We’ve had not only authors as guests, but readers, narrators, editors, publishers and we’ve talked about all phases of writing work and enjoyment, so I decided to broaden the scope a bit this month.
My guest today is Wyatt Schroeder, book reviewer, book narrator, book vlogger, author interviewer and gamer.
Wyatt is ‘family’ here at 4F,1H, as his mother is our Tuesday Fox, and we have all watched him grow up on Facebook.
I asked Wyatt to join us because he is an 11 year old who has been called to introduce others to his favorite books, and he just keeps branching out to more areas in which to spread the joys of the written word. He is a prolific reader, and has generously decided to share his love of books with anyone interested. I hope this helps him spread the word.
Wyatt publishes reviews online in Goodreads under his name, and does his reviews, readings and interviews on Facebook and YouTube as “Pearl City Reader”.
1) First of all, how did you choose the name, “Pearl City Reader”?
I wanted to be a gaming Youtuber ever since I discovered video games and YouTube. I thought that if I did ever get a YouTube channel my name would be Pearl City Gamer because the town I’m from (Muscatine) is known as the Pearl Button Capital of the World. Many people here refer to it as the Pearl City. When I decided to start reading for Facebook I wanted to keep my name the same as my gamer name. Therefore I replaced Gamer with Reader.
2) You homeschool; I homeschooled for a while and homeschooled my sons for years. Staying active and social is an absolute must, which can be the hardest part of homeschooling, depending on your situation. I imagine that COVID has stopped many chances of some activities, so your current work with literature is a great idea. I found that there were many long-term advantages to being around people of more diverse ages by homeschooling than many kids who are in school all the time get to experience. Can you tell us what you find best about homeschooling and what you may find challenging?
I like spending time with my mom she is basically my best friend. Being homeschooled just means that I can see her more often than I would be able to if I were public schooled. I like that if I have a question my mom will sit down and explain it to me for 30 minutes or longer as opposed to when I was in public school and I would just get a brief 5 minute explanation. Mom makes sure I understand my homework. I like that I can finish my home work in my own time, if I got done with my work at public school they would just give me more but with homeschooling when I get done with my homework I’m just done and can have the rest of the day to myself. I like being able to choose electives for example cooking, gardening, learning Irish (which is a really hard language to try to learn), and my book page.
The hardest thing is not being able to see my friends because of Covid I don’t get to go to the library, birthday parties, or the movies. And because I’m not in public school I can’t play with my friends at recess. There’s an advantage of being a gamer, you can talk to your friends and play with them in the virtual world. Mom says once Covid is over I can have a big slumber party with my friends (fyi, at slumber parties there is no sleeping).[Never has been any real sleeping been done in the history of sleepovers,Wyatt!-T]
3) I’ve been watching your reading videos since they started and I have to say that I have enjoyed every one. You started well and have gotten better with each time. I liked the split screen where the book pages came up as you read them. So I ask:
A) How do you choose which books to read?
That’s a tough one. We have a very big selection of books to read. More than half of our books are children’s books. I can basically just yoink a book off the shelf and say “Hey this looks like a good book” and I’ll read it. Sometimes I’ll take requests from my viewers. Speaking of my mom bought me Tawny Scrawny Lion and I plan to read that soon.
B) How far in advance do you choose them?
For holidays I set those books aside and plan to read those during their time. When I’m just reading a normal book for a Bedtime with Wyatt I usually choose it right before I read it. Sometimes it’s just I want to read this book so I’ll read it to everybody.
When I read my Chapter a Night series. I have my next chapter book already chosen in advance, hint It Be a Classic Matey.
C) Do you scan or read through them first?
Not usually but I think I’m going to start doing that so I don’t mess up that much when reading. Like stumbling over words I don’t know.
D) Now that you have moved to chapter books, (one chapter per video, which I really like), will you still be reading younger kids’ books?
I’ve gone a couple of weeks without reading kid books but I got distracted with reading a chapter a night and being sick. I’ll be trying to remind myself to read picture books at least once a week. I know the minimum age you have to be to have a Facebook account is 13 years old so I feel like maybe chapter books are better for Facebook but a good picture book is ok every once in awhile.
E) I have also enjoyed your props: your dog, hat, blankets, PJs! You don’t need a gimmick, or to do it every time, but I personally like the special touches, so don’t hesitate if something strikes your fancy! Were you planning to use any more on Bedtime With Wyatt?
Honestly, when I use props I kinda think of them last second right before I start streaming. Most of the time I’m wearing my pajama pants in the video. I’m planning to start reading in a little book office but I just haven’t made it yet. My reading nook is too narrow to fit my rocking chair, which belonged to my Great-Great-Grandpa and I always like to read in it because it’s special.
4) I also really enjoyed it when you opened up the Scholastic mystery box ‘live’. Do you plan on any more of this type of video?
My older cousin dropped off a lot of children’s books. I have no idea what they are. I’ll probably be doing a video reaction to opening the bag of books. At the end of the school year I’ll get another Scholastic box since that’s when mom buys my books for the next school year, so I’ll do a video to reveal what she buys me. I never know what I’m going to get.
5) I saw your first author interview with former Fox, Kelly Martin, to discuss her middle-grade books. Will you be asking other young readers’ authors in regularly, or just occasionally?
I’m hoping to be doing Author Chat once a month. I have an author in mind for this month but I need to get in contact with her to see if she can do it.
6) I follow you on Goodreads and see that you have read more than “20 of 60” books. Is 60 your goal for the year?
Yes, it is. I’ve read more than 20 so far I just sometimes forget to put my reviews on there. I think I’ll read more than 60 this year.
7) You said that you have discovered the “Reading Rainbow” episodes that have been posted on YouTube. I loved that show! I watched it with my kids. I hope there are many episodes posted there. Some years back LaVar Burton tried to get funding to do a new version on YouTube. Unfortunately, it didn’t come off, but he does have a YouTube show called “LaVar Burton Reads”; have you seen this?
No I haven’t but I will be checking it out soon, probably right after I answer these questions.
B) What have been some of your favorite Reading Rainbow shows?
I liked the one where they showed us they make bowling balls.
I also like the Animal Cafe episode. I just liked the book that they read.
8) Wyatt, I have often said that I thought that your mother is a really great mom. I love how close you, your brother and sister are to each other. Would you like to talk about your family?
Like I said before me and my mom are basically best friends, we do everything together. I have gotten my mom into playing Fortnite which we now do almost every day. I like to cook with my mom and garden. I like having Quinlan as a brother he’s really fun. JJ and I hang out sometimes, we like to take funny pictures and do funny little clips. We don’t hang out as much now that they’re grown up, work, and have school.
Last Fall my mom took me, my aunt, and sister out on a really long drive. I didn’t know where we were going, I just thought we were going on another long drive (that’s something we like to do, explore new places). We got to someone’s farm and when we got out there was a box with two really small puppies. My mom told me “Which one do you like?” We ended up bringing them both home! It was a really early birthday present. Now we like to play all the time.
B) You also live close to your grandparents and interact with them often. I adore my grandchildren, even those who are now far away; we text, talk and video chat! What do you most enjoy about being near your grandparents?
My favorite thing about Grandma and Grandpa’s is our soup suppers. From Fall until Spring once a month we go down for Soup Supper Saturday. We all bring different kinds of soups and try them out while we just hang out and talk.
I also like gardening with my Grandma and Grandpa. We grow a lot of vegetables. My grandpa taught me how to shuck corn. Me and my mom went down to Taylor’s Market and bought some gunny sacks of corn. Grandpa, Grandma, and I sat in the yard and shucked corn while my mom prepared it to freeze.
I really like being able to see them whenever I want. Sometimes I just go down to visit them just because I want a hug.
9) I know that your sister likes to write, and your brother illustrated at least one of your mom’s books,(I may be mistaken, but he may have co-written one). Do you have any intention of eventually getting involved in the creation of books?
I don’t know, I might. I tried to do illustrations for one of my mom’s books. I only did 2 illustrations and mom said they looked really good but I didn’t think they looked good enough. I really like to draw and will spend a lot of time at the table drawing.
10) You are a man of many talents. You have started studying the violin. Do you enjoy being able to create music? Have you found that it helps with memorization and logical thinking? I think that music lessons helped my kids and grandkids in those areas.
I enjoy making music and my mom likes to listen. Eventually I hope to play the fiddle like my Grandpa.
B) What are your other hobbies or interests, including your gaming?
I’m trying to do work like mowing lawns and walking dogs so I can save up enough money for an Oculus Quest 2 VR headset. I think it would be good because I have an XBox. With the Oculus you have to be active to play. My favorite game to play is Fortnite, mom and I play it a lot. It’s really fun.
I like to draw. I never think my drawings are good enough but other people like them. I like going on walks. I want to do a live stream walk sometime to show off my town because I think it’s pretty. Some people call it a stinky river town but I like it!
11) You are great at making lemonade out of lemons, so to speak, since you are gluten-sensitive and became interested in cooking. What do you miss most? What new dishes have you found that you enjoy the most that you may not have made or eaten before?
I miss Little Caesars pizza the most! I miss being able to go out to eat at any restaurant and eat there. A lot of times now we can’t go out to eat because things are cross contaminated.
My favorite thing to eat now is Stuffed Peppers! I didn’t have those until I went gluten free. My favorite baked thing is snickerdoodles, I like making them with my mom and they taste like normal Snickerdoodles!
12) I brought up your dogs earlier. Please let our readers know about their names, which I find really clever.
My name is Wyatt. My middle name is James named after Wyatt Earp and Jesse James. We thought it would be a good idea to name the puppies Doc and Holiday. So we have Wyatt and Doc Holiday!
Thank you, Wyatt, for being my guest.
Please post links to your vlogs, Facebook page/videos, Goodreads page and anything else that you would like to share.
Pearl City Reader Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PearlCityReader
Pearly City Reader YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCWsmLkKOvhsvqzShcihmnvg/videos
Pearl City Gamer YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCIKoB9QmIv2uTz8LbNo7P2g/videos
I don’t have a lot of videos on YouTube but that will be changing soon.