Featured Interview: Donna Gephart
Can you tell us a little about your newest book?
Olivia Bean’s twelve-year-old brain is crammed with trivia, and she will do anything to get on Kids Week on the TV quiz show, Jeopardy! Her father abandoned the family years earlier, but she’s supported by her hard-working mother, new stepdad, Neil, and annoying, but charming little brother, Charlie, who spouts gross trivia at every opportunity. Olivia feels different from her classmates because she’s so smart until she connects with other trivia-obsessed kids like herself.
Why did you decide to write about a trivia-loving kid?
Trivia is so much fun. I loved it as a kid and still love it as an adult. For this novel, I got to pore through trivia books and call it research. And when I watched Jeopardy!, I told my kids, “Not now. I’m working.” And I really was!
I love to tie creative literacy activities to books. Can you suggest some fun things for librarians, teachers, parents or kids to do along with Olivia Bean Trivia Queen?
I will have a guide on my site when Olivia Bean is released. It will have vocabulary, thought-provoking questions and activities all tied to the book. For now, I think a Jeopardy!-style game would be a lot of fun. Or a trivia competition. Feel free to use these fun bits of trivia for starters:
Fun Trivia from Olivia Bean, Trivia Queen: (answers below)
1. What color are the triple-word squares on a Scrabble board?
2. How many bones are in the human hand?
3. Which grows faster, fingernails or toenails?
4. What is the world’s fastest land animal?
5. Who is the only U.S. president who was never married?
6. How many squares are on a checkerboard?
7. What was the first televised sporting event?
8. Where is the smallest human muscle found?
9. Who wrote The Chronicles of Narnia?
10. What is the most populous state in the United States?
11. Who is the funniest author I know? (I added that one!)
Answers: 1. Red 2. Twenty-seven 3. Fingernails 4. The cheetah 5. James Buchanan 6. 64 7. The 1936 Olympics 8. In the ear 9. C.S. Lewis
10. California 11. Donna Gephart