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Rachel Vail

Find out about Rachel Vail and her author appearances!

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School and Library Staff Pick

The Paper Cowboy cover The Paper Cowboy cover

With the popularity of the #WeNeedDiverseBooks campaign I've been thinking a lot about the characters that I spend my time reading about. In A Dance with Dragons, George RR Martin wrote, "A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies...The man who never reads lives only one." I completely agree. We need diverse books so that we can experience different perspectives. We need diverse books so that we can see ourselves reflected in literature and see others as well. We need diverse books so we can live a thousand varied lives.

When I first started reading Paper Cowboy by Kristen Levine, I experienced a perspective I had never even thought about before. I read a lot of books that deal with bullying, but they are almost always told by the victim. Paper Cowboy shows the opposite side of that coin. Tommy is a bully—there is no denying it—but he's also a good person. He makes mistakes, has regrets, and knows that the things that he's doing are wrong. But even though Tommy is aware of all of this, he still clings to teasing and manipulating in order to cope with the horrible things happening in his own life. I may not like some of the things Tommy does, but his story deserves to be told and Kristen Levine does so beautifully. I'm so glad that I could experience Tommy's life.

—Rachel, School and Library Marketing Assistant

STAR news for NEW books

Brown Girl Dreaming cover

Brown Girl Dreaming
By Jacqueline Woodson
6 starred reviews!

Belzhar cover

Belzhar
Meg Wolitzer
3 starred reviews!

Little Poems for Tiny Ears cover

Little Poems for Tiny Ears
Lin Oliver
3 starred reviews!

The Glass Sentence cover

The Glass Sentence
By SE Grover
3 starred reviews!

Blue Sea Burning: The Chronicles of Egg

The Young Elites
Marie Lu
2 starred reviews!

 I'll Give You the Sun cover

I'll Give You the Sun
Jandy Nelson
2 starred reviews!

Brave Chicken Little cover

Brave Chicken Little
Robert Byrd
2 starred reviews!

Isla and the Happily Ever After cover

Isla and the Happily Ever After
Stephanie Perkins
2 starred reviews!

Conversion cover

Conversion
Katherine Howe
2 starred reviews!

Everything Leads to You cover

Everything Leads to You
Nina LaCour
2 starred reviews!

Author Access Rachel Vail

Unfriended cover

Rachel Vail never intended to become a writer. As a teenager she believed her only skill was eavesdropping, and therefore planned to become a spy. But as a freshman at Georgetown University, she realized that her skill could be put to use. By writing down conversations she overheard, the stories in her head evolved into plays, and eventually into novels.

Rachel Vail chooses to write for adolescents simply because that period of life is so complicated. "You are experiencing things now you've never felt before. You're starting to define yourself as a person. It feels horrendous, excruciating, and exciting all at once; it's the most intense time of life," she says. Rachel Vail is the author of Wonder and she lives in New York City with her husband and their son.

Learn more about Rachel Vail here.

Start reading Unfriended here.

Author Interview with Rachel Vail

What can a school, library, or conference expect when you are making an appearance?

They can expect my complete attention and enthusiasm—and that I will do my best to bring out the same in their students. My school and library visits incorporate plenty of anecdotes, some reading, and a lively interaction between the students and me (and among the participants as well). My aim is to inspire the students I meet with, whether at schools, libraries, or conferences, to approach both reading and writing in a dynamic, robust, and energized manner; to begin to see the revision process as the most fun and productive aspect of writing; and to gain an understanding of text and subtext, characterization, plot and theme development, and the communicative power of voice in their own work and that of others. All in one day, while they are busy having fun, laughing a lot, and surprising themselves with their own brilliance over and over and over.

Read more >

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