Tweens Read August is a 14 day event taking place for the first two weeks of August. I’ll be hosting authors, regardless of debut year, whose books I’m the most excited for. Each day, I’ll announce who the next author is at the end of the post. There’s also a giveaway going on, so be sure to check that out!
It’s the start of the second week of Tweens Read August, and today I’m interviewing Brooks Benjamin about his debut novel, the fabulous My Seventh Grade Life in Tights.
Here’s a little bit about it:
Release Date: April 12th, 2016
All Dillon wants is to be a real dancer. And if he wins a summer scholarship at Dance-Splosion, he’s on his way. The problem? His dad wants him to play football. And Dillon’s freestyle crew, the Dizzee Freekz, says that dance studios are for sellouts. His friends want Dillon to kill it at the audition—so he can turn around and tell the studio just how wrong their rules and creativity-strangling ways are.
At first, Dillon’s willing to go along with his crew’s plan, even convincing one of the snobbiest girls at school to work with him on his technique. But as Dillon’s dancing improves, he wonders: what if studios aren’t the enemy? And what if he actually has a shot at winning the scholarship?
Dillon’s life is about to get crazy . . . on and off the dance floor.
Description taken from Goodreads.
Interview with Brooks Benjamin, Author of My Seventh Grade Life in Tights
Is there anything you want readers to know before reading My Seventh Grade Life in Tights?
I’d love for them to know that this book was written out of a deep love of dance. And it was written for those people who have a passion for something that others might laugh at. And just like dance, it’s an all-inclusive book that not only embraces friendships and commonalities, but all the wonderful differences that make us unique and wonderful.
What do you love most about Dillon?
I love his honesty. He has a chance to hide some things from his friends, but he chooses not to.
Is Dillon’s story based on your own experiences?
In part. I started my own dance crew back in middle school and I desperately wanted to learn how to dance. I was…not a good dancer back then. Like, at all.
You have a conversation with your favorite book character. Ever. How does it go?
I’ve talked with them all! As a group and individually. And I get a lot of funny looks when I do because sometimes I’m out in public when it happens.
Is there any possibility of a sequel to My Seventh Grade Life in Tights?
There is a possibility! I have an outline for it, ready to go. So keep those fingers crossed that Dillon and the Dizzee Freekz will be back, dancing their way onto the shelves again one day!
What’s your writing fuel?
Black coffee in my Ug Chug mug. And pizza. Lots and lots of pizza.
Who’s your favorite supporting character in My Seventh Grade Life in Tights?
Oh, that’d definitely be Carson. He’s so fun and full of life. He’d be the one I would’ve loved to hang out with in middle school because he’d always have something entertaining for us to do. And we’d probably get into trouble because of it. But we wouldn’t care. :)
GAH! That question is so hard to answer! There are so many amazing books this year. I could literally put every title into a hat and draw one and be okay with what I picked. But I won’t do that. That’s cheating. So I’ll pick…Swing Sideways by Nanci Turner Steveson. That book has all the heart of Bridge to Terabithia and just as many moments that made me laugh, smile, and cry.
About the Author
In sixth grade, Brooks Benjamin formed a New Kids on the Block tribute dance crew called the New Kidz. He wasn’t that good at dancing back then. But now he’s got a new crew—his wife and their dog. They live in Tennessee, where he teaches reading and writing and occasionally busts out a few dance moves. He’s still not that good at it. MY SEVENTH-GRADE LIFE IN TIGHTS (Delacorte/Random House) is his first novel.
Thanks to Brooks for taking part in Tweens Read August! I love dance too, and I’m looking forward to seeing how it’s portrayed in a middle-grade novel. If you think so too, add My Seventh Grade Life in Tights to Goodreads! The author being featured tomorrow is M.G. Leonard.