Jonathan Auxier

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

    

As the year comes to a close, we’re looking back on our favorite Essential Pittsburgh stories and guests from 2014. Today we’re highlighting some of our favorite author interviews from the year.

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The success of the Harry Potter books has proven that adults and children can enjoy the same literature. Pittsburgh based author Jonathan Auxier writes books for ages 8 to 14. He’s visited our show a number of times in the past year to review the work of other children’s book authors.

When Auxier first visited our studios back in February, he described his new book “Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes,” featuring a small blind orphan who happens to be the greatest thief who ever lived.

“The book is actually fairly dense on a word level. It’s got very complicated language structure. I was actually working out of a tradition of the eighteenth-century neoclassical writers like Samuel Johnson or Swift or people like that. But the story itself has a very childlike sensibility, and I love mixing that.”

Marcus Charleston / 90.5 WESA

The last time author Jonathan Auxier stopped by the program, he had summer reading recommendations for children. He recently stopped by our studio and spoke with WESA’s man of letters, Morning Edition host, Josh Raulerson to offer up some book suggestions for young readers.

Jonathan Auxier Suggests 

Jonathan Auxier’s Summer Reading Picks for the Kids

Jul 21, 2014
Jonathon Auxier / Twitter

According to the National Summer Learning Association, summer learning loss amounts to two month’s worth of reading for lower income students. Jonathan Auxier’s lifelong love of children’s books has turned into a career as an author, writing for readers ages 8-14. He’s recommended some books young readers will enjoy spending time with this summer.

Auxier, who has children himself, knows the most important aspect of children’s books.

“Most of the things that I’m telling my two year old right now, who’s acting out a lot, I’m basically constantly informing her about what it means to be good, and what it means to be bad. I think kids are really sensitive to that profound moral question about what goodness and badness truly is, and children’s books, unlike adult books, which I think can be a little coy about those.”

Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes

Feb 12, 2014
Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

 

Dazzled by the bizarre and eccentric characters of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, children’s author Jonathan Auxier has always been fascinated by peculiar storytelling.

The Vancouver native moved to Pittsburgh to pursue a theater and writing degree from Carnegie Mellon University and fell in love with the city’s charm and enchanting geography. His book, Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes, spins the tale of a blind orphan who happens to be the greatest thief to ever live.