Words to Live By: Sarah Dessen

This segment features interviews with authors, artists, and community members.


April 30, 2021

Sarah Dessen

Sarah Dessen is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of over a dozen novels for teens, including The Truth About Forever, Just Listen and This Lullaby. Her work has been published in over thirty countries and sold millions of copies worldwide. She is the recipient of the 2017 Margaret A. Edwards Award from the American Library Association for outstanding contribution to young adult literature.

Is there a book or genre that stands out in your memory from your youth?

I loved all stories, but especially novels I could fall into and lose myself.

What kind of reader were you as a child?

I always carried a book with me. And when a story I loved ended, I’d be so upset I’d want to write more of it. That’s how I became a writer.

What book should everybody read before they turn 18?

I’m not a fan of rules for reading. Pick something you love that also makes you think!

What kind of books are on your bookshelf?

Novels, memoirs, YA, poetry. My shelves are like friends, varied and always evolving.

What are you reading currently?

Ask Again, Yes by Mary Beth Keane.

Who is your favorite all-time character from a book?

Owen Meany from John Irving’s A Prayer For Owen Meany.

What is your favorite place to read? Pre- and/or during the pandemic?

In my bed, during the day, when it feels like I’m getting away with something. The absolute best.

If you could have dinner with three authors from any period in time, who would you pick?

Anne Tyler, Judy Blume and Lorrie Moore. I would try to be silent and just listen!

What are the children in your life currently reading?

My daughter is really into middle grade. She loves Wimpy Kid and Wonder.


We are so grateful to Sarah for being a friend to Book Harvest and for answering our questions. You can read more about Sarah Dessen on her website: sarahdessen.com