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Kids' Q&A

Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

Describe your new book.
Rachel: Naomi and Ely's No Kiss List is about two NYU freshmen named Naomi and Ely who've lived in the same Manhattan apartment building and been best friends since they were children. They've created a "No Kiss List" of people neither of them is allowed to kiss in order to protect their friendship. But Naomi is a vampire and Ely is a werewolf and they fall into a love triangle with a tempestuous West Village Faerie Queen. No, that last sentence wasn't true. (Naomi is a liar and she's been a bad influence on me.) Maybe David can set the record straight about what the book's about.

David: The truth — Naomi's a straight girl, Ely's a gay boy, and when Ely kisses Naomi's boyfriend, a whole lot ensues.

  1. Naomi and Ely
    $11.95 Used Hardcover add to wishlist

    Naomi and Ely's No Kiss List

    Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

  2. Nick and Norah
    $3.95 Used Trade Paper add to wishlist

    Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist

    Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

  3. Boy Meets Boy
    $8.99 New Trade Paper add to wishlist

    Boy Meets Boy

    David Levithan

What is your favorite family story?
Rachel: Whenever he drove over the railroad tracks that ran across a main street near to where my grandparents lived, Grandpa would say to me and my cousins, "Hold your teeth!" (It wasn't until I was about 20 that I figured out what he was talking about.) To this day, whenever we drive over railroad tracks, my cousins and I always say, "Hold your teeth!" And for many years, Grandpa had me convinced he'd written the song "Yes, We Have No Bananas."

What fictional character would you like to be your friend, and why?
David: If I were a teen, I would pick Joe, from James Howe's Totally Joe, because he's such a complete sweetheart.

Introduce one other author/illustrator you think people should read, and suggest a good book by him/her.
David: I feel sorry for people who haven't read Eireann Corrigan yet. Her new book, Ordinary Ghosts, is fantastic.

Describe your most memorable teacher.
Rachel: My first grade teacher, Mr. Haslinger, used to teach while roaming across the classroom balancing a yardstick on his middle and index fingers. Sometimes he would flip the yardstick into the air, and he always managed to catch it back on his fingers, all the while never stopping discussion of whatever particular topic he was teaching. He also let our class shave off his beard (that's trust!), and he taught us all how to wiggle our noses and our ears. Oh yeah, and he also taught me how to read and write.

What is your favorite literary first line?
Rachel: "I write this sitting in the kitchen sink."
—Dodie Smith, I Capture the Castle

How did the last good book you read end up in your hands?
David: My friend Wendy wrote it. (It's called Heaven Looks a Lot Like the Mall, and her last name is Mass.)

What is your favorite breakfast cereal?
Rachel: This choice fluctuates regularly, but I am partial to Honey Bunches of Oats, Rice Krispies and Cheerios. My true favorite is Golden Grahams, but I will eat almost the whole box if I even go near it, so I try to avoid the Golden Grahams.

What was your favorite story as a child?
Rachel: The Best-Loved Doll and Charlotte's Web.

David: Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day and The Westing Game.

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
David: I think I wanted to run my own newspaper. There were many early versions — and then I became an editor of my camp newspaper, The Totem, and I was legit.

Why do you write books for kids?
Rachel: Because adults confuse me.

Tell us about your pets.
David: I have pets? Somebody better tell me quick about these pets, since I haven't been feeding them.

Name the best Simpsons episode of all time, and explain why it's the best.
Rachel: I love the "Flaming Moe" episode just for the idea of cough syrup as the secret ingredient to the trendy cocktail of the moment, but I also love it for Aerosmith, and for the Hugh Jass prank call, and for Homer's bitter observation, "Oh, look at me! I'm making people happy! I'm the magical man, from Happy Land, living in a gumdrop house on lollipop lake!" spacer

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