People ask me all the time, “Who’s your favorite author?” I guess that they expect me to say, “Dr. Seuss!” or “Kate DiCamillo” or some other famous children’s author. So when I reply, “I love Jodi Picoult,” folks are taken aback.
I wonder why I like to read her stuff so much? I assume it is because her work is so opposite from what I like to write. Now don’t get me wrong – I read a lot of children’s books and have a “favorites list” a mile long and six miles wide. BUT – when I’m reading for fun, I grab the latest Jodi Picoult book.
I have my niece, Lindsey, to thank for my fascination with Picoult. She began reading her years ago and shared some of her work with me and I’ve been a huge fan ever since.
Here is what I am such a Jodi Picoult fan:
1) She Knows Her Stuff:
Picoult has written twenty-three novels and has received numerous awards for her work. She is a graduate of Princeton, where she studied writing, and of Harvard, where she pursued a Masters in Education. In my book, that makes her one smart lady!
2) I Get Smarter When I Read Her Work:
Yes, her work is fiction. However, she puts so much emphasis on research that her books are filled with a great deal of truth. See for yourself. Read her Author’s Notes or her Acknowledgements pages and you will begin to understand the amount of truth that is woven into her fictional tales.
3) She Writes about Difficult Subjects:
Picoult’s work makes you think. You find yourself questioning your beliefs and opinions about so many different topics. Often times, I am shown a different side of a controversial topic as I become one with a character. I’ve never finished one of her books and thought,”Hum – that was o.k.” I usually finish one of her books and think,” WOW! That was deep! I need to share this with _____ (insert any number of people).”
4) My Favorite Picoult Piece:
Without a doubt or a moment to ponder, I can already tell you it is Nineteen Minutes. I think every high school staff member should be required to read this book! Without stealing its thunder (because I hope you’ll go grab a copy for yourself), Nineteen Minutes is a story that deals with being different, with bullying, and with what someone might do when they think there are no other options. To share a tidbit from Picoult’s website:
In nineteen minutes you can order pizza and get it delivered. You can read a story
to a child or have your oil changed. You can walk two miles. You can sew a hem.
In nineteen minutes, you can stop the world; or you can just jump off it.
In nineteen minutes, you can get revenge.
5) What I am currently reading:
Leaving Time was on my Christmas list and was a gift from my husband. Although working a full-time job, promoting a brand new children’s book, and continuing to write doesn’t leave me with a lot of time, I am still finding time to enjoy Picoult’s latest work that was released in October ’14. Leaving Time is about a teenage girl in search of her mother and for the truth behind her disappearance. The subplot about elephants and elephant research is fascinating (As I told you, I learn something new with every book of her’s I read.).
So – I leave you with a challenge. If you haven’t read anything by Picoult, pick up one of her books at a local book store, or better yet, at your local library. Try her work out and let me know what you think. If you are already a fan like myself, let me know what your favorite work is and why. It’s always interesting to hear what other’s find most interesting.
Pick up a Picoult book. I promise you – you won’t be disappointed!
For more information about the work of Jodi Picoult, visit her webpage: