Margaret Gurevich is the author of many books for kids, including Capstone’s Academy of Dance series, Gina’s Balance, and their award-winning Chloe by Design series. She has also written for National Geographic Kids and Penguin Young Readers. When she’s not writing and teaching, she likes exercising, spending time with her family and friends, reading, and watching movies.
Marina Raydun: You work within the MG genre. What is it about that age group that makes you want to reach out to kids and young adults via fiction?
Margaret Gurevich: I love connecting with the MG age group. There are serious topics tackled but in a manner relatable to the tween. I remember that age, and knowing someone understood what I was going through was everything.
MR: What were some of your favorite books as a middle schooler?
MG: As a middle schooler, I gravitated to adult as well as children’s books. I loved Agatha Christie at that age, but I also enjoyed The Secret Garden, all books by S.E. Hinton, The Babysitters Club series, and more.
MR: Is there an illicit book you had to sneak growing up?
MG: My mom was very open to whatever I read. I was lucky that way.
MR: You were born in Belarus (where I lived between the ages of 3 and 11), but moved to the United States at a very young age. Are you bilingual? Which language lends itself better to storytelling?
MG: I can speak Russian and English, but English comes easier. There are many Russian words I have forgotten as there is no one to practice speaking with.
MR: What affect do you feel growing up in family of immigrants had (and continues to have) on your writing?
MG: I like this question! I would say the biggest effect was being brought here to have the life my parents could not. We actually came here as refugees, not immigrants. Growing up, I was always told about the opportunities I could have. I took that to heart. Writing was always my dream, and I wanted to do everything possible to achieve it.
MR: What is the most difficult part about your artistic process?
MG: The self-doubt that creeps up is always an issue, but I push through it.
MR: Is there a thing you’ve written that makes you cringe now?
MG: There’s a poem I wrote when I was seven that my mom still has. I rhymed twirl with chocolate swirl. I think that speaks for itself.