I guess since Stuart Gibbs is off all social media, I can finally write this post and send it out as a surprise.
Hi, my name is Justin Doan, and I'm currently going into the 8th grade at my middle school in Texas. For the past year, I've been blogging, mostly for my love of books. But if you haven't noticed, I'm biased about blogging about one particular author- Stuart Gibbs. Why I love him so much? Why I've dedicated a blog in his honor and spent 2+ years and done everything I have? Let's start at the beginning...
From Kindergarten to about 2nd grade, I grew up loving reading books before I could spell the word "favorite" (Up until the third grade, I'd always spelled in "favroite") I was reading Chapter Books and such, Magic Tree House and whatnot, but I started to decline. In Fourth Grade, I would read those short non fiction books to get me by with the daily reading logs. In fifth grade, I would do bascially the same thing. Then, I read my first Spy Book. Was it Spy School/ Camp by Stuart Gibbs? Nope. A book called Playing With Fire by a guy named Bruce Hale. it's about an orphan who gets sent to an orphanage that secretly teaches kids to spy (sound familiar?) I started to branch out into other books, aminly sports fiction by Tim Green or one of my 5th grade favorites "The Last Invisible Boy" by Evan Kuhlman. I was reading chapter books, but it was more of a one-chapter-book-per-week thing. I was still stuck on those dar non-fiction books.
Vacation Time! It was June 22, when my life changed. We were supposed to leave for Chicago in a day, and I wanted to go the library to see if they had Playing With Fire or The Last invisible Boy. Turns out they didn't have any spy books, well, except for one. You know how everybody's like "Don't judge a book by it's cover" Well that's total BS. I then picked up Spy Camp, by a man named Stuart Gibbs. I took one look at the cover before I decided to check it out. The cover looked almost chile-friendly, but I knew that this wasn't your ordinary book. And it wasn't. I literally read that book from cover to cover on the plane rife there, the ride back, and one more time after a long day of swimming at the hotel. The funny thing was that i thought that was the first and only book. I'd seen the part where it says he fought SPYDER last winter, but in a lot of first-book-in-a-series they usually have some random backstory.
I did some more research when i get home, and I put on hold all 6 of his books (Space Case, Poached, and Evil Spy School had not come out yet) I read them all in the span of I think three days- Belly Up and Spy School on one day, the whole Musketeer series in the other two days (I would've gone faster, but hey I was in fifth grade. Give me some slack) Who knows why, but I felt something when i read his books. This rejuvenated part of my heart beated faster. I guess I checked his website and I found out that he had a following of about ten different kids (today he has I think at least 100 commenters) so i decided to join, asking dumb question I knew he would never answer truthfully. I think I really fell in love with him (not literally...gross) when he started answering backs.Most authors are just so popular they don't have blogs to interact with their young fans. But he did. I saw at least 200 questions asked and he took the time to answer all of them as best as he could.
Then Poached came out. It was the first time I'd ever experienced a book release with such happiness. Literally I ran in my friend's faced and yelled "Dude, Poached is Out. AHHHHHHH!" I read it, and even though it wasn't my favorite Stuart Gibbs book (and still isn't, for certain reasons) I felt happy to join his fan club. I think when I became a blogger, I was his first superfan, doing all I could to show my appreciation for his books. Who knows why I was doing all this work. After I finally got to meet him at the North Texas Teen Book Festival this march, I was never going back. I was going to go to San Antonio with family, and he was willing to take a good thirty minutes from his busy schedule to meet me one on one, sign all fifteen copies of his books I own and talk and take a picture. He was so in touch with his fans, while other authors just do a little wave and keep walking.
To sum up- Stuart Gibbs is the best author for three reasons.
One- He got me back into reading. He writes such riveting and exciting stories that are impossible to put down.
Two- He's in touch with his fans. Not counting this month, he tries as hard as he can, finidng time during his tour to answer comments on his blog and meet his fans in just about every city in the U.S.
Three- He's just an awesome guy in general. A definite role model for anybody. He went to UPenn for pete's sake, one of the most prestigious colleges in the nation. He was one of the world's highest expert on capybaras, and he can manage to write about a serious topic- rhino poaching- while keeping things funny.