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Five Questions for Paolo Bacigalupi


It was kind of neat to talk to Paolo in New Orleans, which, in Ship Breaker, is underwater. He said he wasn’t nervous. The Printz Award winner and I discussed how far away the future of his book actually was, a fact left undetermined for readers to sort out for themselves. (Some people like their dystopias, far, far away; others like to believe they could occur tomorrow.)

I asked Paolo his thoughts about the infamous Wall Street Journal article and was happy that the first thing out of his mouth was not “YA Saves” but “that writer owes Sherman Alexie an apology.” Amen–Megan Cox Gurdon took a gratuitous swipe at The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian while skirting around the issue of whether she had read it or not. Paolo agreed with Alexie (and me) that “books should give you a boner.” (No, not THAT kind. Necessarily.)

Congratulations, Paolo!  I think Mike Printz would have loved Ship Breaker–he liked books that were rough and tough. Fans will be pleased to know that a book featuring the half-man Tool is forthcoming.

Roger Sutton About Roger Sutton

Roger Sutton has been the editor in chief of The Horn Book, Inc, since 1996. He was previously editor of The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books and a children's and young adult librarian. He received his M.A. in library science from the University of Chicago in 1982 and a B.A. from Pitzer College in 1978. Follow him on Twitter: @RogerReads.



  1. Anonymous says:

    >Is anyone besides me really amused at idea of a book titled TOOL, that is not an adolescent romp about a boy trying to get laid, but instead a dystopian tale of genetic engineering? Rock on, Paolo Bacigalupi.

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