Barbara Dee (Everything I Know About You): Books Between, Episode 59

Episode Outline:

Listen to the episode here!


Hi and welcome to Books Between – a podcast for teachers, librarians, parents, and anyone who loves middle grade books! And what I love is to help you connect kids between 8-12 with fantastic reads and share inspiring conversations with the authors and educators who make that magic happen.

I’m your host, Corrina Allen – a mom of two, a teacher of twenty-two (as of the last classlist update), and a little over two days away from the first day of school.

This is episode #59 and today I’m sharing a conversation with Barbara Dee – author of Everything I Know About You along with many other fabulous middle grade reads!

A quick update on our Middle Grade at Heart Book Club schedule. This month’s pick is The House That Lou Built. And in October we are reading The Three Rules of Everyday Magic and The Hotel Between by Sean Easley is our November pick.

And remember to set yourself a reminder for Monday nights at 9pm EST so you don’t miss the #MGBookChat Twitter chat!  Our upcoming topics are Ending Gendered Labels, Books That Battle Mental Health Stigmas, and Teachers as Readers.  And I would love to have you join the conversation and share your thoughts about those topics.

Barbara Dee – Interview Outline

Our special guest this week is the amazing Barbara Dee – author of so many well-loved middle grade books like Halfway Normal and Star Crossed and Truth or Dare – and lots 0.jpegmore. We discuss Hamilton, body issues among young girls, her own experiences with an eating disorder, her secrets to capturing dialogue in her writing, the incredible book that she’s working on next, and of course her latest novel – Everything I Know About You !  

Take a listen…

Everything I Know About You

Your latest middle grade novel, Everything I Know About You, was just released this past summer.  For our listeners who have not yet read the novel, can you tell us a bit about it?

Would you mind reading a favorite passage?

One of the things I loved about this novel was that it shed some light on the body issues that so many teens and tweens grapple with. When Ava and her friends have that conversations about “thigh gaps” and being “pre-fat”, I kept think about how many kids feel that pressure over their body….   Why did you want to explore those issues in this novel?

This story centers around an overnight field trip to Washington D.C.   Did you travel there to do research? Did you see Hamilton?!

So how naughty ARE your cats?

**BONUS SPOILER SECTION: Paula and I discuss the ending of the novel, and if you’d like to hear that conversation, I moved that part of the recording to after the end credits of today’s episode at the 43:30 mark.

Your Writing Life

Everything I Know About You is your 9th published novel.  How has your writing process changed from those first books to now?

If you can talk about it….. what are you working on now?

You’ve mentioned before that one of the ways you get ideas is by eavesdropping. Where are some good places for aspiring writers to eavesdrop? And how do you keep from getting caught?

Your Reading Life

One of the goals of this podcast is to help educators and librarians and parents inspire kids to read more and connect them with amazing books.  Did you have a special teacher or librarian who helped foster your reading life as a child?  And if so, what did they do that made such a difference?

What have you been reading lately?


Barbara’s website –

Barbara on Twitter


Books & Authors We Chatted About:


A Wrinkle in Time (Madeleine L’Engle)

The Black Stallion Series (Walter Farley)

Island of the Blue Dolphins (Scott O’Dell)

Rascal (Sterling North)

Clock Dance (Anne Tyler)

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine (Gail Honeyman)

Every Shiny Thing (Cordelia Jensen and Laurie Morrison)

Hope in the Holler (Lisa Lewis Tyre)

You Go First (Erin Entrada Kelly)

So Done (Paula Chase)

Eating Disorder Resources:

National Eating Disorder Association –

Eating Disorder Referral And Information Center –

Alliance for Eating Disorders Awareness –


Alright, that wraps up our show this week!

If you have a question about how to connect kids between 8-12 to books they’ll love or a suggestion about a topic we should cover, I would love to hear from you. You can email me at or message me on Twitter/Instagram at the handle @Books_Between.

Books Between is a proud member of the Education Podcast Network. This network EPN_badgefeatures podcasts for educators, created by educators. For more great content visit

Thank you so much for joining me this week. You can get an outline of interviews and a full transcript of all the other parts of our show at And, if you are liking the show, please leave us some love on iTunes or Stitcher so others can discover us as well.

Thanks and see you soon!  Bye!


Corrina Allen is a 5th grade teacher in Central New York and mom of two energetic tween girls. She is passionate about helping kids discover who they are as readers.

Corrina is the host of Books Between – a podcast to help teachers, parents, and librarians connect children between 8 and 12 to books they’ll love.

Find her on Twitter at @corrinaaallen or Instagram at @Corrina_Allen.