Today, I have the pleasure of interviewing Gillian McDunn. We’ll be talking about Honestly Elliott, a middle grade novel about a big-hearted boy trying to find the way to his best self.
Have you signed up to be a DIY MFA Radio Insider yet? This is an exciting new monthly newsletter especially for our podcast listeners. Every month, you’ll get an email from our podcast producer with recaps of the most recent episodes, a curated Listening List of episodes on a particular theme, and other fun goodies we only share via email. Best of all, it’s free to join! The theme for March is Magic, and you can become an insider by signing up with your email at diymfa.com/insiders.
In this episode Gillian McDunn and I discuss:
- How she created a dynamic depiction of neurodiversity in a novel for middle grade readers.
- What children can learn from cooking and how it applies to other life skills.
- Why middle school is an intense time for learning about adult dynamics.
Plus, her #1 tip for writers.
About Gillian McDunn
Gillian McDunn is the author of These Unlucky Stars, The Queen Bee and Me, and Caterpillar Summer, which received two starred reviews and was selected for the Texas Bluebonnet Award Master List, and Kirkus Reviews and Parents magazine Best Books of the Year lists. When she isn’t reading or writing, she is probably cooking, traveling, or spending time with her family. She lives near Raleigh, North Carolina, with her husband and children, and a very silly dog named Friday.
Sometimes finding yourself can be a little messy …
Elliott has been struggling since starting middle school, when his ADHD spiraled and his best friend moved away. He’s not too sure where he fits into his own family either, especially since his newly remarried dad and stepmom are expecting a baby. Especially when he already feels like his dad just doesn’t get him–or the fact that Elliott is happiest when he’s cooking. The kitchen’s scents and sizzles always ignite his creativity. There, it’s actually a good thing to have a brain that goes in six directions at once.
When he’s paired with the super smart and popular Maribel for a school-wide project, Elliott worries they won’t see eye to eye. But Maribel is also looking for a new way to show others her true self and this project could be the chance they’ve both been waiting for.
Sometimes the least likely friends help you see a new side to things . . . and sometimes you have to make a few mistakes before you figure out what’s right.
Highly-acclaimed author of Caterpillar Summer, Gillian McDunn explores boyhood in a funny and big-hearted story about a kid trying to find the best way to be his best self.
If you decide to check out the book, we hope you’ll do so via this Amazon affiliate link, where if you choose to purchase via the link DIY MFA gets a referral fee at no cost to you. As always, thank you for supporting DIY MFA!
(Right-click to download.)
If you liked this episode…
Also, remember that sharing is caring so if you know anyone who might enjoy this podcast, please tell them about it or leave us a review so other listeners will want to check it out.
Until next week, keep writing and keep being awesome!