No one values the Behind the Book team more than us. It is because of these individuals that we are able to bring life-changing programs to the underserved public schools in NYC. Today meet Alissa Nigro and her favorite reads.
Tell us a little bit about your day job. What do you do outside of your involvement with Behind the Book?
I work at Random House Children’s Books as a marketer. I read books for all ages: babies all the way up to teenagers, and figure out ways to find readers who will love them as much as I do. It’s a lot of fun and very creative. Plus, I’m always armed with a book recommendation!
What’s your favorite part about being involved with Behind the Book?
My answer for this is twofold. When I was a kid, I only met one real-life author and I remember it vividly. David A. Alder, author of the Cam Jansen series, came to my public library. I was star struck. I often still feel that way and I work with authors. Having the opportunity to procure that feeling for other children is amazing. Also, reading and writing have always been sources of comfort, outlets, and hiding places for me. I was lucky enough to have the resources at my fingertips, to never be without a book growing up, but the kids we work with may not. They may not have been introduced to reading in a way that has inspired them…yet. I love that Behind the Book offers another way for them to discover the transformative power of a really good book.
If you were to trade places with a book character for a day, who would it be and why?
I’m going to have to go with what I can only assume will be a very popular answer. I’d love to switch places with Hermione Granger from Harry Potter. Who wouldn’t want to become part of the wizarding world?! I’ll tell you who I would never want to switch with: Emma, the eponymous character from Jane Austen’s novel. She’s my favorite Austen character, but I’m not sure I could handle the corsets and polite chitchat.
What is a fun fact that few people know about you?
I’m a singer and belong to a local choir. When I was eight, I decided I wanted to be an Alto because I thought the word was beautiful and rich and it started with an A just like my name. I still sing that part.
What are you currently reading?
I’m usually reading two books at a time: one for work and one for play. For work, I’m reading a book that comes out in February. It’s called The Smell of Other People’s Houses and takes place in alternating points of view in Alaska in the 1970s. And for play I’m reading Dumplin’. A book about a self-proclaimed “fat girl” who loves her body and enters a beauty pageant. I highly recommend both.
Alissa Nigro is a marketer at Random House Children’s Books. She graduated from Tufts University with a BA in English and Child Development and previously worked with preschool students through the Jump Start program. She loves working with and for children and hopes to help build more awareness and support for Behind the Book.