Thursday, July 25, 2019

Chris Tebbetts

Chris Tebbetts is the New York Times bestselling coauthor of James Patterson’s Middle School series. Originally from Yellow Springs, Ohio, Tebbetts is a graduate of Northwestern University. He lives and writes in Vermont.

Tebbetts's new novel is Me Myself & Him.

Recently I asked the author about what he was reading. His reply:
I haven’t intended to focus my reading on characters in (or traveling to) the Eastern hemisphere, but as I think about my favorite reads of 2019, that’s where they all line up. I’ll share one middle grade, one YA, and one adult novel (though I’m recommending these for everyone).

The Bridge Home by Padma Venkatraman does one of the things I love most in great books. It finds true, uncompromising beauty right alongside true, uncompromising, and harsh realities in the lives of its characters. In this case, the characters are a group of kids forced by circumstances to live on the streets of Chennai, India; and yet, somehow, with writing that’s just as beautiful as this book’s amazing cover, the author managed to leave me feeling sad, uplifted, and inspired all at the same time.

Darius the Great Is Not Okay by Adib Khorram follows its American-born protagonist on a family trip to visit his grandparents in Iran. This book, besides being a fast, compelling read, also features a protagonist like the one in my own new YA novel (Me, Myself, and Him)—which is to say, a gay character whose sexuality isn’t the problem or main focus of the story. I’ve been glad to see more and more of those kinds of stories appearing on the LGBTQ shelves in the past several years.

Pachinko by Min Jin Lee tracks four generations in one Korean family over several decades, as they face (among other things) the difficulty of living in Japan, and the prejudices against Korean people there. This was a topic I knew nothing about, and I loved the passive education I got while I was simultaneously swept up in Min Jin Lee’s story and characters. The writing is masterful—and as an aside, her keynote talk at Grub Street from a few years ago is really worth finding online and watching, for anyone interested in writing and the creative process.
Visit Chris Tebbetts's website.

My Book, The Movie: Me Myself & Him.

The Page 69 Test: Me Myself & Him.

--Marshal Zeringue