Smash! Crash!You may have seen that I interviewed Jon Scieszka for School Library Journal‘s February issue. The actual interview took place at the very end of December in Scieszka’s Brooklyn home. On the third floor, he has a “study” filled with books and a small room with his PC that looks like what you would (or at least I would) imagine a writer’s work area would look like.

It’s kind of a shame that our conversation, which was actually a lot longer than the piece that made it into the magazine, had to be edited so heavily, but, hey, that’s the magazine biz. We talked for quite a while about his new series, Jon Scieszka’s Trucktown, which is perfectly suited to the youngest versions of the boys he’s tried to lure into reading throughout his career. (Although he told me that he visited a local preschool with the galleys, and quite a number of the girls there liked the series, too.)

The first Trucktown book, Smash! Crash!, about two anthropomorphic (and hyperactive) trucks that enjoy creating as much chaos as possible, is now out from Simon & Schuster. He also has an autobiography of his childhood years, Knucklehead, coming out from Penguin next year.

It also turns out that Scieszka and I share a similar background; we were both born in Michigan (he in Flint, me in the Detroit area) in the 50s, and went to parochial schools during our elementary days. He was great fun to talk to, and I’m hoping that he’ll be able to make a real difference publicizing reading, in a fun, nutty way, to America’s kids as the new National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature.