FUNNY BUSINESS by Leonard Marcus


Conversations with Writers of Comedy
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Age Range: 10 & up
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Marcus once again unobtrusively gives both rising and established stars in the field a bully pulpit. As usual, readers will learn less about the outer lives of his 13 interviewees—which include the likes of Beverly Cleary, Christopher Paul Curtis, Louis Sachar, Sharon Creech and (with a particularly memorable and hilarious set of comments) Hilary McKay—than their inner ones: how they now would characterize themselves as children; what events or revelations turned them on to writing; what issues or themes are important to them; how certain of their tales, series or characters developed over time. Some entries, such as Carl Hiaasen’s earnest rant (“…though my books are supposed to make people laugh, they’re serious books. Serious books generally don’t come from a happy place”) and Daniel Pinkwater’s brief refusal to be interviewed, are duds, but most are delights, and readers of all ages will come away with significant insights into the minds and hearts that have created some of children’s literature’s finest and funniest high spots. The Q&As end with selected reading lists. (Nonfiction. 10 & up)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-7636-3254-0
Page count: 224pp
Publisher: Candlewick
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 2009


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by Donna M. Jackson