AUTHOR INTERVIEW: 'Dog Trouble!' by Galia Oz #children #books

Galia Oz was born in Kibbutz Hulda, Israel, in 1964. She studied film and Television in Tel Aviv University 1984-87.

Her award winning series of 5 books titled DOG TROUBLE was published in France, Spain and Brazil – and recently in the US by CROWN BOOKS Random House. The series is a steady seller in Israel for over 10 years (selling over 150,000 copies). 

Oz has directed several documentaries, all screened in international film festivals, and in Israeli leading television channels.

Over the years, Galia Oz has been meeting thousands of readers in Israeli elementary schools, and taught creative writing and classic children's literature to kids in public libraries.

Galia Oz is married and has two kids, a dog and a cat, and they all live in Ramat Hasharon, just outside Tel-Aviv.

About the Book:

Author: Galia Oz
Publisher: Crown Books for Young Readers
Pages: 144
Genre: Children's book for young readers, ages 8-12


Readers who have graduated from Junie B. Jones and Ivy & Bean will fall head over heels for feisty Julie and her troublesome new dog.
Julie has only had her dog for two weeks, but she is already causing all sorts of problems. For starters, she is missing! Julie suspects the school bully Danny must be behind it. But it will take some detective work, the help of Julie’s friends, and maybe even her munchkin twin brothers to bring her new pet home.

Wonderfully sassy and endlessly entertaining, the escapades of Julie and her dog are just beginning!

Julie’s adventures have sold across the globe and been translated into five languages. Popular filmmaker and children’s author Galia Oz effortlessly captures the love of a girl and her dog.

"A funny exploration of schoolyard controversy and resolution.” –Kirkus Reviews 

"Will resonate with readers and have them waiting for more installments.” –Booklist  


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Q: Welcome to The Writer's Life!  Now that your book has been published, we’d love to find out more about the process.  Can we begin by having you take us at the beginning?  When did you come up with the idea to write your book?

Of the group of children who populate "Dog Trouble", I initially came up with the character of Adam, who's become my readers’ most beloved character. Adam suffers from a stutter and yet he's never afraid to express himself. He often tells strange and outlandish stories. The other children mock both his stuttering and his stories, but Adam doesn’t take offence or allow himself to be silenced. Well-intentioned adults fear that this message, that one can joke about disability and go unpunished, is outrageous and immoral. But precisely because Adam is defenseless, his insistence to have his voice heard is moving.

Q: Who is your publisher and how did you find them or did you self-publish?

Random House Crown Box is my publisher, and luckily I was given the warmest and most professional welcome I could ask for by my editor, Phoebe Yeh.
Erica Rand Silverman, my literary agent, who thought it was time to open up the American children's book market for world literature, decided to introduce me to American readers.

Q: Is there anything that surprised you about getting your first book published?

I was not surprised, because the book had already been printed in several languages. Still, the fact that the little dog I invented crossed the ocean and the language barrier, and I was able to read a comment online about a girl who had her head buried in the book, refusing even to put it down,  is a good surprise.

Q: What’s one fact about your book that would surprise people?

Out of curiosity, I observed over a period of time the question that children asked most when they met me. They woul ask: "What you wrote, it’s real, right?" Or they’d comment: "How did you know? It's as if you wrote it about me ..."

Q: Finally, what message are you trying to get across with your book?

Literature is there to create life-like stories, not to preach. When we read, we see ourselves, not what others want us to be. That's why I never try to get any messages across. I certainly do believe that those who read good literature have a chance to develop empathy and identify with the Adams of the world. But let's all beware of righteousness. Self-righteous books do not stir the conscience, but rather produce yawns…

Q: Thank you again for this interview!  Do you have any final words?

There's nothing like spending time with kids and reading with them aloud. The trick is to keep doing it even when they can already read by themselves. Choose books that you yourself love. Put aside all disagreements, demands and arguments. And if you need to, drown your phone in the bath, as long as you can get that one quiet half hour every night before going to sleep.

More about Dog Trouble: Ten years have passed since it was first published, 150,000 books have been sold in Israel, and the series has also been published in France, Spain, Brazil and now in the United States.

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