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There's A Book

The 20 Question Interview with our very own Turkeybird is our feature interview that happens with all of the book authors, illustrators and poets we love!

Today we’re extremely excited to welcome author Gigi Amateau! Her newest novel Come August, Come Freedom: The Bellows, The Gallows, and The Black General Gabriel is out today (Congratulations!) and it’s phenomenal. Look for our review later today, but until then enjoy a very fun interview between Gigi and the Turkeybird!

1. You have lots and lots of books! Which one is your very most favorite?

Turkeybird!! Hey Buddy, you have the sweetest dimples. What do you hide in there? Oh, ok, I’ll answer the question. My favorite book…don’t tell the other ones…is the one about Gabriel: Come August, Come Freedom.

2. Why?

Gosh, TB, for lots of reasons. Probably because the real story took place in my favorite city and along my favorite river. And also, because it involves history and I really, really love history. I love history the way some people love Harry Potter. [I do also love Harry Potter and Ron and Miss H.]

3. My mom told me all about the guy in your book, Gabriel. He sounds super super brave! Why wasn’t he just shy?

Gabriel was good at a few things like reading and writing and making things with his hands. I think that made him feel strong and confident.

4. I’m really super shy. How do you think I can be brave like him (Gabriel)?

Turkeybird, I’m shy, too! I think we can be brave like Gabriel by learning new things, helping our families and neighborhoods, and also by remembering that you can be scared and brave at the same time.

5. What’s your favoritest part about school? (I just started kindergarten and I love recess!)

My two favoritest parts of school are lunch time and the part where you get to read quietly by yourself.

6. Crayons or Markers?


7. Why?

Because they smell good.

8. What’s your favorite color?

Lately, I’ve really been enjoying green. All the greens are awesome.

9. If you were five what would you read next?

Guess What? Guess What? I’d read Chicken Butt!

10. Do you have a favorite treat? (Mine is chocolate ice cream right now, but yesterday I really liked chocolate popsicles!)

TB, do you know what a black and white milkshake is? Ask for one the next time you’re out getting ice cream. You will love it, promise. A black and white is a chocolate shake made with vanilla ice cream and chocolate syrup.

11. One of my favorite things is my book I wrote. I keep adding to it too! When you were my age did you like to write?

You wrote a book already?! That’s awesome! I’m sure your mom will treasure that and keep it safe til you’re grown up. When I was your age I wrote mushy poems for my mom. She still has them in the attic.

12. Why do you like to write?

It seems easier to write about things that I think and feel and believe than to talk about those things. And, I like the way it feels to use a Ticonderoga number two pencil.

13. Do you have a favorite animal?

Dogs and horses are a tie.

14. How come?

Horses are really smart and I feel calm around them. My dog helps me write. Well, my horse helps me write, too. They do that by getting me outside and sticking with me when I’m trying to figure something out. Here’s a picture of my horse for you, Turkeybird. His name is Albert. Ok. Here’s my dog, too. Her name is Biscuit.

15. Swings or Slides?

Because I like to pump really high then jump out.16. Why?


17. What’s your favorite thing to do outside?

Go hiking by the river.

18. Do you think you’ll ever write a book for kids my age?

Maybe so! What should it be about?

19. What would it be about?

Hey, I just asked you that question. Ok. If I wrote a book for you it would be about a shy boy with really precious dimples. Let’s see, he’d be the kind of kid who likes recess. Probably, he would have a little sister. Maybe he would be missing a tooth or two. One day, he would go on a long walk through the woods, into the mountains, through the desert, and by the ocean. He would walk all over the world and meet a lot of different animals and birds. Some of them would be shy. Some of them would be brave. Some of them would be shy and brave at the same time! He would love them all and they would love him, too.

20. What are you writing right now?

I’m writing a ghost story right now, oooooooo. Not too scary though. My guy is a pretty shy ghost, actually.

Thank you, Turkeybird! I love your questions and hope you have a wonderful school year. Congratulations on being in kindergarten. I hope you have lots of fun and play hard at recess!

The Turkeybird Speaks: You said Chicken Butt! That is super funny! Hahahaha! Okay, my mom said I probably need to stop running around the house screaming “Chicken Butt” at my sister. I still think it’s super funny and I really want a book that says “Chicken Butt” too!

Gigi, thank you for your super good answers! I really like the sound of a black and white milkshake because it has chocolate in it. My mom said maybe we could get one for a treat sometime and I can’t wait!

School is really fun, I wanted to tell you, but now that I’ve been going a long time (two weeks) I think I really like math more than anything else. I do like sitting with my best friend and reading too. That’s one of my very favoritest things. And I really really really like your book idea! I think you should write that book and maybe when I get older I can read all of your other books because I think they would be really good too! Thank you so so so super much Gigi!

PS…My mom just told me that you met her before! How super cool!

Come August, Come Freedom: The Bellows, The Gallows, and The Black General Gabriel by Gigi Amateau

In a time of post-Revolutionary fervor in Richmond, Virginia, an imposing twenty-four-year-old slave named Gabriel, known for his courage and intellect, plotted a rebellion involving thousands of African- American freedom seekers armed with refashioned pitchforks and other implements of Gabriel’s blacksmith trade. The revolt would be thwarted by a confluence of fierce weather and human betrayal, but Gabriel retained his dignity to the end. History knows little of Gabriel’s early life. But here, author Gigi Amateau imagines a childhood shaped by a mother’s devotion, a father’s passion for liberation, and a friendship with a white master’s son who later proved cowardly and cruel. She gives vibrant life to Gabriel’s love for his wife-to-be, Nanny, a slave woman whose freedom he worked tirelessly, and futilely, to buy. Interwoven with original documents, this poignant, illuminating novel gives a personal face to a remarkable moment in history.
An 1800 insurrection planned by a literate slave known as “Prosser’s Gabriel” inspires a historical novel following one extraordinary man’s life.

Find Come August, Come Freedom: The Bellows, The Gallows, and The Black General Gabriel by Gigi Amateau at the following spots:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Powell’s Books | Indiebound | Book Depository | Goodreads

Thank you so much to the publisher, Candlewick Press, for providing a copy of this book for review! Connect with them on Twitter, Google+ and on Facebook!
Purchasing products by clicking through the links in this post will provide us a modest commission through our various affiliate relationships.

6 Responses to Author Interview: 20 Questions with Gigi Amateau

  1. Raquel says:

    ahh ! I love it! Great interview Turkeybird and Gigi 🙂

  2. Gina says:

    GREAT interview as usual guys! Love the advice on being shy….and markers over crayons choice; though I do love me some good colored pencils. ^_^ Thanks for sharing!

  3. V(Bookborne) says:

    Fantastic interview! And it sounds like a most interesting book as well.

  4. Gigi says:

    Hi and thanks, again, Turkeybird! Sounds like school is going well. You like MATH! Good for you. How is your book coming along? Tell your mom, I said, “Hi and thanks for having me on There’s a Book!”

  5. Maria says:

    This interview is too sweet! Love the dimples and Chicken Butt references. She obviously has a handle on what makes the little people tick 😉

  6. Meg Medina says:

    As a fellow Richmonder, I am so excited to see this new book on the shelves. It pays tribute to a remarkable man in history whose story deserves to be told. Great interview with Gigi!

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