I'm a person who naturally likes to get out of his comfort zone. Which is why when Saddleback approached me to write books for a so-called hi-lo audience of readers who are craving high interest stories at a lower reading level, I loved the idea. Everyone deserves a great read, not just those in the top two quintiles of academic achievement. These books were going to be read by largely non-white urban audiences, based on who was buying other titles from the same publisher.
There is the award-winning ROBINSON'S HOOD, a Robin Hood tale about a boy stuck in a neighborhood where anyone who could leave has already left. It's for upper-elementary and lower middle graders.
There's the CAMPUS CONFESSIONS trilogy, set at an historically black college in Washington, DC. It's for high school kids.
There's several of the titles in the Red Rhino series for upper elementary school kids, including THE CAT WHISPERER. Easy to read, and gripping stories. Want lots of action? Check out THE CODE and KILLER FLOOD.
Then, there's the play version of DOES MY HEAD LOOK BIG IN THIS?,
Randa Abdel-Fattah's wonderful novel about a Muslim girl who decides to wear hijab to high school. That this Palestinian-Egyptian-Australian writer would opt to have me-a fairly observant American Jew- and my colleague Elizabeth Wong, an Asian American woman, do this adaptation fills me with hope. I hope it does you, too.