Local authors of children’s, middle grades and young adult books worth checking out.
Thursday, December 20, 2012
Beverly Cleary. The 96-year-old was born on a small farm in Oregon but now calls Carmel Valley home. Her book series, like Ramona, Henry Huggins, Ralph the Mouse and Beezus, have earned her accolades including the Newbery and a Laura Ingalls Wilder Award. Her books have also sold 91 million copies worldwide. Her birthday, April 12, is celebrated nationally as DEAR Day (Drop Everything and Read), which refers to her classic book Dear Mr. Henshaw.
Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston. The 78-year-old is most famous for her 1973 memoir Farewell to Manzanar, adapted into a TV movie in 1976, chronicling her family’s imprisonment at a California concentration camp due to their Japanese ethnicity. It’s still taught in schools and universities to educate about the experience of Japanese internment; in September, the author spoke at CSUMB as part of the Monterey County Free Libraries’ California Reads initiative.
Laurence Yep. The San Francisco-born author and Ph.D (in English) writes about Chinese heritage and issues, of not wholly fitting in with American or Chinese culture. He received the Newbery Honor for two books in the Golden Mountain Chronicles series, the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award for The Rainbow People and the Laura Ingalls Wilder Medal for contributions to children’s literature. He now lives in Pacific Grove.
Dayle Ann Dodds. The award-winning author of more than a dozen books, including Sing, Sophie!, Full House and Henry’s Amazing Machine, her 2007 book The Prince Won’t Go to Bed was published with Farrar, Straus and Giroux, who’ve also published T.S. Eliot and Pablo Neruda. The New York Times has reviewed her work, too, in which she displays a knack for turning math into engaging scenarios.
Carol Diggory Shields. The Seaside Library branch librarian is the author of colorful children’s books that come complete with fun, intriguing names like Saturday Night at the Dinosaur Stomp, The Bugliest Bug, Wombat Walkabout, Animagicals, BrainJuice and Lucky Pennies and Hot Chocolate. She’s currently published by Candlewick Press, Anne Ylvisaker’s publisher.