Stephen King says that turning his 1999 best-seller The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon into a pop-up book was an idea that mystified him at first. “When I was asked What do you think about a pop-up?, I thought it was really strange,” King says, in a rare interview from his home in Maine. “But I thought, Why not?” The book (Simon & Schuster; $24.95), which shows and tells the primal fears of Trisha McFarland, a 9-year-old Red Sox fan who’s lost in the woods, is broken into innings rather than chapters. With no churchly model from her agnostic family, Trisha prays for a safe journey home to her only hero, Sox relief pitcher Tom Gordon. It’s a sharp picture of the inner turmoil of the grade-school set, likely to be indelibly etched onto the list of must-reads for youngers—but King’s own grandchildren won’t be among his audience, at least for a little while. After an early look, the author’s adult son declared it too intense for his 5-year-old. (King, for his part, disagrees: “I would’ve given it to my son at 5.”) The grandkids may not be among his readers, but book collectors are already lined up for a limited edition of autographed copies, at $1,000 per. Does that make King think about wading deeper into the preteen world? “If someone came along and said, ‘Let’s adapt Bag of Bones as a comic book,’ I would discuss it,” he says with a laugh. “I wouldn’t say never.” Gordon, for his part, lent the project his blessing, and King says he remains a fan even though the pitcher’s now a member of the hated Yankees. “I can’t root against him,” admits King. Now, that’s scary.