25 Women to Read Before You Die

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Kids' Q&A

Karen Karbo

Describe your latest project.
Minerva Clark Goes to the Dogs is the second installment in a trilogy about a seventh-grade girl detective who has a peculiar gift. Early in the first book (Minerva Clark Gets a Clue), she has an accident which replaces her typical teen self-loathing with self-confidence and a new curiosity about the world (as opposed to, say, the size of her thighs). In Minerva Clark Goes to the Dogs, she busts a pair of jewel thieves who've stolen a rare red diamond, learns that there's no accounting for the mysteries of love, and makes friends with a trio of show corgis. I conceived of the series as a modern day Nancy Drew (I say this in all modesty — no one will ever replace Nancy) for my then fifth-grade daughter and her friends, just for fun.

  1. Minerva Clark Goes to the Dogs
    $3.50 Used Hardcover add to wishlist

  2. Minerva Clark Gets a Clue
    $6.50 Used Hardcover add to wishlist

What fictional character would you like to be your friend, and why?
Hermione Granger. She's smart, brave, loyal, and will grow up to be a most excellent wizard. She lacks a sense of humor, but I would be the funny friend.

What is your favorite literary first line?
It's hard to beat the first line of J. M. Barrie's Peter Pan: "All children, except one, grow up."

What is your favorite breakfast cereal?
Sugar Pops.

What was your favorite story as a child?
Harriet the Spy.

What do you do for relaxation?
Ride my horse, Kramer. He's a registered Appaloosa, only he doesn't have any spots. He's dark brown, with a big white star between his eyes. He likes to dance around when he's spooked, like Kramer on Seinfeld.

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A large animal vet and movie director.

Tell us about your pets.
We have two dogs, Winston and Lola. Winston is a big chocolate lab who snores and Lola is an Australian cattle dog, with ears so big if you look inside them you can practically see what she's thinking. We also have two ferrets, Sid and Nancy. Sid served as the model for Minerva's crime-solving ferret, Jupiter.

If you could pick anyone to illustrate one of your books, who would it be and why?
Chris Van Allsburg, who illustrated my favorite children's book, The Sweetest Fig, about a snooty French dentist who receives a pair of magical figs from an impoverished patient. Van Allsburg is most well-known for illustrating The Polar Express. spacer

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