Wednesday, March 21, 2012


Seth Skogerboe
I met Seth when he played the part of my son in the my musical adaptation LLAMA LLAMA RED PAJAMA at Stages Theatre Company. It was clear right from the start that he wasn't an ordinary 14-year old. He's tenacious, smart and very funny. We talked a lot about books. He  gave several of us in the cast reading lists. I was intrigued and later discovered that he has his own blog where he reviews books. I thought it would be great to find out what makes Seth tick. What he loves about books.

JK: Tell us a little about yourself. Have you always enjoyed reading? Why?

SS: My name is Seth, and I'm a fourteen-year-old homeschooler with five younger brothers. (The appropriate response here is, "Woah. WOAH. WOAH!") I love old books, new pens, music, theatre, and Thai food. In that order. I have enjoyed reading, in particular, since I was six. Why? That's when I learned how to read. :-)

JK: What are your favorite books?

SS: That is like asking me which is my favorite limb. However, some books that I have *particularly enjoyed* are as follows: My Bible. (First comes truth. Always.) The Narnia Series, by C.S. Lewis. (If I did have to pick a favorite limb...) Where the Sidewalk Ends, by Shel Silverstein. (Sister for Sale!) The Phantom Tollbooth, by Norton Juster. (The world's strangest logician.) Also, anything by Dr. Seuss. Brilliant.

JK: What is your book review blog called? What made you decide to start a book review blog?

SS: I started my book review blog, The Embarrassed Zebra :: In Black and White and Read All Over, when my book reviews began to take over my other blog, Muse:: Born of a Wandering Mind. :-) I needed a place where I could just write about books.

JK: What are some things a book must offer in order for you to want to read it?

SS: Truth. Variety. Good voice. (In contrast, imagine a story from a toddler. "And then the moon came and then there was food andthenandthenandthen..." etc. It needs to be written well.) A point. ("Either write something worth reading, or do something worth writing." -Benjamin Franklin. I say, compromise, and write something worth doing. I don’t want to read a story about nothing.)

JK: What type of book makes you NOT want to read it? Why?

SS: Basically, anything grievously lacking any of the above qualities.

JK: Since this blog will be read by other writers, what kind of books would you like to see more of?

SS: Epic adventures. Rescues. Books that make people remember "that other great book they read." :-) Battles fought and won, dragons slain. Heroes that the readers love, villains that the readers fear. That is what I look for in a story.

JK: What topics interest you?

SS: Fiction, fantastic creatures, allegory, Christianity, authors. Writing about reading. Reading about writing.

JK: Do you feel that boys are well represented in recent literature?

SS: Sometimes, I wish actual guys were more like the characters. Sometimes, I wish the characters would be more like actual guys. I wish that boys had the will for sacrifice like Harry Potter, but that books in general would recognize that guys aren't all just book-despising athletes. :-D See what I mean?

JK: Absolutely. What was your favorite picture book? Why?

SS: Dr. Seuss' The Sleep Book. The beauty of the fantastic images he created through use of color, proportion, and creativity was near equal to the beauty of his words. It wasn't just a pretty picture, there was meaning to every image.

JK: You were recently in LLAMA LLAMA RED PAJAMA by Anna Dewdney at Stages Theatre Company. What was that experience like?

SS: It was a blast. There was dancing, there was spitting, there were actors- we all had a great time. :-)

JK: How do you think theatre can inspire?

SS: Same way any book can- through story. Giving people something to care about.

JK: Where do you see yourself in ten years?

SS: At a writing desk, listening to a movie soundtrack, with a kiddo on my lap and a notebook in my hand. But who knows. I'll be where God wants me.

JK: Who is the best playwright you ever worked with? (JOKE!)

SS: Well, there was this one back in third grade... (JOKE!) :-D

Thank you, Seth! Be sure to check out Seth’s blog:


Beth Stilborn said...

This was great! I certainly know Seth's name, and it was so good to learn more about him. What a well-spoken, thoughtful young man. I will definitely be checking out his blog.

Thank you, both!

Miranda Paul said...

Wow - this was great! I will definitely check out Seth's blog. And a musical version of Llama, Llama...Cool! Glad to have found your site.

MJ Ornaments said...

Hi Jan,
Very interesting interview. If more writers followed Seth's advice there would be a lot more books to enjoy reading. Thanks for sharing!
Take care,

MJ Ornaments said...

Hi Jan,
Great interview! Seth sounds very clever and funny. If more writers followed Seth's advice there would be better books out there to read. Thanks for sharing!
Take care,

Jennifer Kirkeby said...

Beth, Miranda and Martha,

Thank you so much for your feedback. Yes, Seth is truly a remarkable young man. It is so great to see how the love of books is shaping him and his life. So glad you liked this blog!


Hannah said...

Thank you Jennifer and Seth for this great interview. Sounds like Seth and I enjoy the same kinds of books. Well written Seth. :)

Deirdra said...

You have a fabulous blog! I’m an author and illustrator and I made some awards to give fellow bloggers whose sites I enjoy. I want to award you with one of my homemade awards: Powerful Woman Writer Award. There are no pass along requirements. This is just to reward you for all the hard work you do!

Go to and pick up your award.


Related Posts Widget for Blogs by LinkWithin