The value of true friendship and forgiveness

Janice Laakko Author Interview

clingy follows a fifth grade girl who becomes a rival to a new girl at school; friends and school staff work to help the girls overcome their differences. What was the inspiration for setting up her story?

the inspiration for clingy came from observing interactions between elementary school students. Mistakes, teasing, and pranks are common experiences for children.

I wanted to write a book with believable characters that readers could identify with. As children follow the main character’s journey, I hope they enjoy the story and develop some helpful strategies for dealing with their own problems.

Dee thinks she has it all figured out when school starts, only to find out she doesn’t. What were some ideals that drove the development of your character?

Dee is very smart and competitive, but that doesn’t make her immune to social challenges. She makes a big mistake and learns that there are unpleasant consequences for her behavior. As she navigates through the ensuing difficulties, she learns about the value of true friendship and forgiveness. These are some of the ideals that she hoped to convey.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

There are several topics presented in clingy:

  1. How to build and maintain friendships.
  2. The importance of making peace with those you have hurt.
  3. The power of forgiveness.
  4. Learn to accept the guidance of parents and teachers.
  5. Dispelling the notion that smart kids don’t have problems.
  6. To balance life with a generous dose of humor.

What is the next book you are working on and when will it be available?

The sequel to clingyI call addition problems, It is now available! Dee’s family is building an addition and crazy things start happening! Also, a mystery is unfolding; Can the reader understand it? Dee has some interesting and fun experiences in this wild and upside down summer!

Also, I am now working on Book 3 of the series!

Author Links: Amazon | good reads

Fifth grader Dee Lanson got tired of Samantha’s weird looks! To make matters worse, Samantha breaks into Dee’s circle of friends and turns everything upside down for her. Dee seeks revenge against her enemy and finds herself in the biggest trouble she’s ever been in. On top of that, she’s bored at school and calls the principal’s office so often that the road leading there probably has her name on it. She must find a way out of the problem and get her friends back. But how?

Meanwhile, fifth graders are competing in girls vs. boys kickball and softball games. Each team is determined to outdo the other. Things get pretty wild both on and off the field! At home, Dee mixes with her little brother, Joey. Will there be any peace?

Gloppy is a moving story of friendships and forgiveness that will stay with the reader long after the last page has been turned.

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