Are you looking for shivers this spooky season? Today. Encanto meets Coraline in Finch House, a delightfully thrilling middle grade novel by Ciera Burch. I read Finch House in a day, and I thought it was incredibly spooky, as well as warm and wonderful, and I highly recommend you run out and grab it. Finch House is a gloriously creepy read (but not TOO creepy) with strong characters and an ending that will haunt you -- a perfect read aloud as we head into October. Ciera Burch is a lifelong writer and ice cream aficionado, who holds a BA from my alma mater, American University, (Go Eagles!) and an MFA from Emerson College. And she would be an excellent choice for the Rick Riordan Presents imprint.
[00:47] Welcoming Ciera Burch
[00:50] Finch House
Ciera shares some details about her book and the inspiration behind it.
[01:11] Finch House
[03:43] Balancing Spookiness
Finding the right balance of spookiness in a middle-grade book to appeal to young readers without being too scary.
[04:19] Open-Ended Ending
Hints about the open-ended nature of Finch House and the possibility of more adventures for Micah.
[05:26] Reading an Excerpt
Ciera reads a passage from "Finch House" (Chapter 6) that highlights the characters' curiosity and sense of adventure.
[07:58] Book Birthday Debut at Politics and Prose
Ciera shares her experience working with Kwame Alexander and his imprint, highlighting his personable nature and insightful questions.
[08:54] Adventures in Learning (reading, writing, and mom)
[11:32] Impact of Education
[14:13] Working in Publishing
[15:27] Upcoming Book: Something Kindred (2024)
[16:07] RecurringTheme of Ghosts in Ciera's Books
[16:35] Influential Childhood Books
Books that influenced her as a child, including Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, the Percy Jackson series, and Bridge to Terabithia
[18:10] Diverse Voices in Literature
The importance of diverse representation in children's literature and the concept of "windows and mirrors."
[19:55] Writing with Diverse Characters
Ciera shares her motivation for including black or brown main characters in her stories and emphasizes the importance of creating relatable, human characters.
[20:42] Joys of Being a Writer
[22:45] Hopes for the Future