The BKBF Interview: Tami Charles

The BKBF Interview continues this week with author Tami Charles. This weekly series of Q&As features some of this year’s Children’s Day authors. Tune in on Saturday, October 3 at 10:30am as Tami Charles, author of the picture book All Because You Matter, joins us for BKBF Children’s Day. 

Where is your favorite place to read and why?
Hands down, the beach! The soothing waves put me in the right mindset to dive all the way into the story, no matter the plot. Bonus points if it’s in the Caribbean. 

What book do you return to most often, whether passages or whole?
So many choices here!

Picture books:
Drum Dream Girl by Margarita Engle and Rafael López
Dave the Potter by Laban Carrick Hill and Bryan Collier
This is the Rope by Jacqueline Woodson and James Ransome 

The Complete Collected Poems by Maya Angelou
Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur
To Make Monsters Out of Girls by Amanda Lovelace

Monster by Walter Dean Myers
I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson
The Farming of Bones by Edwidge Danticat

What’s the last book that had you reading past your bedtime?
My night brain is trash so I don’t read then, but the last book that ate up my entire day was Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo. I had chores to do and errands to run, but all of that had to wait. I regret nothing! 

If you had the power to create your own fantasy BKBF panel – any writer or artist, dead or alive – who would you love to see discussing books?
My fantasy panel would be a mix of some of my favorite authors—old school and new— just spitting wisdom while I drink it all in. Maya Angelou, Toni Morrison, Edwidge Danticat, Jason Reynolds, Jacqueline Woodson, Meg Medina, and Guadalupe Garcia McCall. Swoon!!!

What books are currently piled in your “To Be Read” stack … and where can the stack be found in your home?
My shelves are quite full at the moment, but I’m looking forward to reading Clean Getaway by Nic Stone, You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson and, though I don’t have it yet, I Am Every Good Thing by Derrick Barnes and Gordon C. James. 

Tami Charles, recent author of All Because You Matter, has also written middle grade novels Like Vanessa, Definitely Daphne, Becoming Beatriz, and the forthcoming picture book Freedom Soup. While it was refreshing to see a better selection than what she was accustomed to as a child, as a teacher, Tami felt there weren’t nearly as many diverse books as she’d hoped for. It was then that she decided to reignite her passion for writing. You can find her on Twitter @TamiWritesStuff or visit her website at