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‘Restart’ author Gordon Korman talks children’s books

Long Island author Gordon Korman at the Great

Long Island author Gordon Korman at the Great Neck Library with Kidsday reporters, from left, Elizabeth Musso, Elizabeth Mooney, Isabel Connolly and Emily Carroll of the Joseph C. Fox Latin School at Kellenberg Memorial High School. Credit: Newsday / Pat Mullooly

In the newly refurbished Great Neck Library on May 16, we met Long Island author Gordon Korman. He has written more than 80 books, including his newest book, “Restart.” Many of his books are recommended by teachers for class discussions, book reports or just personal enjoyment. We noticed he was relaxed and wearing very casual clothes. This lead to an interesting question regarding his novel “Schooled.”

We asked if he prefers tie-dye clothes or a suit and tie. His answer was “tie dye clothes over a suit and tie any day.” His favorite sports are hockey and football, and he enjoys all types of music except operas. In sixth grade, he was nicknamed G-Man.

Some of the books we read, such as “Schooled,” “Framed” and “Ungifted,” had deeper meanings before we even got past the cover. The cover of “Schooled” depicts a school bus with tie-dye windows, which symbolizes the book’s message of peace and harmony in the darkest of places, like the bus ride home.

In “Framed,” as well as the rest of the “Swindle” series, Luthor the Doberman makes a vicious appearance on the cover. The guard dog later became a trademark of the criminal saga. Luthor watches over the baseball card that the main characters are trying to steal back from the common crook. Many of you probably have seen the adaptation from Nickelodeon.

In the 2012 book “Ungifted,” Tin Man the robot graces the cover. Tin Man united all the students, gifted or not.

The cover of his new book, “Restart,” which hit stores just this week, is tied to the main character, Chase. This represents the typical nerd who would usually be a victim of Chase. Chase, the bully, suffered an incident and came down with amnesia. His bullying and thought process were erased and he was just another normal kid. Throughout the plot, he became a better person through the people he associated with and the actions he chose to commit. The theme of the book was nature versus nurture.

As he was writing the book, Gordon wanted to find out whether bullying was purely in genetics or made as you experienced the world. We fell in love with the main idea of equality for all students, big or small, nerd or jock, popular or weird.

All of these books mentioned above seem like they could have been written by a wise adult. However, Korman actually wrote his first book in the seventh grade! “This Can’t Be Happening at Macdonald Hall” was a project given by his seventh-grade track coach, who was filling in as an English teacher. With help from his mom, the pieces of the story flowed out of him and he had a bestseller in his teenage years.

As a writer from such a young age, Gordon Korman has helped and inspired us in our writing career to hopefully one day be as great a writer. His books are great reads for any kid in school with a book report or maybe if you just want to pass the time. Whatever it may be, make sure you get your hands on one of the amazing Korman books. This enjoyable and informative interview with Gordon Korman was a memorable experience we will never forget, just as his books leave a lasting impression on readers.

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