Monday, September 16, 2013

KEEPER OF WONDER: An Interview with Amanda Coppedge

Photo by Mark Ignatowski

I'm so pleased to welcome Amanda Coppedge Bosky to the blog today. Amanda is another Blue Boarder and Twitter pal (@amandacoppedge), who is also a librarian. And I love this sweet photo! Here's Amanda to tell us about her librarian life!

So you’re a librarian, how’d that happen?

My name is Amanda Coppedge Bosky (I write under Amanda Coppedge, I "librarian" under Amanda Bosky). My mom instilled a love of reading and the library at a young age. I was that kid who went once a week and staggered home under the weight of a ton of books. When I was in high school I had a few student jobs at the library and realized that was where I belonged! I got hired as a full-time associate in the Children's Department literally the day after I got my B.A. in English (I am an English major success story!) and went on to get my Masters in Library Science to become a librarian.

Tell us about your library.

For the first 13 years of my career I worked in Palm Beach County, Florida. I moved to Madison, Wisconsin recently and have been working in a smaller town nearby for the past five months. I adore my new library. The original part of the building was a Carnegie Library built in 1904. It still has all the original wood shelving and smells like the quintessence of library. The children's department has a fish tank full of very friendly, curious fish--I love looking at them every time I walk by. 

What was the most recent book request?

Middle-grade mystery. I recommended the Red Blazer Girls series by Michael Beil and the Sisters Grimm series by Michael Buckley.

What was your most recent book suggestion to a patron?

SUGAR by Jewell Parker Rhodes. ("In 1870, Reconstruction brings big changes to the Louisiana sugar plantation where spunky ten-year-old Sugar has always lived, including her friendship with Billy, the son of her former master, and the arrival of workmen from China.") I love the cover! We got this one in early June and it's already gone out four times. 

What was your most recent book suggestion to a friend?

I recommended THE RUINING by Anna Collomore to a co-worker who loves thrillers. She told me this was her first YA and she is eager to read more. I suggested April Henry for her next foray. (Obligatory booktalk for THE RUINING: Over-the-top psychological suspense about a nanny in peril, highly recommended for fans of April Lindner's retelling of JANE EYRE.)

If you could sit down to your favorite beverage with any current kidlit author, who would it be? And why?

Oh, goodness. Just one? I think I would have to pick Sara Zarr. Her books speak to me so deeply, and they also speak to the person I was as a teen. I usually read her books and think "Why wasn't this around when I was a teen? This book could have saved me so much heartache!" Which leads me to hope that there are teens who are reading her books now, who are living vicariously through her characters and learning via their trials and tribulations. I would love to just chat with her about life, the universe and everything.  (One of my faves! Can I join y'all?)

What book do you wish you had in your library (professional or personal or both) but don’t? (this can be something written or something you’ve never seen)

This post about the lack of African-American male main characters in middle grade fiction really got under my skin:  (One of my favorite reads of recent years is Ghetto Cowboy by G. Neri - MG with a black male protagonist)

What about you would make us say, “REALLY! But you’re a librarian!” ?

Until a few years ago, I considered myself someone who did not like historical fiction. I loved books such as ROLL OF THUNDER, HEAR MY CRY or THE WITCH OF BLACKBIRD POND but I hadn't read much new historical fiction in years. DEADLY by Julie Chibbaro jump-started a new passion for historical and now I actively seek it out.

Five favorite books of the past five years.
    2009: MARCELO IN THE REAL WORLD by Francisco X. Stork (such a brilliant book)
    2010: STARCROSSED by Elizabeth C. Bunce
    2011: HABIBI by Craig Thompson
    2012: PLANESRUNNER by Ian McDonald
    2013 so far: RAPTURE PRACTICE by Aaron Hartzler

    Thanks for stopping by, Amanda!


    1. Amanda's library does sound lovely. :-)

    2. Oh, old Carnegie libraries are the best! (My home town had one--it kind of defined 'library' for me :). Great interview, and some awesome books listed!

    3. Great book suggestions! Several by authors I haven't read that piqued my interest!

    4. Madison was lucky to lure you away from Florida's sun! Sounds like being a librarian is the perfect fit for you!

    5. What a sweet pic! My son always goes for the puppets too.

    6. Love that picture and love this interview. I took notes as I read. My TBR list just grew by four titles ;)

    7. Enjoyed this interview Jaye and Amanda. I always love to read about children's librarians. I too, was the kid visiting the library weekly and dragging out tons of books :)

    8. Thanks so much, everybody! Thanks for interviewing me, J.Ro!

    9. Loved the interview! So cool to hear about the books a Real Live Librarian is recommending. ;) Also, totally with her on Sara Zarr's books!

    10. Hi, Amanda and JRo! :)))) It was great to read this. And I love the interview questions as well as the answers!


    Hey, do you ever wonder why they call it 'your two cents?'