Today we have a guest post from Sue Cowing…
“I guess telling the truth only works when you have something normal to say,” young Parker Lockwood complains in Call Me Drog. All Parker can say is that an old bald hand-puppet he found in the junkyard talks, and that it won’t come off of his hand. No one believes him. His classmates, his mother, his estranged father, and even his best friend Wren, assume that it’s Parker who’s being snarky and wickedly funny and rude.
Believe him. The minute the paint had dried on the puppet I made, Drog spoke right up, saying things I would never say, telling wild, attention-getting stories, and fracturing language in ways that made me cringe and laugh. Parker, my hero in this story, needs to find his own voice and stand up for his creative nature (“I think with my hands”) or he might end up in military school. The last thing he needs is a harsh critic and troublemaker stuck on his hand. Or is it?
A writer friend calls Drog “the Anti-Pinocchio of Middle School,” because despite his outrageous claims to fame, he tells the kinds of truth no one wants to hear. I was often tempted to protect Parker from hurt and trouble while writing this story, but Drog wasn’t having any of that, and the scenes he insisted I write turned out to be turning points in the book. As Drog would say, “Don’t you just hate it when I’m right?” Yes! And I’m also grateful.
I love stories that are realistic except for one mystery that only deepens as it becomes more familiar. Where did Drog come from, and what makes him talk? Even Drog doesn’t know for certain, and that’s the truth.
You can find out more information about Call Me Drog and Sue Cowing at www.usborne.com/callmedrog