Photography by: Lauren Pisano
Wesley Pfleeger is a ten year old living in Los Angeles with her mother, father, little brother, and a lot of animals. Together with her mother, Christa Renee, and family friend, Ami Komai, Wesley runs a magazine for young girls called Bright Lite. The quarterly magazine features original photography, illustrations, writing and interviews by young girls. Currently homeschooled, Wesley's curriculum is organized and emphasized by her strengths, one of which is her intense interest in and talent for researching topics later covered by Bright Lite. Wesley also loves to travel, and just returned from a trip to Iceland with her mom. When Wesley isn't reading you can usually find her playing with her friends, rock climbing and going to flea markets.
Girls at Library: We would love to start off by asking if you can recall the moment that you first realized, “I love books!” How old were you?
Wesley Pfleeger: I think that I first started to like reading around the age of seven or eight. Since I started reading I have loved almost every book I have read.
GAL: How do you find the books that you read?
WP: Mostly in book stores. I love going to bookstores. We also go to estate sales, and my parents get me books online they think I will enjoy or that they think I should read.
Most of the books I read are very captivating.
When I read books I like to sit down in a comfortable spot and bury my face in the book and get completely transported to the story’s world.
GAL: Do parental restrictions dictate what books you are or aren’t allowed to read?
WP: Yes there are restrictions on the books. Most of the restrictions have to do with the book being too old for me, or that I won’t understand the book if I try to read it. Also my parents put some restrictions on times that I can read during the day because sometimes I have to do other things that are more important than reading first. And when I don't do them and I get caught up in my book, my parents set up time limits on my reading.
GAL: We know that it’s often, but just how often do you read?
WP: I usually read whenever I have time, but I don't have as much time as I used to. Now I usually spend 50% of my time reading and the other 50% of my time working on school.
Even though I don’t have as much time as I used to for reading, I think it will always be one of my favorite things to do
GAL: Would you say right now you have a current – or “forever” – favorite book?
WP: Right now I have really liked The Land Of Stories. I used to be really into a series called ‘ The Warriors’ and then I liked another book series called The Unwanteds but I think the first books that I really liked were the Harry Potter series. Most of the time I really like a book or a series of books for as long as I am reading them, I also really like theWildwood books.
GAL: You mentioned you read a lot of book series, what is your favorite series? Why?
WP: My favorite series so far would probably be The Land of Stories because it is about a land of stories and two kids that are transported into a book that takes them into the land of stories, which is a land made from fairy tales. Then the two kids find out that their father is from the land and that they have some of the land of stories magic in them. The series follows all of their adventures they have there.
GAL: Who is your favorite author?
WP: Right now my favorite author might be Chris Colfer, but I will always like J.K. Rowling.
GAL: Is there a particular female character you aspire to be like one day or you feel you have a lot in common with?
WP: I aspire to be like Karana in Island of the Blue Dolphins. She is strong and she can survive on her own.
She is really good at creating things of use and I would like to be able to do that. She is also in control of her own life and is very powerful. She cares about the island animals and helps them when they need help and we both have that in common.
GAL: Do you have a current favorite reading spot? Where is it?
WP: Yes I do, I recently had my room re-done and got this very comfortable bean bag chair that I love to read in. It is also in a corner of my room which I like. Also it is very furry and soft, I like to curl up and read there.
GAL: Do you have a favorite position that makes for the most comfortable way to read?
WP: My favorite way to read is to sit back in my bean bag chair and relax with my book.
GAL: Do you have any favorite book illustrators? Or books that have been illustrated?
WP: I really like the graphic novel series “Bone”. I love Jeff Smith’s illustrations. As far as artists, my favorite contemporary artist would be Mark Ryden, but I don't know of any books that he has illustrated. I do have some of his books with his artwork.
GAL: What role does reading play in your life? Is it important to you?
WP: Yes, reading is important to me. Reading plays a big role in my life. I like to read my books to escape and have an adventure.
GAL: If you were to write a story, what would you ideally love to write about?
WP: I think that I would like to write about fantasy and adventures, magical creatures and undiscovered lands.
GAL: Say that you knew someone who wasn’t sold on the importance of reading. How would you explain to them what why it’s so important?
WP: I would say that reading is very important in life and even if you don't like to read or you aren't good at it, you should at least appreciate that the creator of each book took time to put this book together.
GAL: You research a lot of varied topics for Bright Lite. What is the most interesting book you’ve come across while researching for Bright Lite?
WP: The most interesting book that I have come across would probably be my crystal encyclopedia. It has all of the crystals and all of their powers, planets, and different colored crystal sections.
GAL: In the next issue of Bright Lite you are digging into the topic of deep Space! What is the most interesting thing you have learned about space since starting your research?
WP: The most interesting thing I have learned while researching for Bright Lite so far is that space is never ending and if you spent your whole life traveling in space you would never see it all.
GAL: Please name three books you recommend reading, and the reasons for your choices.
WP: The three books that I would recommend to read are:
The Land Of Stories because it is a very adventurous book and it is about a girl and her brother who go to the fairytale world and realize that they are from the fairytale world and their father was as well. Their grandmother is Cinderella’s fairy godmother, the series of The Land Of Stories follows their adventures.
The second book I would recommend would be Island Of The Blue Dolphins, it is about a Native American girl who lives on an island and her tribe leaves, but she and her brother are left behind. They have to survive the dangers of the island and hunt for their food, and build their own homes and the girl makes lots of new friend along the way.
The third book I would recommend would be Harry Potter because it is a very good book and it will probably always be a good book. It is about a boy who lives with his aunt and uncle and he later discovers he is a wizard and he can do all sorts of magic, after that he goes to a school for wizards and witches. This book series follows his years at school and all the fun and trouble he gets into.