Celebs Gone Good chatted with Diary of a Wimpy Kid author Jeff Kinney about reading books, growing up, and more. Here's what Jeff had to say:
What inspires you to write about the underdog/little guy?
When I set out to write Diary of a Wimpy Kid, I wanted to write about a kid who was imperfect in the same ways I was imperfect as a kid. I wanted to write about someone who wasn't really fully formed as a person yet.
Did you always know that you wanted to be an author?
I never aspired to be a writer. I always wanted to be a newspaper cartoonist, but that plan didn't work out!
In this age of movies, TV, and the Internet, why are books still important to read?
It's important for kids to read stories, and books do the best job of telling a story. Plus, you don't need to recharge a book for it to work. You just open it up and dive right in!
Can you name a way for young people to get younger siblings or younger neighbors to read?
Younger siblings tend to want to be like their older brothers and sisters, so if s/he sees the older sib reading, s/he's more likely to develop the habit, too.
What's the biggest challenge that you think young people have growing up?
I think the biggest challenge kids have in growing up is in resisting the temptation to grow up too quickly. Most kids want to be older than the age they are right now, and they don't realize that being a kid is a really special privilege and it's a lot of fun.
What is your first memory of volunteering or helping out in your community?
My first memory of volunteering to help in the community came through Boy Scouts. I'm a leader in my kid's Cub Scouts pack now, and we've helped clean the town park and have done a food drive. I think it's great that my kid is learning how important community service is.
If could could give people 25 and under one piece of advice, what would it be?
My best piece of advice would be to turn off the computer and TV and create something on your own. I think there are tons of entertainment options out there, and the only way to become a creator is to unplug and focus on making something new.
Thanks for the advice, Jeff! Young people can help encourage literacy among young people by collecting donations for the Epic Book Drive.