Worth a Thousand Words, a new young adult novel that has left me speechless. Left with a limp after a car accident, Tillie watches the world from behind her camera lens, tracking down misplaced items as her school’s “Lost and Found.” Her next missing case is a little different. Jake, the class clown, asks Tillie to find his father. Their adventure takes As the mystery unravels, Tillie learns the importance of acceptance and tolerance- and the truth is not always what it seems. I managed to grab a quick word with the author of this novel, Brigit Young.
Photo via brigityoung.com
How would you describe Jake and Tillie?
BY: Tillie and Jake complement each other. Jake, unlike Tillie, can easily connect with people. Yet, like most comedians, Jake can unintentionally be insensitive. Their relationship is the driving force of the plot, and they both improve each other’s flaws throughout the novel.
Do Jake and Tillie ever face conflict in their relationship?
BY: Definitely. Tillie initially refuses to help Jake, as she finds him to be unauthentic. It also doesn’t help that Tillie saw Jake make fun of her limp two years prior.
Tillie and Jake are looking to find Jake’s dad. Can you tell me a little bit about him?
BY: I don’t want to spoil anything. But, at the beginning of the story, we only know Jake through his dad, and Jake is sort of an unreliable narrator. He thinks his dad is the dream dad, who plays Dungeons and Dragons with him and reads to him at night. Yet, as the story goes on, we see that this is far from true.
What about Tillie’s family?
BY: Tillie’s family is struggling as well. Tillie’s dad walks on eggshells around her because he was driving during the accident. Her mother, on the other hand, constantly worries about Tillie, leading her to feel smothered.
Are any characters based on people you have met on your life?
BY: My husband was definitely the inspiration for Jake. Jake, like my husband, is sometimes foolish but is an overwhelmingly kind person who always tries to be nice to others.
What would you want your daughter to take away from your novel?
BY: Be kind to everyone you meet, as everyone is fighting their own battle.
Are any new novels of yours coming out?
BY: Yes, a new novel called The Prettiest is getting released in 2020. It’s about an anonymous list that ranks the top fifty prettiest girls in the school. It revolves around three characters: the girl ranked number one, who is shy, the girl ranked number two, who feels she should be number one, and a girl not ranked at all. I really liked writing this book, as it tackles issues of sexual harassment. Sexual harassment is rarely addressed is media tailored to younger audiences. I hope by writing this novel, I can show that sexual harassment can happen even in middle school.
To find out more about Brigit Young, click here.
Image Courtesy of Brigit Young