Cassidy MacDonald is Pictou County’s newest interviewer.
Cassidy MacDonald shows off her copy of “The Reluctant Journal of Henry K. Larsen.” She interviewed the author, Susin Nielsen, as part of the CBC-TD Kids Book Club this past Sunday in Halifax. AMANDA JESS – THE NEWS
Along with three children from the Halifax area, the 11-year-old prodded author Susin Nielsen about her latest book this past weekend.
Her mother, Amy MacLeod, was impressed MacDonald was the only one from outside Halifax and said it was a great opportunity for her daughter.
“How often do you get to meet the author of a book?”
As part of the TD Kids Book Club for CBC’s Word On The Street, the four children read “The Reluctant Journal of Henry K. Larsen.”
It’s Nielsen’s sixth book and is about a 13-year-old boy forced to start journaling his dark and humorous thoughts while he comes to terms with something his brother did. It addresses the consequences of bullying.
MacDonald really enjoyed the book.
“I liked it was a happy ending after all the heavy talk.”
On Sunday in Halifax, MacDonald asked Nielsen if it was based on a true story.
She said it’s not, but that it was loosely inspired by the tragedy at Columbine High School and another book she read called “The Hour I First Believed” by Wally Lamb. The book mentioned one of the shooters had a brother and Nielsen began thinking about how a surviving sibling deals with something like that.
It gave MacDonald a different perspective, she said, and made her think about how many people are affected by bullying.
She was nervous at first for the interview, but the friendly faces of her family in the audience calmed her nerves.
MacLeod was surprised at how big a deal it was. She said there were at least 30 people there for the interview.
MacDonald couldn’t pick just one thing she liked about the experience. All of it was “awesome.”
“She was really nice and funny,” she said about Nielsen.
CBC asked for applicants and MacLeod read about it on Facebook. She immediately thought it would be perfect for MacDonald and asked if she wanted to apply.
She did, and CBC called to interview her. She told them how much she loves reading and writing as well as offered questions she’d like to ask the author.
They called her back later and told her she had a spot.
“’We have good news. You’re in the book club,’ [CBC told me.] I was really excited.”
MacDonald thinks she was chosen because she’s passionate and had some clever questions.
She writes her own stories for fun and wants to continue as she grows up. She’s not quite sure what she wants to do when she’s older yet. She has lots of options lined up in her head.
She enjoys the idea of becoming a veterinarian, she said, because she loves animals.
MacDonald will be heading back to Halifax on Oct. 10 to meet with CBC Radio to speak about how the interview went.
The book club is also trying to arrange a tour of Gaspereau Press in Kentville so the kids can see how a book is made.
The details aren’t settled and it’s optional, but MacDonald is definitely interested.
On Twitter: @NGNewsAmanda