Monday, April 4, 2011

Eleven Up: Interview with Angela Cerrito

Today's Elevensies interview is with Angela Cerrito, author of THE END OF THE LINE, which is being released by Holiday House today, April 4th, 2011!

Jacket Photography by
Edward McCain/Workbook
Stock Collection/Getty Images
Here's a summary: Robbie is locked in a room with nothing but a desk, a chair, a stack of paper and pencil. No belt, no shoes, no socks. He’s starving, but all they give him is water. Robbie has reached The End of the Line, AKA Great Oaks School, and at Great Oaks there’s no time off for good behavior. All good behavior will get you are points. Enough points and you get something to eat, a bed, bathroom privileges. Thirteen-year-old Robbie’s first-person account of his struggles at the school—at times horrifying, at times hilarious—alternates with flashbacks to the events that led to his incarceration. If Robbie is to survive The End of the Line, he must confront the truth: He is a murderer.

Hey Angela!  What inspired you to write Robbie’s story?  

I don’t hear voices, but I do have characters that live in my mind. I found Robbie and his story to be irresistible.

You’re a big traveler. Where’s the one place you haven’t been that you really want to go?

I like to revisit places. I have a dream of driving across the U.S. again, this time with my kids.

If forced to name a place you haven’t already been, where would it be?

The Ice Lantern Festival in Harbin, China or the island of Crete.

How do the places you visit influence your writing?  Has visiting a certain location ever inspired you to write a story?    

I lived in the southern U.S. and that is the setting for my current WIP.

Is THE END OF THE LINE your first novel? What are you working on now? Can you tell us a bit about your writing process?

Yes, it is my first novel. I’m working on a middle grade novel about a girl with impossible dreams and a rare talent. My writing process usually involves candy.

To me, THE END OF THE LINE makes me think about hope, and how even if things are terrible, hope is one thing we all have. At the beginning of the story, what does your main character Robbie hope for?

Robbie wishes he could change the past, but most of all he wants to go home.

There are two sections of your website open for readers to contribute; can you tell us a little bit about this?

Readers Words ( is the place to post a list about who you are. This was Robbie’s first assignment at Great Oaks School.
Students Speak ( was started from email exchanges with Ms. Anderson’s YA lit class in my home state of Michigan. In addition to providing answers for Students Speak, Mrs. Anderson’s class interviewed me for her Y.A. Love blog (

What are your five books for the Apocalypse? What are the books you couldn’t live without?
      THE ANIMAL FAMILY by Randall Jarrell
      WHEN THE WHISTLE BLOWS by Fran Cannon Slayton
      I KNOW THIS MUCH IS TRUE by Wally Lamb
      And the biggest collection of poetry I can find


  1. another great interview! I'm heading to my Kobo to purchase this book right now!
    And thanks for those book recommendations. I've actually only heard of When the Whistle Blows.

  2. Nice to find out more about you, Angela. You're novel sounds fantastic, and I can't wait to read it.

    Angela @ The Bookshelf Muse