When I was a child, going to a circus with wild animal acts was a rite of passage. These days, it's an act of complicit cruelty.
What do we lose without wild animal acts at the circus? Absolutely nothing, except the opportunity to be haunted and heartbroken.
One of the reasons I love writing for middle graders, besides their voracious appetite for books, is their deep concern for fairness and morality.
That penetrating gaze, that intelligence; it's hard not to be anthropomorphic when you're looking at a great ape - at any primate - but especially with gorillas. They're just so magnificent.
It occurred to me that a food drive would be a natural way to talk to kids about hunger, which so many of them simply aren't aware of.
Stan is a rescue Chihuahua mix. He was the role model for Bob, the dog in 'Ivan.' The drawings in the book look precisely like Stan.