Beyond the Page: Trudi Trueit
This week we are excited to feature Trudi Trueit, author of the Explorer Academy series, featuring book 2 The Falcon’s Feather below (National Geographic Kids, March 2019). Get to know Trudi through some fun questions below.
What fictional place would you most like to go?
Wonderland! When I was young, I had a pop-up book of Alice in Wonderland that I adored. As I turned the pages, I would imagine that I was tumbling down the rabbit hole with Alice to the amazing and nonsensical world below. I would have tea with the Mad Hatter, disappear alongside the Cheshire cat, and steal a few delicious tarts from the Queen of Hearts (then run!).
What was your favorite childhood TV show and why?
I was a bit young for the original run of The Mary Tyler Moore show, but I watched the show in re-runs through college. Mary was the first career woman I ever saw on television, and she was doing what I longed to do, work in TV news (which I eventually did!). She was confident, independent, resourceful, and ambitious. Mary’s character was a great role model for me and thousands of other young women, who were discovering how to forge our own path and be exactly who and what we wanted to be.
What 3 items would you pick to go in a time capsule and why?
1. A video of the animals on Earth that are currently endangered primarily due to human activity—polar bears, whales, sea turtles, elephants, giraffes—with the hope that when the capsule is opened, these creatures will be thriving. If they are, it will be a testament to the best characteristics of humanity, such as altruism and cooperation. If they aren’t, it will be a tragic, yet necessary, cautionary tale.
2. The soundtrack to Hamilton, because I think it represents who we are creatively as a society at the moment. I see it touching young and old alike, and sparking a desire to not only dissect history, but learn from it.
3. This last one is a bit of a stretch, because it doesn’t yet exist (maybe one day!). In my science fiction series, Explorer Academy, some of the students get a unique gift called a Time Capsule, a small device that looks like a cold capsule but can keep a memory. All a person has to do is hold the capsule and think of a special moment and the device will capture it. So I would put a Time Capsule in the time capsule! And my memory? One of my school visits. These are the most precious and powerful moments of my life. Imagine looking out at a sea of eager young readers; the next generation of great scientists, artists, writers and explorers!
Tell us one fun insider-fact about Explorer Academy, Book 2: The Falcon’s Feather.
I saw a National Geographic documentary about dolphins and how these intelligent animals communicate with each other using whistles, clicks, bubble blowing, and even synchronized swimming. I thought how incredible it would be if we could interpret these sounds and movements, maybe even tap into their thoughts. So for the book, I had the science tech lab chief of Explorer Academy create the Universal Cetacean Communicator – a special helmet that allows the main character to understand and speak to right whales!
Trudi Trueit has written more than a hundred books for young readers, both fiction and nonfiction. Her love of writing began in fourth grade when she wrote, directed, and starred in her first play. She went on to become a TV news reporter and weather forecaster, but she knew her calling was in writing. Trueit is a gifted storyteller for middle-grade audiences, and her fiction novels include The Sister Solution, Stealing Popular, and the Secrets of a Lab Rat series. Her expertise in nonfiction for kids comes through in books on history, weather, wildlife, and Earth science. Born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, Trueitt lives in Everett, Washington. You can visit her at truditrueit.com.