HomeBooks by AgeAges 9-12My Writing and Reading Life: Jess Keating, Author of How to Outswim a Shark Without a Snorkel
How to Outswim a Shark Without a Snorkel (My Life Is a Zoo) By Jess Keating

My Writing and Reading Life: Jess Keating, Author of How to Outswim a Shark Without a Snorkel

Jess KeatingThe Children’s Book Review | January 18, 2015

Jess Keating

Jess Keating

As an author and zoologist, Jess Keating has tickled a shark, lost a staring contest against an octopus, and been a victim to the dreaded paper cut. She lives in Ontario, Canada, where she spends most of her time writing books for adventurous and funny kids. Her first fiction novel How to Outrun a Crocodile When Your Shoes Are Untied received a Starred Review from Kirkus and has been nominated for a Red Maple award.

How to Outswim a Shark Without a Snorkel (My Life Is a Zoo) By Jess KeatingMy latest published book is …

… all about frenemies, scuba suits, and shark tanks! It’s called How to Outswim a Shark Without a Snorkel, and it’s the second book in the “My Life is a Zoo” series!

You wrote it because …

Ana and her friends were so much fun, it was a joy to continue their story. (Plus, I love sharks!)

Best moment …

When I was nine or ten years old, I got to attend my first writing conference. It was the first time I realized that people actually wrote the books I loved so much, and that they didn’t just appear magically on shelves. I knew then how much I wanted to be an author!

Your special place to write …

I love to write outside when I can, jotting down special ideas in my messy notebook.

Necessary writing/creativity tool …

I am a huge fan of Post-It notes! I use them for everything from plotting and drafting to copyedits.

Favorite bookshop …

All children’s bookstores seem like magical places to me, and there’s a special place in my heart for Mabel’s Fables in Toronto, Ontario.

Currently reading …

I’m loving my early copy of Dinosaur Boy by Cory Putman Oakes, and I’m also rereading the “Theodosia” series by Robin LaFevers.

All-time favorite children’s book you didn’t write …

I wish I’d written Inkheart! I think that story is like a love letter to books.

An author you idolize …

I have a huge author crush on Beatrix Potter. I even named a character in my first book after her! As a scientist, author, illustrator and conservationist, she was an inspiration on so many levels!

Favorite illustrator …

There are so many! I love Barbara Reid’s plasticine work, and I will always read books by Molly Idle, Renée Kurilla, Lauren Castillo, and Melissa Sweet. (Really, this list could go on forever…)

A literary character to vacation with …

I think Hermione would be a great travel buddy! A little bit of magic always comes in handy, right?

Connect with Jess Keating …

JessKeating.com | Twitter | Instagram

How to Outswim a Shark Without a Snorkel (My Life Is a Zoo) By Jess KeatingHow to Outswim a Shark Without a Snorkel (My Life Is a Zoo)

By Jess Keating

Ana Wright’s summer just got terrifying. She’s finally getting used to living in a zoo (no, seriously—she lives with her family in an actual zoo), when she’s assigned to work in the new shark tank. With her worst enemy. Forget about sharks! Ashley is the ultimate predator. And after Ana’s favorite croc peed on Ashley’s shoes, she’s probably out for revenge.

This can’t be good.

Jess Keating combines the quirky humor and animal-centric plots of Carl Hiaasen with the awkward adolescent antics of Lauren Myracle in this fresh new middle grade series!

Ages 9-12 | Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky | 2015 | ISBN-13: 978-1402297588

Discover more middle grade books like How to Outswim a Shark Without a Snorkel, by Jess Keating, by checking out our reviews and articles tagged with Middle Grade Books and be sure to follow along with our Writing and Reading Life series.

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