Heather is joined by Greg Howard, an author that writes novels aimed at middle-grade students.  What is fantastic about Greg’s books is that he taps into stories about marginalized youth, specifically LGBTQ+.  Listen as they talk about Greg’s books, his motivation, the effects his books have had on readers, and the importance of having representation for the often forgotten middle-grade readers.

Do not miss these highlights:

02:07 – A look into his latest book, The Visitors, which is about a middle-grade ghost story about the spirit of a boy who is stuck on a deserted rice plantation.

05:31 – How Greg taps into where the kids are and evolves it through his new books

10:21 –  The 2 big reasons why Greg wrote his book, The Whispers

14:56 – Reading their kid’s book helps parents gain so much insight and will be able to see things through their kids’ eyes

19:37 – When you read stories about marginalized people, it should change your perspective and develop more empathy for them.

20:52 – Why the topic of suicide is not inappropriate for middle-grade readers, especially given the youth suicide statistics

31:47 – Greg shares some of his experiences of being a queer kid

39:53 – There is a need to recognize that are dealing with different issues and that their stories are valid, have value, and they need to be represented and seen.

43:15 – What is the fear inherent ins parents that their queer child will read about another queer child committing suicide.

50:17 – There is usually more than one reason that kids commit suicide.  It is rare that there is a single cause.

52:59 – The most important thing for marginalized youth is to know and feel like they’re being seen and heard

Howard’s Books

The Visitors – https://amzn.to/3tTzxtz

The Whispers – https://amzn.to/3nSqiG4

Middle School’s A Drag – https://amzn.to/3nTRS5Z

About our Guest:

Greg Howard was born and raised in the South Carolina Lowcountry where his love of stories blossomed at a young age. Originally set on becoming a songwriter, Greg followed that dream to Nashville, Tennessee, where he spent years producing the music of others before eventually returning to his childhood passion of writing stories. Greg writes about LGBTQ characters and issues as his focus is writing the kind of books he wishes he’d had access to as a gay kid growing up in the South. He currently resides in Nashville with his three rescued fur babies–Molly, Toby, and Riley. Greg’s latest middle-grade offering, The Visitors, will be published by Putnam/Penguin on February 1, 2022.






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Podcast Transcript

Read the full transcript of this podcast.


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