Kid Reporters

Meet Carmen Deedy

TFK Kid Reporter Frannie Salisbury talks to the acclaimed author

December 01, 2010

Heart-warming storyteller Carmen Agra Deedy was born in Havana, Cuba in 1960. Her family moved to the United States when she was young, settling in Decatur, Georgia. Deedy rarely read until one day, her sister dropped her off at the library while she went to dance class. From that point on, Deedy became inseparable from books. Now, Deedy writes children's books that are illustrated by Michael Austin. TFK Kid Reporter Frannie Salisbury caught up with Deedy at the West Virginia Book Festival in Charleston, West Virginia, this fall.

TFK Kid Reporter Frannie Salisbury talks to author Carmen Deedy.
COURTESY SALISBURY FAMILY
TFK Kid Reporter Frannie Salisbury talks to author Carmen Deedy.

TFK:

Who inspired you to become a children's book author?

Deedy:

My favorite author was E.B White, who wrote Charlotte's Web. My father, Carlos Agra, also inspired me.

TFK:

Which of your books do you feel is your greatest accomplishment?

Deedy:

That would be like having a favorite child! If you had one, you couldn't tell anybody.

TFK:

Kid Reporter
Frances Salisbury

Where did you get the idea for your most recent book, 14 Cows for America?

Deedy:

It is about our friends, the Massai, who gave 14 cows to America after September 11th. I read about it in a New York Times article by Marc Lacey.

TFK:

How do you feel about being from Cuba, yet being so successful here in the U.S.?

Deedy:

I have never thought of myself as a Latin writer. I think of myself as a writer that happens to be Latin.

TFK:

What type of literature do you most enjoy writing?

Deedy:

I have thus far written for the picture book genre, but my first chapter book will come out soon. I will keep writing picture books because I love to see wonderful art find a great story. Those books can be like gems. Writing did not come naturally to me. Stories came more naturally. This is true because I grew up with great storytellers.


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