Booked is about a 12-year-old soccer player
named Nick Hall who loves soccer, who likes a girl, and who loathes words because his
father is a linguistic anthropologist and he’s written a dictionary of weird and wonderful
words and he makes his son read it every day. So, this book is about so many different ways
to be booked. As we know, “booked” is a soccer term. When you get a red card, you
get booked. So you get taken out of the game. So, I’m really excited about this book.
I tried to do some different things with it, and I’m excited because it’s a different
sport and hopefully kids will enjoy it. And so I was trying to sort of introduce how
he feels about his dad and to introduce sort of his dad’s influence on him via words.
Why couldn’t your dad be a musician like Jimmy Leon’s dad or own an oil company like
Coby’s? Better yet, why couldn’t he be a cool detective driving a sleek silver convertible
sports car like Will Smith in Bad Boys? Instead your dad’s a linguistics professor
with chronic verbal mania, as evidenced by the fact that he actually wrote a dictionary
called Weird and Wonderful Words with, get this, footnotes. And then there’s a footnote,
and it says verbal mania, noun, a crazed obsession for words. Every freakin’ day I have to
read his dictionary, which has freakin’ footnotes. That’s absurd to me, kind of
like ordering a glass of chocolate milk, then asking for chocolate syrup on the side. Seriously,
who does that? So, I’m really excited about this book because
it also shows what happens when his whole life sort of flips and the things he loved
are no longer there and the things he didn’t think he liked are now important to him.