Q&A with Rachel Vail

In celebration of the release of the first books in her A is For Elizabeth  series we were lucky enough to talk to author Rachel Vail about her inspirations and future projects!

How did you come to write books in the world of Elizabeth?

I wrote a trilogy of books from the perspective of Elizabeth’s older brother, and fell in love with Elizabeth – her confidence, her logical but often incorrect take on the world, her humor. I begged for a chance to write her stories, and luckily my editor loved her too! When I found her rhythm – short chapters, easy to read but with depth of character and emotional intelligence leading the way, I knew I had found something not just super fun to explore, but also important.

What are you currently reading?

Just finished Doing Justice by Preet Bharara and Educated by Tara Westover, and am in the middle of The Hate U Give by Angela Thomas. It has been SUCH a good reading summer so far. They are all extremely excellent, highly recommended.

Do you have a personal favorite book of all time?

I don’t have a favorite book of all time because I am very greedy for stories... and one awesome thing about books is, unlike scoops of ice cream, you can choose an unlimited number without worry! I will always fall for a book with a compelling story and flawed, believable characters. If it has a strong sense of voice and place, even better -- and one that makes me question my assumptions or laugh will own my heart.

What books does Elizabeth like to read?

This is such a brilliant question, one nobody has asked me before! I LOVE it! I always need to figure out what my characters like and dislike to eat, wear, cuddle with, sleep in – and READ! Elizabeth was not an early reader and is frustrated that some of her friends read more fluently and quickly than she does. Some of her favorites include: Fancy Nancy, A Silly Story, the Junie B Jones books, some but not all of the Captain Underpants books but she is not saying which is which, Charlie Parker Played Be Bop, Barnyard Banter (that was her favorite when she was little), A Hole Is To Dig, The Carrot SeedBattle Bunnyand All of Us by Carin Berger.

What's next?  Any upcoming book projects you can tell us about?

I have a novel for young teens (older Middle Grade/young YA) coming out next year, along with the third and fourth Elizabeth books!!! Since the first 2 are called A is for Elizabeth and Big Mouth Elizabeth – any guesses on what letters start the titles of books 3 and 4? Any guesses about what the TITLES will be?


Rachel Vail is the author of children’s books including Justin Case, Sometimes I’m Bombaloo, and Righty and Lefty. She is also the author of several books for teens and middle grade readers, including If We Kiss, You Maybe, Gorgeous, Wonder, and Never Mind, which she wrote with Avi. Vail was born in New York City and grew up in New Rochelle, NY, just down the street from her future husband, though she didn't know that until much later. She attended Georgetown University, where she earned her B.A. in English and Theater. She lives in New York City with her husband and two sons.

A Is for Elizabeth Cover Image
By Rachel Vail, Paige Keiser (Illustrator)
$13.99
ISBN: 9781250162120
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: Feiwel & Friends - May 7th, 2019

Big Mouth Elizabeth (A Is for Elizabeth #2) Cover Image
By Rachel Vail, Paige Keiser (Illustrator)
$13.99
ISBN: 9781250162175
Availability: Not in Stock - Available for special order
Published: Feiwel & Friends - May 7th, 2019

Doing Justice: A Prosecutor's Thoughts on Crime, Punishment, and the Rule of Law Cover Image
$27.95
ISBN: 9780525521129
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: Knopf - March 19th, 2019

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Educated: A Memoir Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780399590504
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Published: Random House - February 20th, 2018

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The Hate U Give Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780062498533
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Published: Balzer + Bray - February 28th, 2017

Fancy Nancy: JoJo and Daddy Bake a Cake (My First I Can Read) Cover Image
$4.99
ISBN: 9780062378019
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Published: HarperCollins - September 19th, 2017

Junie B. Jones #1: Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus Cover Image
By Barbara Park, Denise Brunkus (Illustrator)
$4.99
ISBN: 9780679826422
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: Random House Books for Young Readers - July 28th, 1992

The Adventures of Captain Underpants (Captain Underpants #1) Cover Image
By Dav Pilkey, Dav Pilkey (Illustrator), Dav Pilkey, Dav Pilkey (Illustrator)
$5.99
ISBN: 9780590846288
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: Scholastic Paperbacks - September 1997

Charlie Parker Played Be Bop Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780531070956
Availability: Backordered - Please call or email for more details
Published: Scholastic Inc. - September 1997

Barnyard Banter Cover Image
By Denise Fleming, Denise Fleming (Illustrator)
$7.99
ISBN: 9780805055818
Availability: Not in Stock - Available for special order
Published: Square Fish - October 15th, 1997

A Hole Is to Dig Cover Image
By Ruth Krauss, Nelson, Maurice Sendak (Illustrator)
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ISBN: 9780064432054
Availability: Not in Stock - Out of Print
Published: HarperCollins Publishers - September 7th, 1989

The Carrot Seed Cover Image
By Ruth Krauss, Crockett Johnson (Illustrator)
$7.99
ISBN: 9780064432108
Availability: Not in Stock - Available for special order
Published: HarperCollins - December 28th, 2004

Battle Bunny Cover Image
By Jon Scieszka, Mac Barnett, Matt Myers (Illustrator)
$14.99
ISBN: 9781442446731
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Published: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers - October 22nd, 2013

If We Kiss Cover Image
$10.34
ISBN: 9780060569167
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Published: HarperTeen - December 27th, 2011

Sometimes I'm Bombaloo (Scholastic Bookshelf) Cover Image
By Rachel Vail, Yumi Heo (Illustrator)
$6.99
ISBN: 9780439669412
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: Scholastic Paperbacks - February 2005

Justin Case: School, Drool, and Other Daily Disasters (Justin Case Series #1) Cover Image
By Rachel Vail, Matthew Cordell (Illustrator)
$7.99
ISBN: 9780312563578
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Published: Square Fish - May 24th, 2011

Never Mind!: A Twin Novel Cover Image
$6.99
ISBN: 9780060543167
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Published: HarperCollins - April 26th, 2005

All of Us Cover Image
By Carin Berger, Carin Berger (Illustrator)
$17.99
ISBN: 9780062694133
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click Title to See Location Inventory.
Published: Greenwillow Books - May 8th, 2018