On the strength of an NPR interview Sherman Alexie’s new picture book jumped up Amazon’s sales rankings, jumping from #1,381 to #83.
NPR’s David Greene talks with Alexie about Thunder Boy Jr., illustrated by Yuyi Morales (Hachette/Little, Brown), calling it “joyful… funny and sweet.” Words which could also describe Alexie’s reading of the book, which opens and closes the interview.
The two discuss the inspiration for the story as well as Alexie’s life, father, and vision of himself, pointing to the dark humor in his National Book Award-winning novel, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, which is also rising strongly on Amazon.
Alexie talks about how reading created the person he is today:
“My life changed dramatically, and started to change dramatically, when I read The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats. I was 4 or 5 on the reservation, and it was the first book I ever read with a brown-skinned character … I reached across the fictional and the real barriers and boundaries to connect my heart to him. And that’s why I’m here now. That one book made me a writer. And I can point to other books throughout my life that did the same thing — that made me who I am. I am constructed of stories that have changed my life.”