Questions Kids Ask Margie
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in West Roxbury, a neighborhood of Boston, with a sister, two brothers, 14 cousins, and a best friend who lived right across the street.
What did you like to do when you were a kid?
Mostly, playing with my siblings, my cousins, and my best friend. I also loved reading, playing board games, and selling Girl Scout cookies.
What board games did you play the most?
Backgammon, Scrabble, and Monopoly.
What’s your favorite Girl Scout cookie?
What about sports?
Do you have any pets?
Sorry, no pets. I’m allergic. But if I could have a dog, it would have to be a labradoodle. They have curly hair like me.
What about cats?
I’m even more allergic to cats than dogs!!
Did you always want to become a writer when you grew up?
Actually, I wanted to be a teacher or a librarian. I admired all my elementary school teachers and Mrs. Dorothy Bavicchi, the librarian at the West Roxbury branch of the Boston Public Library. She was a wonderful storyteller and book recommender! That’s her in the shiny blue dress on the right. And that’s me, the girl on the far right in the blue-flowered dress, age 5, next to my BFF, on the last day of Library School.
Then, how did you become a writer?
When I was in high school (Girls’ Latin School/Boston Latin Academy), I realized there were many other jobs I could do. I liked writing and usually got good grades in my Language Arts/English classes. So, I decided to study journalism and magazine writing when I went to Simmons College in Boston. My first jobs were at newspapers and magazines. Later on, I worked in educational publishing on all sorts of textbooks and classroom resources for kids. That led to a job as an editor for a children’s book publisher creating easy-to-read books. From there, I was inspired to start writing my own stories.
Do you have any favorite stories?
Too many to count. Some of the most memorable ones are the personal stories my dad told again and again about his growing up years. He loved to tell stories with a moral.
When it comes to my favorite books for kids, I love reading funny books. So, most books by Robert Munsch. Stephanie’s Ponytail and Something Good are two of my favorites by him.
But I also loved reading classics to my kids when they were little–Madeline and If You Give a Mouse a Cookie to my daughter; Curious George and Caps for Sale to my son.
Actually, I love books about hats—there’s also Hooray for Hat! (Brian Won), This is Not My Hat (Jon Klassen), The Hat (Jan Brett), The Scarecrow’s Hat (Ken Brown), The Magic Hat (Mem Fox). The list goes on and on.
So, do you like wearing hats?
Absolutely! Hats are an easy way to dress up and change your mood. But truth be told, my daughter has way more hats than me. My husband has more caps than anyone. My son only wears a hat if it’s really cold.
How do you say your name?
Glad you asked! It’s a tricky one. My first name is Margie – the “g” is hard, like in the words “girl” and “go.” It’s short for Margaret. I was named after my mom.
My last name is Markarian. It’s pronounced Mar-care-ee-an. It’s an Armenian name. Most Armenian last names end in “–ian” which means “son of ___.”
And if you think Markarian is a tricky name, think again. Before I was married, my last name was Hazerjian (pronounced Ha-zer-jin). I joke with my husband that I married him because the name Margie Markarian has a poetic flow, which is great for an author! But it’s only a joke. I married him because of true love, just like in a fairy tale.