This February, our guest will be Tom Bodett, author of Williwaw! and Norman Tuttle on the Last Frontier.
In the book, Williwaw!, thirteen year-old September Crane and her eleven year-old brother Ivan are in a situation most kids dream about. Their Dad has trusted them to take care of themselves while he earns much-needed money on a commercial fishing boat. So, instead of going to Aunt Nelda and Uncle Spitz’s horrible farm, September and Ivan are home, alone for two whole weeks. “Alone” takes on new meaning when you consider that that family lives in Alaska in a cabin so far in the wilderness, they need a boat to get to the closest town and only have two radios to communicate with the outside world.
When Ivan fries both radios while trying to hook up his hand-held video game, it starts a chain of events that ends with the children alone, on the water, facing one of the most dangerous storms Alaska has to offer: a williwaw – the same type of storm that claimed their mother’s life a few years earlier.
Norman Tuttle on the Last Frontier, also set in Alaska, is the story of a teenage boy trying to deal with situations that are both typical for his age (annoying younger siblings, bullies at school, falling in love for the first time) and not so typical (getting in huge trouble with your parents for a party you didn’t actually mean to happen, and getting mugged in Seattle by a thug named Tango). Told with insight, humor and a few painful truths, the book is like a buddy movie set someplace very, very snowy and cold.
Tom Bodett isn’t just a children’s book author. He also writes books for adults and his work has appeared in publications such as the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Reader’s Digest, and Harper’s Magazine. He has been a commentator for National Public Radio, and is a regular panelist on "Wait Wait...Don’t Tell Me," NPR's weekly quiz show. Tom Bodett has lent his vocal talents to Saturday Night Live, National Geographic Explorer, Animaniacs, Motel 6 commercials, and several documentary films.
Author photo by Deborah Ayer