A Book, a Movie, and a Secret Brother, a guest post by Anika Fajardo

A book. A movie. A secret brother.

What do these three things have in common?

Maybe nothing to you, but for me, these were the inspiration for my new middle-grade novel Meet Me Halfway.

A book.

I was an avid reader as a kid. Even before I could read on my own, I was lucky enough to have a mom and grandparents who read aloud to me. I loved every kind of book: Little WomenJack London, Alice in WonderlandBeverly Cleary.

One of my favorites was From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler.

As you can see, my copy of EL Konigsburg’s 1967 book is well-worn from multiple re-readings throughout my life. The story of two runaways captured my imagination partly because of the location (the Metropolitan Museum of Art!) but also in the unique and responsible way in which Claudia runs away. As a sufferer of anxiety, I appreciated the planning that went into her hijinks. I also loved the way Claudia took charge of her life to make a change. Plus, she got to boss around a little brother (something that I, as an only child, found fascinating).