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Richard Peck Likes to Read in Bookstores

March 31, 2007 - Natick, MA

I met Richard Peck today at a bookstore in Natick, Massachusetts. He was on a "booktour" for his new book: "On the Wings of Heroes." He told us a lot of stories about his writing experience and he signed his book and a poster for me and my sister.

One of the lessons he said was "you cannot judge a book by its cover," because he did not like the cover pages of his books. He showed the different designs of his book "A Year Down Yonder" by English, Chinese and Italian publishers. Each cover page seems to tell a completely different story.

Mr. Peck told us that one of his hobbies is to read the first line of books in a bookstore or a library. He said: "First line is important and Chapter 1 must be short." He gave a few examples, I was surprised that so many young people (in the audience) could tell the names of the authors when Mr. Peck only quoted the first lines of books. They are all better readers than me.

Mr. Peck also likes to read old magazines in the library, especially on old advertisements. He said we could learn a lot about what people were thinking and how much things costed at the time before he was born. He knows what we (kids) want, because he was a teacher because he became very famous.

Mr. Peck is the first children's book author ever to have received a National Humanities Medal. He has won many awards including Newberry Honor Medal, the ALAN Award, and Edgar Allen Poe Award. Right now "On the Wings of Heroes" is a New York Times bestseller.

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