December 18, 2008

Character Confidential: 3 Questions for Listen Taylor

Posted by at 6:05 am in Reads | Permalink


There’s an interesting story behind The Spell Book of Listen Taylor, one that doesn’t have anything to do with spells or listening, but rather with pancakes.

That’s because the book is actually an edited version of author Jaclyn Moriarty’s regular adult novel, called I Have a Bed Made of Buttermilk Pancakes, which was only published in Australia way back in 2004. Moriarty’s editor was really interested in one of the characters in I Have a Bed Made of Buttermilk Pancakes, and wondered if Moriarty could re-write the book and make that character — who was Listen, by the way — more central. So she did, and the end result, The Spell Book of Listen Taylor, is perfect for sophisticated younger readers.

I just finished the book, and I could NOT put it down. Listen is the title character, but there are so many other characters to get in to, and so many threads to so many plots — the book was like a giant, fun, heartbreaking, funny mystery to solve. I loved all the characters — especially Cath, Cassie, and Marbie — but Listen is the one I have some questions for!

If I could ask Listen three questions, they’d be:

1. If you come across another spell book, will you open it?

2. Do you think you’ll ever go back to using your original name, Alissa?

3. What’s your favorite pancake flavor?

Any other Listen Taylor fans out there? What would YOU ask her?

— Morgan, Scholastic Staffer