Your mother was a contestant on The $20,000 Pyramid with Dick Clark. Did she practice every evening like Miranda’s mom?
I don’t remember her practicing—and there was also a different outcome.
She didn’t win?
No, she didn’t. But we did get consolation prizes, and one of them was a case of Panel Magic.
Do you remember what you read for that first discussion group?
Oh, I do. Actually, it’s really kind of a funny story. Nowadays one of CCBC’s discussion guidelines is that you can only make positive comments first. If you have things that kept you from appreciating a book, you have to wait until everyone has had a chance to say what they appreciated. But back then, when I went to my first discussion, I didn’t say anything about the first book they discussed—which I absolutely loved—because right away they just started ripping it to shreds.
I was really embarrassed. I’d written a fan letter to the author, and I just thought it was the most amazing book. But I didn’t say anything. Then when I went back the next month, the same thing happened. They just started ripping to shreds a book I had really loved. But that time I spoke up and said, “You know, I really like this book, and I want to tell you what I liked about it.” And I felt vindicated, because it went on to be a Newbery Honor Book that year.
What was the name of the book?
A Ring of Endless Light by Madeleine L’Engle.