carson Levine, Shannon Hale, and Brandon Sanderson.
AB: Those are somewhat older YA kind of books. Are there any authors for younger audiences that you can remember liking?
TB: M. T. Anderson, Annie Barrows, Paula Danziger, Bruce Coville, Wendelin van Draanen.
AB: Any particular book from those authors you really like?
TB: The Clue of the Linoleum Lederhosen by M.T. Anderson is a really good one. The Cat Ate my Gymsuit by Paula Danziger is silly and fun. The Ivy and the Bean series by Annie Barrows is exciting and filled with fun and silly characters.
AB: Fun and silly seams to be a theme with you?
TB: I like fun and silly. It’s what I like most about stories.
AB: Are there any books or characters that you can relate to the most?
TB: A character called Skate Tate from the book The United Tates of America by Paula Danziger. I’ve listened to that audio book about 50 times! She does a lot of things that I like to do, like doodling, talking, and traveling.
AB: You’ve grown up at Locus and have hung out with a lot of authors. Are there any you have met that you’ve also read their books and like a lot?
TB: I like Neil Gaiman and his kid books. He even read I Traded my Dad for Two Goldfish to me at Locus once.
AB: I think you are ready for The Graveyard Book.
TB: Yay! I’ve heard good things about it and want to read it soon.
AB: What are you reading right now?
TB: I’m reading three books right now. Who Stole the Wizard of Oz, by Avi, Silverwing by Kenneth Oppel, and the Penderwick series by Jeanne Birdsall.
AB: What is on your ‘to be read shelf’, or ‘soon to be listened to’ shelf?
TB: We just got the Full Cast Audio versions of Emperor Mage, the third book in The Immortals series by Tamora Pierce, and Tunnel in the Sky by Robert Heinlein. I am also looking forward to The Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan.
AB: Tunnel in the Sky is one of my favorites of the Heinlein juveniles, and I’m looking forward to listening to that audio book as well. Are there any other Heinleins you have read/listened to?
TB: Star Beast was lots of fun.
AB: As an audio book connoisseur, do you prefer a full cast version or just a single reader?
TB: I prefer Full Cast Audio because it is easier to tell which character is talking.
AB: Any graphic novels you want to mention?
TB: Magic Trixie by Jill Thompson is filled with people who can do magic, and the artwork is kind of funny. Mouse Guard by David Petersen has strong, brave mice who must do brave deeds.