Serena, now that you've read all 5 novels by Pam Muñoz Ryan - "Riding Freedom", "The Dreamer", "Paint the Wind", "Esperanza Rising", and "Becoming Naomi León" - which one is your favourite?
S: I like all of them! I read "Esperanza Rising" and "Becoming Naomi León" recently, they're both about girls overcoming their fears. I drew this picture after the character Esperanza, her name means "hope" in Spanish. "Paint the Wind" was really good too because I like the struggle between Maya and the wild horse Artemisia. But if I really had to choose, my favourite is "The Dreamer". It's a very different kind of book with an interesting format. Because it's based on the life of poet Pablo Neruda, there're lots of beautiful poetry and the illustrations are very dreamy and fantastical.
We recently listened to 2 very fascinating audiobooks by Ellen Klages: "The Green Glass Sea" and its sequel "White Sands, Red Menace". Can you tell us what they're about?
S: The books are about 2 girls, Dewey and Suze, who were very different but developed a very deep friendship.
The stories were set during and after World War II. They had to do with the Manhattan Project in Los Alamos. I learned a lot about how the lives of all the people who lived and worked in Los Alamos were so secret. Dewey and Suze's parents were "stinkers" (chemists) and "fizzlers" (physicists) who worked on the Manhattan Project.
S: I can relate to both of them. I'm tall and kind of clumsy like Suze, and we're both artistic, but I'm not bossy like her! Like Dewey, I like to learn big words and am inquisitive, and I wear glasses and have curly hair. I enjoy arts & crafts like Suze but not so much building machines like Dewey. And I'm an only child just like both of them!