This week, we released a new podcast episode! We sat down with Sayantani DasGupta, the author of the forthcoming middle grade fantasy novel The Serpent's Secret to talk about her love of folklore and science and how she wove those elements together in her book. It just so happens that Sayantani's 13-year-old daughter, Sunaya, is a Scholastic News Kids Press Corps reporter, so she acted as our guest host for the beginning of the episode! She asked her mom what inspired her to write The Serpent's Secret, and Sayantani told her that Sunaya and her brother were the inspiration!
"When I was your age and very into reading, just like you are, I didn't have a lot of books with protagonists who looked like me. And that was all right, I mean, I loved Jo March in Little Women and I loved Meg Murry in A Wrinkle In Time, but there was always that extra piece missing. There wasn't an immigrant daughter like me who I could read about who was being brave and heroic. There wasn't a brown-skinned girl like me who was out there saving the world. And so by the time you and your elder brother started becoming big readers, I figured things were better. And I was kind of sad to learn that they were to some extent, but not as much in the kinds of books you guys liked to read like fantasy. So it inspired me to go back to the stories I loved as a little girl that I heard from my grandma, and write a story where you guys could see an immigrant daughter being brave and heroic and saving the world."
Pop in your headphones and give this episode a listen right here! To make sure you don't miss an episode, be sure to subscribe to Scholastic Reads on your favorite podcasts app and new episodes will be delivered straight to your phone!