The Next Chapter

Gordon Korman on the joy of writing for young readers

We revisit an interview with the prolific and popular author of more than 80 books.
Gordon Korman has written over 80 books for young readers. Masterminds: Criminal Destiny came out in 2016.

It's hard to imagine a more prolific writer than Gordon Korman. He wrote his first book, This Can't Be Happening at Macdonald Hall, when he was in Grade 7, and since then he's written over 80 books that have sold more than 17 million copies around the world.

Shelagh spoke to Gordon Korman in 2013. 

On writing for middle-grade readers

It's kind of funny. I started writing really young, and as I got older, I experimented with writing for teenagers. I assumed that because my characters were getting older as I was getting older, that at a certain point I would write an adult book. But it just kind of never happened. And now, I have zero interest in writing for adults. It might happen one day, but I love the kids' book world.

Changing trends and enduring stories

Trends change a little bit. These days there's a lot of fantasy and dystopian literature, and I think there's more of an emphasis on a lot being at stake — the future of the world is at stake, or saving humanity from Voldemort. That kind of stuff. But I still think that there's a lot of place for something really similar to what I started out with — a school-based, kind of funny book about realistic, believable characters that also happens to be a page-turner.

Gordon Korman's comments have been edited and condensed.