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Dinosaur Boy By Cory Putman Oakes

 My Writing and Reading Life: Cory Putman Oakes

Cory Putman Oakes | The Children’s Book Review | February 18, 2015

Cory Putman Oakes

Cory Putman Oakes

Cory Putman Oakes is a children’s book author from Austin, Texas. Her middle grade debut, DINOSAUR BOY, hits shelves in February, 2015 with its sequel, DINOSAUR BOY SAVES MARS, to follow in February, 2016. She is also the author of THE VEIL (a young adult novel). Cory is a former lawyer, a former Californian, and a current Mexican food enthusiast. When she’s not writing, Cory enjoys running, cooking, and hanging out with her husband and their two kiddos.

Dinosaur Boy By Cory Putman OakesLatest published book …

Dinosaur Boy (Feb, 2015 from Sourcebooks)

You wrote it because …

When my son was three months old, he had this adorable jacket with a dinosaur on the front and dinosaur spikes on the hood. When he wore it, he looked like a tiny dinosaur baby. I became obsessed with the idea and tried to work a “half-human-half-dinosaur baby” into another book I was working on at the time. It wasn’t quite working, and when I talked to my agent (Sarah LaPolla) about it, she suggested that the “dinosaur baby” needed his own story. She was absolutely right. Always listen to your agent!!

I never thought I’d write a middle grade book (I’d been previously published as a young adult author) and I really didn’t think I’d ever write a book from a boy’s perspective. But when you find a great character, you go where they take you! I’m so glad that I did.

Best moment …

Right now, knowing that Dinosaur Boy is about to go out “into the wild,” where kids I’ve never met can pick it up and read it. This is also the worst moment, because it’s utterly terrifying. But the chance to make a kid somewhere say, “I love this” about something I wrote, is exactly what I’ve been working towards for so long. It’s a dream.

Your special place to write …

Anywhere that has coffee. I’m not picky about location – my kitchen table, my home office, Starbucks, Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf. I’m okay with background noise (in fact, a lack of it can feel weird sometimes). I even sometimes text myself entire paragraphs when I’m at the gym or the grocery store. But for serious writing, the coffee thing is non-negotiable. Serious writing requires caffeine.

Necessary writing/creativity tool …

See above ☺

Favorite bookshop …

So many! Locally (I live in Austin, Texas) I love Book People and our local B&N in pretty fantastic too. But The Book Spot is the most special to me. (Secret: they have a whole section in back for out of print books. I think I’ve bought every Baby Sitters Club they have, but they also have tons of old favorites like Sweet Valley High, The Box Car Children, Nancy Drew . . .it’s like browsing through my childhood bookshelf.)

Outside of Texas . . . I went to Powell’s Books in Portland once. I left only because my husband eventually dragged me out, kicking and screaming. I remember thinking that I could happily die there ☺

Currently reading …

Right now I’m reading an [advanced reader copy] of WISH GIRL by Nikki Loftin. It’s PHENOMENAL and it hits shelves at the end of February, so everybody mark their calendars and stock up on tissues. It’s the kind of book that’s going to make you ugly cry, but in the best possible way.

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

The Song of the Lioness series by Tamora Pierce. Those were the books that made me want to become a writer . . . but only after I came to terms with the fact that becoming Alanna (the series heroine, a girl who pretends to be a boy in order to become a knight) was probably not a realistic life goal.

An author you idolize …

Cynthia Leitich Smith. And it’s not just her writing (which is fantastic – Tantalize is one of my all-time favorite books). The way she conducts herself professionally should be studied, analyzed, and broken down into some sort of serum that can be distributed to everybody attempting to enter publishing. She makes it her business to support other authors, gives freely of her wisdom, and is incredibly kind. I recommend her weekly roundup of news and articles on Cynsations to anybody who wants to know what’s what in Kid Lit.

Favorite illustrator …

I’m in awe of anybody who can draw, really. But I’m particularly fond of Marek Jagucki, who did the cover art for Dinosaur Boy. I think he’s just fantastic.

A literary character to vacation with …

Mr. Peabody (from Peabody and Sherman). I know that’s kind of cheating, since he started out as an animated cartoon and not a literary character. But come on, he’s a DOG who has a TIME MACHINE! How cool would that vacation be?!

Connect with Cory Putman Pakes …

CoryPOakes.com | Twitter | Facebook

Dinosaur Boy By Cory Putman OakesDinosaur Boy

By Cory Putman Oakes

Publisher’s synopsis: Everyone knows the dinosaur gene skips a generation.

So it isn’t a complete surprise when Sawyer sprouts spikes and a tail before the start of fifth grade. After all, his grandfather was part stegosaurus.

Despite the Principal’s Zero Tolerance Policy, Sawyer becomes a bully magnet, befriended only by Elliot aka “Gigantor” and the weird new girl. When the bullies start disappearing, Sawyer is relieved-until he discovers a secret about the principal that’s more shocking than Dino DNA. The bullies are in for a galactically horrible fate…and it’s up to Sawyer and his friends to rescue them.

Ages 9-12 | Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky | 2015 | ISBN-13: 978-1492605379

Discover more middle grade books like Dinosaur Boy, by Cory Putman Oakes, 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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The Children’s Book Review, named one of the ALSC (Association for Library Service to Children) Great Web Sites for Kids, is a resource devoted to children’s literacy. We publish reviews and book lists of the best books for kids of all ages. We also produce author and illustrator interviews and share literacy based articles that help parents, grandparents, teachers and librarians to grow readers. This article was written and provided by a guest author.

Comments
  • This sounds like a very funny book. Never heard of dinosaur DNA being in someone :o) Congratulations and good luck!

    February 19, 2015

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