Author Stories Podcast Episode 970 | Valerie Tripp Interview

Today’s author interview guest is Valerie Tripp, author of Izzy Newton and the S.M.A.R.T. Squad: Absolute Hero.

When middle school mishaps happen, five friends form the S.M.A.R.T. Squad and use their collective skills and the power of science to bring order to their school. Science reigns supreme with this squad of young brainiacs. Join Izzy Newton and her friends in the first adventure of this fun new middle-grade fiction series from National Geographic Kids. A crowded new school and a crazy class schedule is enough to make Izzy feel dizzy. It may be the first day of middle school, but as long as her best friends Allie Einstein and Charlie Darwin are by her side, Izzy knows it’ll all be okay. However, first-day jitters take an icy turn when Izzy’s old pal Marie Curie comes back to town. Instead of a warm welcome, Marie gives her former pal the cold shoulder. The problems pile up when the school’s air-conditioning goes on the fritz and the temperature suddenly drops to near freezing. The adults don’t seem to have a clue how to thaw out the school. Cold temperatures and a frigid friendship? Izzy has had enough of feeling like an absolute zero. She rallies the girls to use their brainpower and science smarts to tackle the school’s chilly mystery … and hopefully to fix a certain frozen friendship along the way. Will the girls succeed and become the heroes of Atom Middle School?

Valerie Tripp (born 1951) is a children’s book author, best known for her work with the American Girl series. She grew up in Mount Kisco, New York with three sisters and a brother. She graduated from Yale University in the first co-educated class and has a Master’s of Education degree from Harvard University. Since 1985 she has lived in Silver Spring, Maryland. Her husband teaches history at Montgomery College. She has been a writer for reading textbooks for three decades, especially for The Superkids Reading Program.

Tripp wrote all the books in the Felicity, Josefina, Kit, Molly, and Maryellen series, and many of the books in the Samantha series. She has also written four of the five “Best Friends” character stories. Film dramatizations of the lives of Samantha, Felicity, Molly, and Kit have been based on her stories. Tripp wrote the Hopscotch Hill School series, as well as the 9 books in the Welliewisher series. She has worked as a writer and editor for Sterling Publishing Company and is the editorial director of Boys Camp Books. Most recently, Tripp has written the “Izzy Newton and the S.M.A.R.T. Squad” books for National Geographic Kids.

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