Monday, July 18, 2011

Fido and Friend in Five: Pete Hautman and Jacques

Pete & his NBA
If you looked on the first page of my website and looked under the heading My Favorite Things, you'd see a list of my all-time favorite authors and books. Now, being a passionate reader and librarian (and writer) that was a tough list for me to come up with! So the authors listed on there are very important to me. If you look at that list, you'll see Godless, by Pete Hautman, about half way down. This was truly a book that marked a turning point for me as a librarian and reader. It made me see the strength, humor, complexity, compassion, and amazing writing that is the hallmark of the best fiction for teens. In short, it made my jaw drop. More importantly, Godless converted me to a passionate reader and advocate of fiction for teens. Not that I don't love Pete's other books--I do. But Godless will always hold a very special place in my heart. It's a book I still recommend to readers constantly.Obviously I'm not the only one who felt so strongly about Godless. It one the National Book Award!

Like the other author on my website list I was lucky enough to have on Fido and Friend-Gary Schmidt-Pete's books deal with tough issues-bullying, racism, among others-with humor and sensitivity. When Pete and I talked on email about his Fido and Friend spotlight, he sent me the link to this wonderful YouTube video he did on bullying with, yes, his dogs. It's trademark Hautman. Take a look:

Rene and Jacques
So let's meet Pete and the dogs featured in his video and in this week's Fido and Friend in Five!

1. How did you and Jacques and Rene find each other?  One day I came home and Jacques was there. Mary Logue had decided our older poodle, Rene, needed a friend. (Rene died in May at the age of seventeen).

2. What makes Jacque's tail wag?  Absolutely everything.

Jacques the Terminator
3. What your all-time favorite dog story?  White Fang, by Jack London. Jacques is exactly like White Fang. Except he's black. And a lot smaller. And kind of cowardly. And he doesn't run with wolves.

4. If Jacques could change just one thing about you, what would it be?  I just asked him. He wagged his tail.
Jacques and Pete

5. In five words, tell us what Jacques means to you:  He helps keep me honest.

I am beyond honored to have Pete and Jacques (and Rene, bless his heart) on my blog. Be sure to check out Pete's latest book, THE BIG CRUNCH. Pete describes this as "a year-long romance without vampires, dragons, secret societies, mysterious grandparents, unexplained deaths, violent psychopaths, hard-core drug addicts, or elves." My kind of book. To find out more about Pete and his books, visit his website

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