Sunday, April 02, 2006

Favorite Author Sketch

Please share with classmates a short biographical sketch of one of your favorite authors and list their books that you enjoy.

Here is an example of one of my favorite author:

Biography of Beverly Cleary
Beverly Cleary was born in McMinnville, Oregon. She lived on a farm in Yamhill until she was old enough to attend school. The town she lived in was very small and 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 for Beverly. There Mrs. Cleary learned to love books. Her family moved to Portland, where Mrs. Cleary 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 was suggesting that she should write for boys and girls 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, Mrs. Cleary entered the School of Librarianship at the University of Washington, Seattle. There she specialized in library work with children. She was Children's Librarian in Yakima, Washington, until she married Clarence Cleary and moved to California. The Clearys are the parents of twins now grown. Mrs. Cleary's hobbies are travel and needlework.

Some of my favorite Beverly Cleary books include:

All Ramona books
Dear Mr. Henshaw
Strider (the sequel to Dear Mr. Henshaw)
The Mouse and the Motorcycle
Run Away Ralph
Ralph S. Mouse


Blogger Sam Fuchs said...

The author I chose for my biographical sketch is Louis Sachar. I teach third grade, and the third graders really love his Wayside School books. I also liked Holes and There’s a Boy in the Girl’s Bathroom.

Here is a little bit about his life:

Louis Sachar was born in East Meadow, New York in 1954. When he was nine, his family moved to Tustin, California. He was a good student in school but was not an avid reader until high school. His favorite authors were J.D. Salinger, Margaret Atwood, E.B. White, and Richard Price. When he finished high school he went to college in Ohio. His father died when he was there so he moved back to California to be near his mother and went to the University of California at Berkeley. While at college he saw a flier advertising a need for help at a local elementary school. He earned three credits helping out second and third grade classes. He also was a recess teacher at the school and that is where he got the “Louis the Yard Teacher” character from his books. When he graduated from college Louis decided to write a children’s book. He worked on Sideways Stories from Wayside School, writing at night, for nine months while he worked at a sweater factory in Connecticut. Shortly after he finished writing the book, Louis entered law school at Hasting College. In his first week there, a publisher accepted his book. After passing the bar exam Louis worked as a lawyer writing in his spare time. It wasn’t until 1989, 13 years after finishing his first book, did he make enough money off of his writing to quit law. He was married in 1985 to his wife Carla. When he met her she was working at an elementary school and is the inspiration for the counselor in There’s a Boy in the Girl’s Bathroom. Today, he lives in Austin, Texas with his wife and dog.

Louis Sachar’s Books
The Marvin Redpost series
Sideways Stories from Wayside School
Wayside School is Falling Down
Wayside School gets a Little Stranger
There’s a Boy in the Girl’s Bathroom
Little Steps

9:30 AM  
Blogger Rhonda Gillette said...

The author I chose for my biograpical sketch is Gary Paulsen. I read Hatchet, a book written by Gary Paulsen as a read aloud every year. My students love this book. They like it so much, that they choose to read other books that Gary Paulsen has written as sequels to Hatchet. My students just can't get enough of Brian (the main character in these books).

Gary Paulsen was born in MN on May 17th, 1939. He writes books for young adults, specifically targeting young boys. He enjoys sailing, dog sledding, hunting, and the outdoors. All of which have been important aspects of his books because he includes a lot of real life events into his writing. Most of his writings are about survival, a topic that young readers can really relate to.

Some of Gary Paulsen's Books include:
Hatchet Brian's Return
The River Brian's Winter
Brian's Hunt

11:00 AM  
Blogger Chrissy Krone said...

Every day after lunch I read to my students for about 20 minutes. It is not a time when they are tested or quized about what is being read. I read for the pure enjoyment of reading hoping to instill in my students a lifelong love for reading. I have found that many parents read to their children when they are very young but once their children are old enough to read many stop this practice. Children love being read to. When I was still in college I had one teacher who read us a few chapters out of a book every class period. We were not texted on it. It was for enjoyment only. I could not remember the last time someone had read to me. I loved it.

A favorite among my second graders is Barbara Park's series Junie B. Jones. If you teacher younger students these books are a must. Very funny! The first book I read I immediately fell in love with Junie!

Barbara Park was born in Mt. Holly, New Jersey on April 27th, 1947. As a child she does not remember loving to read unless comic books count. It was not until she began high school that her love for reading started. As a child she never imagined she would grow up and become a writer.

Barbara attended college at Rider University in Trenton, NJ and then transferred to the University of Alabama. She studied to be a high school history teacher. She did her student teaching in the seventh grade but in using Junie B.'s words she described it as "not that joyful".

Barbara did not start her writing career until after she was married and had children. The very first book she wrote was entitled Operation: Dump the Chump. The first book that was ever published was called Don't Make Me Smile. Operation Dump the Chump was published six months after the first one in 1982. She was very excited when she sent her first book out to the publisher. Unfortunately it was rejected. She sent it out three more times. Finally the fourth publisher bought it.

Her advice for anyone wanting to become an author is
1. practice, practice, practice
2. write, write, write
3. rewrite, rewrite, rewrite
4. finally if you can't find anyone to publish what you wrote KEEP TRYING.

Some of her work:

Junie B. Series
The Kid in the Red Jacket
My Mother Got Married: and Other Disasters
Mick Harte Was Here

8:19 AM  
Blogger Chrissy Krone said...

My favorite adolescent author is Gary Paulsen. My all-time favorite book written by him is Hatchet. If you have not read it yet do so. I really enjoyed it.

Gary Paulsen was born on May 17th,1939 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

His father was a career army officer so they moved from one location to another, even living overseas, never staying in any one school longer than five or six months. Due to his families constant relocations Gary never formed any true friendships with any of his classmates. With each move he became more and more withdrawn.

Both of Gary's parents were alcoholics. They fought quite a bit and never seemed to have enough money to make ends meet. In turn Gary began working at an early age trying to help out his family.

One very cold day while selling newspapers on the street corner after school Gary wondered into a library, not to check out books but to warm up before returning to work. He was very surprised when a woman approached him and asked, in a very kind voice, if he would like a library card. She went on to explain that with this he could check out books. It was this very moment that changed Gary's life forever. When that librarian handed him that first book she handed him the world.

At first it took Gary a month to read just one book. When his reading improved he managed to get through one book in two weeks, then it took just a week. Before long he was plowing through two or three books in just a week's time. Gary could often be found in the basement of his parents' apartment curled up with a good book. He often went down there to escape his parents' frequent arguments.

After high school he attended college but after only one year he ended up quitting and joined the Army for three years.

One day after reading an interesting article in a magazine it hit Gary that whoever wrote that article was getting paid for his work. He thought that was a great way to earn a living, writing and getting paid for it.

That was the beginning of his writing career.

To date Gary Paulsen has written more than 175 books and 200 short stories and articles for children and adults. His work has earned him over fifty awards, including three Newbery Honor Awards for his novels Hatchet, The Winter Room, and Dogsong.

His Thoughts On His Success
"It's like things have come full circle. I felt like nothing the first time I walked into a library, and now library associations are giving me awards. It means a lot to me."

Some of his books include:

Brian's Return
The River
Brian's Winter
Brian's Hunt
Caught By the Sea: My Life on Boats
Alida's Song

11:30 AM  
Blogger Julie said...

Theodor(Ted) Seuss Geisel was born on March 2, 1904, in Springfield, Massachusetts. He graduated Dartmouth College in 1925, and proceeded on to Oxford University with the intent of acquiring a doctorate in literature. At Oxford he met Helen Palmer, who he wed in 1927. Geisel developed the idea for his first children's book in 1936 while on a vacation cruise. In 1936 on the way to a vacation in Europe, listening to the rhythm of the ship's engines, he came up with And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street, which was then promptly rejected by the first 43 publishers he showed it to. Eventually in 1937 a friend published the book for him, and it went on to at least moderate success. In May of 1954, Life Magazine published a report on illiteracy among children. Geisel was inspired and published The Cat in the Hat in February of 1955, which was an instant success. Theodor Geisel died on September 24, 1991. Dr. Seuss lives on through his books.
Book List:
The Sleep Book
The Lorax
Yertle the Turtle
The Big Brag
Horton Hears a Who
Horton Hatches the Egg
My Book about Me

1:30 PM  
Blogger JB said...

One of my favorite authors is Patricia Polacco. She lived the first few years of her life on a farm in Union City, Michigan with her mom and grandparents. This was the most magical time of her life. She heard wonderful stories and a real meteor fell into her front yard. (One of her books describes this- Meteor). Her babushka (grandmother) and other grandparents were some of the most inspirational people in her life. When her babushka died, they moved away. They moved to Oakland, California. She loved that her neighbors came in as many colors, ideas and religions as there are people on the planet. She had a tough time in Elementary school and didn't learn to read until she was 14 years old. (My favorite book of hers describes this- Thank You, Mr. Falker)My students can relate because Patricia is dyslexic. She did not start writing and illustrating children's books until she was 41 years old. By the time she was 46, she had created more than 30 books. Her books are known for themes of tolerance, hope, resilience, and cultural and racial diversity. Her bond with her grandparents is also reflected in many of her stories. Patricia is married and has two grown children. She has recently moved back to that magical farm in Union City where she has 12 rocking chairs in her house. She sits, rocks and thinks of new stories to write.

Some favorites are:
The Keeping Quilt
Rechenka's Eggs
Thank You, Mr. Falker
Mrs. Mack
Aunt Chip and the Great Triple Creek Dam Affair
In Enzo's Splendid Garden
My Rotten Redheaded Older Brother
My Ol' Man
Some Birthday!
Babushka's Doll
Dream Keeper

8:16 PM  
Blogger Lisa Taylor said...

One of my favorite children's author's is Kevin Henkes. His books make me smile and you can even get a little lesson out of them for the students.
Kevin was born in Racine, WI!!!! As a child, Kevin always enjoyed reading books and drawing. His teachers always refered to him as an artist. He knew what he was born to do. In 1979,he went to college at UW-Madison to study art. After his freshman year as a Badger, he headed off to the big apple, hoping to find a publisher. He published his first book in 1981. He has tried to write a variety of books, including novels. HOwever, he is mainly known for his children's books. He got married in 1985 and now resides in Middleton, WI. He continues to write and illustrate today.

He has won several awards for some of his books. Some of collection includes: Weekend with Wendell, Sheila Rae the Brave, Chester's Way, Jessica, Julius:The Baby of teh World, Chrysanthemum, Owen, Wemberly Worried, Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse, and his newest arrival is Lilly's Big Day.

2:52 PM  
Blogger anne mortensen said...

Choosing one favorite author is very difficult for me. There are so many talented writers out there, it is amazing. One writer that I truly enjoy is Sharon Creech. She wrote the Newbery Award winner Walk Two Moons. I started using Walk Two Moons in my reading program last year and now I am hooked. Her writing has depth, but it is not too deep for most fifth graders. She tends to have more than one story going on at the same time in the books of hers that I have read.

Sharon grew up in family of seven. She lived in south Euclid, Ohio. Her family was rowdy, noisy and chaotic. She wanted to be a painter, an ice skater, a singer, a teacher, or a reporter when she was growing up. She soon realized some of these things were not what she should do. She did become a high school teacher in England and Switzerland. She taught Literature there and started writing after that. She published 2 books in Europe that are now out of print and she started writing for children following that.

Sharon Creech lives in Surrey, England most of the year, but in the summer she lives at Lake Chautauqua in western New York State. She is married and has two grown children.

Some of Sharon Creech's other books are:
Absolutely Normal Chaos
Pleasing the Ghost
Chasing Redbird
The Wanderer
Fishing in the Air

7:53 AM  
Blogger Robes said...

My favorite author is Tom Clancy. However, I have found it difficult to read 700 page novels to my students. My students do not seem to have the background knowledge to enjoy Clancy's stories.

So, I will go with my second favorite author, Eric Carle.

Eric Carle was born in Syracuse, New York in 1929. He moved to Germany when he was 6 years old. Eric was a good student, graduating from the prestigious Akademie der bildenden Kunste located in Stuttgart. He moved back to America in 1952 an soon began working for the New York Times as a graphic designer.

His big break came when educator and author Bill Martin Jr. asked Carle to illustrate a story he had written. The book was Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?

Soon Carle was writing books of his own. Themes of his stories were most often drawn from his extensive knowledge and interest in nature. His art is distinctive and readily recognizable.

I read four of Eric Carle's books over and over and over again to my daughter's when they preschoolers. They are 1,2,3 to the Zoo, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, The Very Lonely Firefly and my personal favorite, The Very Lonely Cricket.

Currently, Carle lives with his wife Barb in Northampton, Massachusetts. He has two grown-up children.

2:09 PM  
Blogger jomarie said...

Favorite Author Sketch
This was tough because I like so many authors. The one I decided to feature is the author and illustrator Shel Silverstein.
Shel Silverstein was born in Chicago, Illinois in the early 1930’s. Shel began writing as a young boy because that is what he did best. He would have loved playing ball or chasing girls, but he wasn’t an athlete and the girls weren’t interested in him, so Shel completely immersed himself with his own style of writing and creating.
As an adult, Shel’s work was not writing for children’s literature, but producing pieces for adult magazines. While he was enlisted with the military serving in Japan and Korea he was a cartoonist for a military newsletter called “Pacific Stars and Stripes”. Shel Silverstein was also a composer, lyricist and folksinger. Some hit songs he wrote for performers were “A Boy Named Sue” made popular by Johnny Cash and “The Cover of the Rolling Stone” sung by Dr. Hook (I hope some of you know these songs).
In 1964, Shel wrote one of his most successful books, “The Giving Tree”. The book was initially rejected because various editors said it wasn’t long enough or it was too sad or it fell between adults’ and children’s literature. Finally, “The Giving Tree” was discovered by editor Ursula Nordstrom with Harper Children’s books and the book was published. From that point, Shel Silverstein created more collections of children’s stories, poems, and songs. His first book of poems and drawings was “Where the Sidewalk Ends” published in 1974.
Shel Silverstein’s latest collection and his last book published before he passed away in 1999 was “Falling Up” (1996). Shel’s hope to anyone who read his work, young or old, “…would be to pick up one of my books and experience a personal sense of discover…”

Favorites by Shel Silverstein:

The Giving Tree
Falling Up
Where the Sidewalk Ends
A Light in the Attic
The Missing Piece
The Missing Piece Meets the Big O
A Giraffe and a Half

3:42 PM  
Blogger Donna said...

My favorite author would be Jan Brett. Her illustrations are wonderful. You can do so much with the books as well as the illustrations. I work in a community rehabilitation program with adults that have mental, physical,and emotional disabilities so I am able to use Jan's illustrations a lot.
Jan Brett is one of the nation's foremost author/illustrators of children's books. She lives in a seacoast town in Massachusetts, close to where she grew up. Her family moves to a home in the Bershire Hills of Massachusetts in the summer.
As a child, Jan decided to be an illustrator and spent many hours reading and drawing. She says, " I remember the special quiet of rainy days when I felt that I could enter the pages of my beautiful picture books. Now I try to recreate that feeling of believing that the imaginary place I'm drawing really exists. The details in my work helps to convince me, and I hope other as well, that such place might be real" She spent many hours in the Museum of Fine Arts as a student at the Boston Museum School. She states," It was overwhelming to see the room-size landscapes and towering stone sculptures,and then moments later to refocus on delicately embroidered kimonos and ancient porcelaine. I'm delighted and surprised when fragments of these beautiful images come back to me in my painting."
Travel is a constant inspiration for Jan. Together with her husband, Joe Hearne, who is a member of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Jan visits many different countries where she researces the architecture adn costumes that appear in her work. "From cave paintings to Norwegian sleighs, to Japenese gardens, I study the traditions of the many countries I visit and use them as starting points for my children's books."
Some of Jan's books include:
The Umbrella
Daisy Comes Home
Christmas treasury
Hedgie's surprise
The Hat
Berlioz the Bear
Annie and the Wild Animals
Armadillo Rodeo
(She has written and illustrated books as well as retold an illustrated and only illustrated)

5:55 PM  
Blogger Mr. Bretzmann said...

One of my favorite authors is James Carville ("Stickin'" "Buck Up, Suck Up..." etc.), but nobody in grade school should be reading his stuff. I also love Robert Fulghum ("...Kindergarten", "Uh, Oh", "It Was On Fire When I Lay Down on it"). Again, probably not for kids, but the Kindergarten book is an option for our book discussions in my sociology class. My favorite children's author is Donald J. Sobol. He wrote the Encyclopedia Brown books. What great memories of spending hours reading those when I was a kid. Every year when I teach about First and Second Bull Run I bring up the story about the Civil War Sword and many students know about it. I chose the first dozen, but I liked them all (and I also liked Mr. Sobol's 2 minute mysteries):
Book 1, ENCYCLOPEDIA BROWN: Boy Detective .

"Donald J. Sobol is an award-winning author of more than 65 children's books. His Encyclopedia Brown series was first published in 1963 and hasn't been out of print since. In fact, it has been translated into over 12 languages around the world. Like Encyclopedia Brown, Sobol and his wife Rose (also a children's author) live in Florida." (

3:23 PM  
Blogger KristinS. said...

Biography of Kate Di Camillo

Kate Di Camillo was born on March 25, 1964 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. When Kate was young she had frequently recurring pneumonia. Since Kate was sick often, she needed something to keep her attention and she turned to books. When Kate was 5, her family moved to Florida with the hope that the warmer weather would help her physical condition. In Florida her parents divorced and she continued to live with her mother and her brother. Kate’s love of reading as a young child allowed her to become the successful writer she is today.
Between Kate’s college life and her early thirties, she held many different jobs – even working the rides at Walt Disney World. Kate moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota when she was nearly 30 and got a job on the children’s floor of a book warehouse. This is when Kate began writing books for children. Kate’s first popular book, Because of Winn Dixie was published in 2000.

My very favorite Kate Di Camillo books:
1st place – The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane
2nd place – The Tale of Despereaux
3rd place – Because of Winn Dixie

8:08 AM  
Blogger Kris Schmidt said...

One author I enjoy and my preschoolers truly love is Peggy Rathmann.

Peggy Rathmann was born in St. Paul, Minnesota, and grew up in the suburbs with two brothers and two sisters.
Ms. Rathmann graduated from Mounds View High School in New Brighton, Minnesota, then attended colleges everywhere, changing her major repeatedly. She eventually earned a B.A. in psychology from the University of Minnesota.
She wanted to teach sign language to gorillas, but after taking a class in signing, she realized what she'd rather do was draw pictures of gorillas.
Ms. Rathmann studied commercial art at the American Academy in Chicago, fine art at the Atelier Lack in Minneapolis, and children's-book writing and illustration at the Otis Parsons School of Design in Los Angeles.
Ruby the Copycat, earned Ms. Rathmann the "Most Promising New Author" distinction in Publishers Weekly's 1991 annual Cuffie Awards. In 1992 she illustrated Bootsie Barker Bites for Barbara Bottner, her teacher at Otis Parsons. A homework assignment produced an almost wordless story, Good Night, Gorilla, inspired by a childhood memory. She received a 1996 Caldecott Medal for Officer Buckle and Gloria, the story of a school safety officer upstaged by his canine partner.
In 1998, Ten Minutes till Bedtime was published and recognized as an ALA Notable Children's book.
Ms. Rathmann lives and works in Nicasio, CA on a ranch she shares with her husband, John Wick, and a very funny bunch of birds.

Books by Peggy Rathmann are:

Good Night Gorilla (My personal favorite)
Officer Buckle and Gloria
Ruby the Copycat
Ten Minutes Till Bedtime
The Day The Babies Crawled Away

7:28 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...

Lorna Balian was my favorite author as a child and continues to be one of my favorites today. I was given the book The Sweet Touch at a very young age and read it daily…in the bathtub, while eating, etc. Today, the book looks well used. It had to have been immersed in water with the form it has, and stains fill the pages. Yet I could never part with such a favorite childhood memory.

This wonderful author, illustrator, editor, and mother of six was born in our very own Milwaukee, Wisconsin! After taking a literature course in college, I found out the friend who had given me my first Lorna Balian book actually knew her! She arranged for me to meet her at her home in Watertown. This was so exciting for me and I ended up buying almost all of her books. Children love her stories!

Lorna Balian spent her summers in Readfield, Wisconsin, but she spent most of her life in the city. Both the country and the city have influenced her stories. All of her stories contain an element of surprise that help to keep children interested. I especially enjoy illustrations.

Some awards and honors that she has received are:
UW Little Archer Award; Colorado Children's Book Award; Georgia Children's Picture Book Award; Washington Children's Choice Picture Book Award; PIA Graphics Award; First-place award, Nashville Art Director's Club. The Lorna Balian Prize, an award offered by Abingdon to unpublished author-illustrator teams or individual creators of children's books, was named in her honor.

Lorna Balian’s book list:
Humbug Witch
I Love You, Mary Jane
The Animal
Sometimes It's Turkey -- Sometimes It's Feathers
Where in the World is Henry?
Humbug Rabbit
The Sweet Touch
Bah! Humbug?
A Sweetheart for Valentine
Leprechauns Never Lie
Mother's Mother's Day
Humbug Potion: An A-B-C Cipher
A Garden for a Groundhog
Amelia's Nine Lives
The Socksnatchers
Wilbur's Space Machine

9:53 AM  
Blogger kris said...

Kate DiCamillo was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on March 25, 1964. When she was young, her family moved to Clermont, Florida where she was raised. After getting a Bachelor of Arts in English, she moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota where she still resides. While working full-time in a used bookstore, she worked on Because of Winn-Dixie. It was her first winter in Minnesota and the first time in her life without a dog and she missed the south. Her third book, The Tale of Despereaux was written after a friend's son told her to write a book that had an "unlikely hero with exceptionally large ears." It took her three years to write. She continues to write at least two pages a day, five days a week.

Kate DiCamillo is single and has no children. However, she has lots of friends and a dog named Henry. She describes herself as short and loud, and she hates cooking, but loves to eat. The writers that influenced her the most were Katherine Paterson, Karen Hesse, and Patricia MacLachlan. Her fovorite books growing up were The Twenty-One Balloons, The Secret Garden, The Yearling, Ribsy, and Somebody Else's Shoes. Kate DiCamillo's books include:
Because of Winn-Dixie (Newbery Honor)
The Tiger Rising (National Book Award)
The Tale of Despereaux (Newbery)
Mercy Watson to the Rescue
Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane

9:16 AM  
Blogger crk said...

Kevin Henkes is my favorite author becasue he has good author messages in his books and has unique characters in his stories. This makes it very easy for me to discuss the books with my students. I have also found that kids can make good connections with his stories. My favorite books that he has written are: Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse, Lilly's Big Day, Wemberly Worried, and Chrysanthemum.

Kevin Henkes was from Racine, Wisconsin. He loved reading as a little boy. When he was 19 he went to New York hoping to become an author. His first book was All Alone in 1981.

5:45 PM  

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