When we asked Eileen Cook to be part of Canuck Week she replied to us voicing one particular concern. Having only moved to Canada as an adult, Eileen was worried she wasn't "Canadian" enough for us. In spite of this though she told us how she is now a total "hockey watching, maple leaf wearing Canuck" and that she knows "the words to Oh Canada and...got all teary during last years Olympics". We didn't need this much convincing, but it was nice to hear how much Eileen loves Canada. :)
For those of you who don't know, Eileen's newest book The Education of Hailey Kendrick came out in January!
The Education of Hailey Kendrick
Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing | January 4, 2011 | Hardcover
Hailey Kendrick always does exactly what's expected of her. She has the right friends, dates the perfect boy, gets good grades, and follows all the rules. But one night, Hailey risks everything by breaking a very big rule in a very public way...and with a very unexpected partner in crime. Hailey gets caught, but her accomplice does not, and Hailey takes the fall for both of them.
Suddenly, Hailey's perfect life--and her reputation--are blowing up in her face. Her friends are all avoiding her. Her teachers don't trust her. Her boyfriend won't even speak to her for long enough to tell her that she's been dumped. They say honesty is the best policy--but some secrets are worth keeping, no matter the cost. Or are they?
When we asked Eileen to discuss her favourite childhood author she didn't hesitate for one second because she knew exactly who she wanted to talk about. Read below to find out which author taught Eileen some very valuable lesssons and then enter to win a copy of The Education of Hailey Kendrick!
I grew up loving reading. Every week I would head off with my parents to the library to collect my latest haul of books. The library seemed like such a magical place: So many books! That you could take! For free! I felt strongly that whomever had come up with the marvelous idea of libraries should be knighted and provided with a lifetime supply of warm chocolate chip cookies. And if I thought libraries were amazing, you can imagine how I felt about the people that wrote the books that filled them.
Picking a favorite book is hard. I had many favorites including The Phantom Tollbooth and The Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. However, if you ask me about a favorite author then one name leaps to mind: Judy Blume. I devoured her books. I stalked the librarian as she restocked shelves ready to pounce on her latest book before someone else could grab it. I obsessively did the “I must, I must, I must increase my bust” exercise suggested in Are You There God, It’s Me Margaret. (For the record, it worked. Judy Blume is to blame for my boobs.)
I had elaborate fantasies where it was discovered that I was Judy Blume’s long lost secret daughter. I would go to live with her in her castle by the ocean. (I have no idea if she lived in a castle, but it seemed to me that she should.) I would help her write her books and we would relax in the evenings with giant mugs of hot chocolate and talk about what we were reading. We would become the very best of friends.
Alas, Judy Blume never claimed me as her missing child or best friend, but we do have a relationship. She created worlds and people, and by the act of reading them on the page I brought them to life. The writer and reader are engaged in a shared form of magic where both are required to make it work and I can think of no one else I would rather have shared that magic with than her. Judy Blume’s books taught me about boys, how to deal with friends and enemies, how to cope with my parents, and perhaps, most importantly, she taught me about myself. Thanks Ms. Blume. If we ever meet- the hot chocolate is on me.