I love to tell students about authors and the wonderful works they create. I will be posting about a new author every month and hopefully motivate my students to try them out! These are some of my favorite authors as a child, or new authors who are writing engaging, meaningful, and exciting books for children to enjoy!
Chris Van Allsburg
Chris was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan on June 18th, 1949, the second child of Doris Christiansen Van Allsburg and Richard Van Allsburg. His sister Karen was born in 1947.
He became an art student at the University of Michigan where he studied Architecture and Design.
His wife had a friend who was starting to write books and encouraged him to illustrate them or to become an author himself.
Chris has written and illustrated 19 books and has illustrated three others that were written by Mark Helprin.
In 1980, he was awarded the Caldecott Honor Medal for The Garden of Abdul Gasazi.
Chris is also the winner of two Caldecott Medals, for Jumanji and The Polar Express, and was the recipient of the Boston Globe Horn Book Award for The Garden of Abdul Gasazi. Additionally, he received the Boston Globe Honor for The Polar Express as well as The Mysteries of Harris Burdick.
In 1991, Chris and Lisa became parents when their daughter Sophia was born. In 1995, their second daughter, Anna was born.
In 2004, The Polar Express was made into a major motion picture starring Tom Hanks.
Chris lives in Beverly, MA, on Boston’s North Shore. For recreation and amusement, he rides his bike and plays tennis. He is not really the master of any instruments, but can entertain his children by producing simple tunes playing a recorder through his nose.
Rick Riordan is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, the Kane Chronicles, and the Heroes of Olympus. He is also the author of the multi-award-winning Tres Navarre mystery series for adults.
For fifteen years, Rick taught English and history at public and private middle schools in the San Francisco Bay Area and in Texas. In 2002, Saint Mary’s Hall honored him with the school’s first Master Teacher Award.
While teaching full time, Riordan began writing mystery novels for grownups. His Tres Navarre series went on to win the top three national awards in the mystery genre – the Edgar, the Anthony and the Shamus. Riordan turned to children’s fiction when he started The Lightning Thief as a bedtime story for his oldest son.
Here are some of Rick’s books/series:
http://rickriordan.com/# = Check out his website!
Roald Dahl is one of the world’s most beloved author’s, both for children and adults. He has produced some of the most imaginative stories with giants, peaches, witches, and magic potions.
Below is the link to the extensive timeline of Roald Dahl’s life:
Here is a list of some of Roald Dahl’s most famous books for children:
In 1998 Jeff came up with the idea for Diary of a Wimpy Kid, a story about a middle-school weakling named Greg Heffley. Jeff worked on his book for almost eight years before showing it to a publisher in New York.
Jeff Kinney was born in 1971 in Maryland and attended the University of Maryland in the early 1990s. It was there that Jeff ran a comic strip called “Igdoof” in the campus newspaper, and he knew he wanted to be a cartoonist.
However, Jeff was not successful in getting his comic strip syndicated after college, and in 1998 he started writing down ideas for Diary of a Wimpy Kid, which he hoped to turn into a book. Jeff worked on the book for six years before publishing it online on Funbrain.com in daily installments. To date, the online version of Diary of a Wimpy Kid has more than 80 million visits, and is typically read by more than 70,000 kids a day.
In 2006, Jeff signed a multi-book deal with publisher Harry N. Abrams, Inc. to turn Diary of a Wimpy Kid into a print series. The first Diary of a Wimpy Kid book was published in 2007 and became an instant bestseller. Just a year later, more than 100,000 copies were in print in the United States alone. With each subsequent book, in-print numbers continue to grow exponentially both in the U.S. and abroad. There are now more than 180 million copies of the series in print worldwide.
The Diary of a Wimpy Kid series has been a fixture on the USA Today, Wall Street Journal, and Publishers Weekly bestseller lists. The series has remained on the New York Times bestseller lists since the publication of the first book, for more than 450 weeks total, and more than 350 on the series list. The books are currently available in 61 editions in 52 languages.
Since initial publication in 2007, the series has gone on to win many regional and national awards around the globe including two Children’s Choice Book Awards and six Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards for Favorite Book. Jeff Kinney was named one of Time magazine’s most influential people in the world. In addition, three movies based on the book series have grossed more than $250 million internationally. A new film based on the books is set to release in May 2017.
Jeff Kinney is also the creator of Poptropica, which was named one of Timemagazine’s 50 Best Websites. He spent his childhood in the Washington, D.C., area and moved to New England in 1995. Jeff lives with his wife and two sons in Massachusetts, where they own a bookstore, An Unlikely Story.
Books in the Series
Beverly Cleary was born in McMinnville, Oregon, and lived on a farm in Yamhill, a town so small it had no library. Her mother arranged with the State Library to have books sent to Yamhill and acted as librarian in a lodge room upstairs over a bank. There, Beverly learned to love books.
A Struggling Reader
When the family moved to Portland, where Beverly attended grammar school and high school, she soon found herself in the low reading circle, an experience that has given her sympathy for the problems of struggling readers. By the third grade she had conquered reading and spent much of her childhood either with books or on her way to and from the public library. Before long her school librarian suggested that she write books for children when she grew up. The idea appealed to her, and she decided that someday she would write the books she longed to read, but was unable to find on the library shelves — funny stories about her neighborhood and the sort of children she knew.
After graduation from junior college in Ontario, California, and the University of California at Berkeley, Beverly entered the School of Librarianship at the University of Washington, Seattle. There she specialized in library work with children. She was the children’s librarian in Yakima, Washington, until she married Clarence Cleary and moved to California. The Clearys are the parents of twins, now grown.
Advice to Children
Beverly’s hobbies are travel and needlework. When children ask Beverly where she finds her ideas, she replies, “From my own experience and from the world around me.” Henry Huggins, written when she was in her early thirties, was her first attempt at writing. Her advice to the many children who write asking for “tips” on writing is for them to read widely while growing up, and when the time comes for them to write, they will find their own way of writing and will not need tips to guide them.
Awards and Honors
Mrs. Cleary’s books have earned her many prestigious awards, including:
- 1984 Newbery Medal, Dear Mr. Henshaw
- 1978 Newbery Honor Book, Ramona and Her Father
- 1982 Newbery Honor Book, Ramona Quimby, Age 8
- 1975 Laura Ingalls Wilder Award
- 1980 Regina Medal,
- 1985 Everychild Award
In addition, Mrs. Cleary’s books have received more than thirty-five statewide awards based on the direct votes of her young readers.
We read one of her novels, Because of Winn Dixie last year in third grade. This year we have been reading The Tiger Rising.
Ask the students to tell you about our characters Rob and Sistine and the Tiger!
I was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, raised in Clermont, Florida, and currently live in Minneapolis, Minnesota. I write for both children and adults and I like to think of myself as a storyteller.
Here are a few more facts about me: I am short. And loud. I hate to cook and love to eat. I am single and childless, but I have lots of friends and I am an aunt to three lovely children (Luke, Roxanne, and Max) and one not so lovely dog (Henry).
I think of myself as an enormously lucky person: I get to tell stories for a living.
EARLY Chapter books