Greg Neri goes by the elusive “G” Neri as an author, but I feel pretty cool that I can now call him Greg. I think Greg’s books are outstanding, and appeal to kids outside of mainstream readers (and aren’t we always looking for a hook for those kids!).
Greg’s books are for urban kids-especially boys- and deal with gritty realities deftly and with hope. His books are for late-elementary students up through high school students, and his work has gotten many kids excited about reading!
I was thrilled when he agreed to be a keynote speaker at my Ohio English Teachers’ Conference (OCTELA), and his presentation was inspirational; he shared with us how his books have saved kids but only because teachers and librarians had put them into those kids hands. What a great message for us to hear as we head into the ennui of fourth quarter!
I grabbed him for an interview after the conference was over, and couldn’t wait to share it with all of you. Interestingly, he, like Libba Bray in the last interview, noted that we need words in our “arsenal.” His reasoning-so that we can blend into any situation. Plus, he noted, “I like someone who can use their arsenal to a powerful effect!”
My favorite quote, however:
“I don’t care how you use language, but you have to say something!”
Definitely check out his novels and his site! I would love to know if you already have read and love G. Neri, or, if you share his work with your students, how they respond!