I’m Hallie, and I’m an Editorial Assistant. I’m lucky to work on everything from board books for the littlest readers to young adult novels about teens taking the last steps toward adulthood, and I’m a huge fan of science fiction, fantasy, and adventures of all kinds. And I’m lucky that reading has always made my world a little bigger and a whole lot brighter.
Favorite Book of All Time
I’m outraged. How can I answer a question like that and single out a book in my crew of all-time favorites? I’ll tell you this, though: if you see me carrying around a copy of Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein, there’s a good chance I’m smuggling some sort of secret letter or currency or document in it. And I’ve even listened to the audiobook more than once, even though I find it really difficult to listen to spoken word versions of stories. I’d tell you why I like Code Name Verity beyond the moving writing, the rich plot, and how it made me feel. However, the book’s in my very limited no-fly zone (ha!): you can give me the nod that says you get it and you love it too, but we can’t talk about it. We can only sit in the companionable silence of appreciation.
Favorite LBYR Book
I’m biased, as I edited this one, but my favorite LBYR book is We Rule the Night by Claire Eliza Bartlett. In it, two girls use forbidden magic to fly and fight in an epic war. One’s the daughter of a general, the other’s the daughter of a traitor. And they have to work through all of these things that they’ve internalized about who they are and what matters in a powerful story about sacrifice, complicated friendships, and survival despite impossible odds.
Book(s) You Think Everyone Should Read
Everyone should read the Frog and Toad books by Arnold Lobel. They’re easy readers—books for kids who are just able to read unassisted—and they’re also deeply philosophical, and about friendship, doubt, perseverance, and self-worth. You can’t read them and not absorb the idea that it’s hard to be a frog or a toad or a person sometimes, but you’ll find a way through your troubles.
Book You’ve Been Meaning to Read for a While
My to-read pile is absolutely shameful. I’m hoping to read Codename Villanelle—the book that Killing Eve is based on—soon! It’s only got a few other books on top of it in the stack.
Favorite Book Cover
Tie: Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton or Dinosaur Kisses by David Ezra Stein. Are you sensing a theme?
Most Worn-Out (but Well-Loved) Book
Definitely From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg. I’ve had to replace that more than once. You see, I tried to run away when I was six, but only got as far as the corner because I wasn’t allowed to cross the street. So I have feelings.
Unexpected Book that You Love
I think everyone around here knows by now that I love Watership Down by Richard Adams. It shouldn’t be for me—I don’t like talking animals in novels. I don’t like that the girl bunnies don’t get to play an equal role in the big adventure. Sometimes the bunny fables that are interspersed with the plot just slow things down. But there’s something in the journey and how this roving band of rabbits fights for the concept of home that I can’t resist rereading. And I’ll always want Bigwig in my corner.
A Literary Obsession
I like to own nice hardcover editions of my favorite books, especially collectible editions with fancy, shiny covers, and things like die cuts or dyed edges on the pages. When I’m actually reading, though, I prefer paperbacks so that I can hold them in one hand to read and not have my arm get tired!
Non-Book Bookish Item
I have a personal book embosser and I can and do emboss pages of my collection of favorite books with “From the Library of Hallie.” When a book merits getting a page squished, it’s in my library for life. And I can mark those books that I’m not letting anybody borrow, no matter how nicely they might ask.