top of page

🎧 The Reader's Heart | Guest: Chrystal D Giles


Back in August, Chrystal D Giles agreed to be my guest for the Bookelicious Middle Grade Book Club when we read Not An Easy Win. Although we had never met before, I knew right away that she was someone I could easily be friends with! Not An Easy Win is set in rural NC, a place I know well from the nearly 30 years that I lived and worked there. And the characters Chrystal created felt like people I knew from that time! I could nearly hear their Southern accents as I read what would turn out to be one of my favorite books of 2023! Not only is Chrystal incredibly easy to talk to, but it's obvious that she cares deeply about making sure that a) all kids see their stories reflected on the page and b) that those same kids realize that they have a voice in how those stories turn out. I loved chatting with Chrystal and can't wait for y'all to hear our conversation!



  • GUEST: Chrystal Giles

Chrystal D. Giles is a champion for diversity and representation in children’s literature. Chrystal often says she’s a lover of both words and numbers, she spent fifteen years as an accountant before transitioning to writing full-time. Chrystal made her debut with Take Back the Block, which received multiple starred reviews, was a Kirkus Reviews, School Library Journal, and NPR Best Book, and won the IRA Social Justice Literature Award. Her latest middle-grade novel, Not An Easy Win, received four starred reviews and was named an ALA Notable Children's Book. Chrystal lives outside Charlotte, North Carolina, with her husband and son.



Please enjoy a special discount of 20% off the titles mentioned in this episode (or others of your choice) by visiting Bookelicious and using the code JENNIFERLAGARDE. Note: I do not make any money from the sales, but I am delighted that you get to save some!

Connect with Chrystal:


Rooted in the belief that our world needs the magic of children’s literature now more than ever, the Reader’s Heart podcast captures conversations with authors and illustrators about children's literature as a vehicle for empathy and joy in a dark world. I'm so excited about this project and it's my wish that it brings you as much light and hope as it has brought me.

Special thanks to Corinna Luyken for creating the beautiful illustration that will serve as the show's logo. I've always found Corinna's art so moving and she perfectly captured the spirit of what I am trying to do, which is to put warmth and love into the world during a time when so many are working to limit kids' access to the warmth and love inherent in children's literature. (Also, don't forget, you can use the discount above to buy Corinna's books from Bookelicious, too!)

Weekly episodes will drop on Tuesdays. Once you've had a chance to listen, I hope you will consider leaving The Reader's Heart a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ review! Podcast reviews are one of the best ways to support your favorite shows and help others find these conversations.



black banner.png
  • Twitter Social Icon
  • instagram logo
  • YouTube Social  Icon
  • gmail square
  • TikTok

Let's Connect!

bottom of page