An Interview with Angie Spady: Who in the World is Channing O’ Banning and Where in the World is she?

Jul 16, 2013 by

SONY DSCMichael F. Shaughnessy –
1)      Angela- who in the world is Channing O’ Banning and why is everyone talking about her?
Channing O’Banning is a feisty fourth grade artist who records everything in her secret sketchbook! Whether it’s drawing a sketch of her best friend Maddy,  or sketching a fear or frustration that’s typical of an elementary school kid, “Chan” is destined to become a artist with whom every kid can relate!
2)      Now, who is this teacher Boring Mr. Doring and how does he fit into this book ?
 “Boring Doring” is Channing O’Banning overly dramatic science teacher!  While Chan initially believes that science is a boring subject, she soon realizes just how important it is, and that she can use her artistic talents to help better understand science as well as all school subjects.
3)      They  have this BFF- Best Friends Forever- and it seems Channing is having some problems in this area- True or False?
True. Like most elementary school kids, they are growing emotionally in the development of friendships.  Her best friends are Maddy Martinez, a girly girl Hispanic character, and Cooper Newberry, an African American friend who is the class brainiac. Channing has to learn, as most kids, that friends are to be shared!
4)      Now, there seems to be some trouble in Costa Rica—how much can you share without ruining the plot of the book and ending?
Let’s just say that Channing O’Banning ends up on a wild adventure in Costa Rica, where she not only learns about the vast contributions of the rainforest to our way of life, but she learns an important lesson about trusting and friendships as well.
5)  Is there is moral to this story ?
I try to always subtly incorporate some type of life lesson into each book. The first book in the series is interwoven with issues of resolving jealousy, friendships, trust, and even prejudice.
6)      Channing doesn’t have any superpowers- but she does have some skills- tell us about a few of them?
Channing is a typical artistic kid, in that she has a great imagination and a love of expression herself. Her colored pencil drawings in her secret sketchbook are an extension of herself for sure.
7)      What have I neglected to ask ? How many books are in the series?
Six so far, with the second one, Channing O’Banning and the Turquoise Trail, debuting now. The third book, Channing O’Banning and the Pink Pencil Problem, will be out this fall. I’m amazed and excited that the books have taken off like they have. To see a young kid with a pencil in their ponytail, like Channing, has me smiling of course!
8)      Do you have a web site where teachers can find out more  about this high interest, low vocabulary book that might engage tweens ?
9)      And do you have a picture to see how much You look like Channing?
Oh, I don’t look like Channing, but she is inspired by my real daughter, Channing, who is a bubbly and creative 17 year old artist in her own right. Her exploits as a young artist have naturally inspired me!
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