The main character in Carol Weston’s newest book is named Ava. Her sister is Pip. Her mom is Anna. And her dad is named Bob. Noticing a pattern? Each family member’s name is the same whether it’s spelled backward and forward.
“Ava XOX” (SourceBooks/Jabberwocky, $15.99) is the third book in what Weston calls her “palindrome series” for kids ages 8 to 12. “Basically they’re word nerds,” Weston says of Ava’s family. “There’s a lot of word play throughout the book.”
Weston will be speaking about her book, answering questions and signing copies on April 28 at the Turn of the Corkscrew book store in Rockville Centre. In addition to writing the palindrome series, Weston, 59, has written more than a dozen other books, including what she calls her signature book, “Girltalk: All the Stuff Your Sister Never Told You.” She’s also been the “Dear Carol” advice columnist for Girls’ Life magazine since 1994. She lives on the Upper West Side of Manhattan and has two grown daughters.
She says ideas for her stories often come from questions that kids ask her as advice columnist. When she writes a book, she says, she tries to make it have a good message. “I try to be part Dear Abby, part Judy Blume,” she says.
“Ava XOX” tells the story of Ava and her friend Chuck, both sixth graders, and what happens when your best guy friend is suddenly someone else’s girlfriend, Weston says. The first book in the series was called “Ava and Pip” and the second “Ava and Taco Cat.” Both of those are out in paperback.
The books are in diary form. “I tell boys, ‘I’m letting you read a girl’s diary.’ I usually get a laugh out of that,” Weston says.