One of my earliest memories is of my dad taking me to the library on Saturday mornings. I remember the excitement of choosing a book – the way the protective cover crinkled under my fingers, the way the book smelled, the anticipation of the story. My parents read to me constantly, and when I learned to read, I read constantly. I still have most of my childhood books. My favorites growing up were:

The Lorax by Dr. Seuss

Bread and Jam for Frances by Russell Hoban

The Story of Babar by Jean de Brunhoff

Misty of Chincoteague by Marguerite Henry

A Very Young Rider by Jill Krementz

The Thanksgiving Treasure by Gail Rock

Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder

Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson

Ruffian by Edward Claflin

The Story of Helen Keller by Lorena A. Hickok

Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume

Beat the Turtle Drum by Constance C. Greene

When I wasn’t reading, I swam, played the flute and rode horses. I still do all of those things!  I started writing stories in 3rd grade. My first was called “Tommy the Tooth.” I show this story to students today when I visit schools. I was even chosen in 4th grade to attend a “Young Author’s Day” conference. After that, I took every writing class that I could in middle school and high school.

I studied English in college and journalism in graduate school and became a reporter when I graduated. I wrote stories for newspapers and magazines. When my children were born, I wanted to stay home with them, so I started writing children’s fiction.

Today, I live in the country with my husband; three children; Goodnight Moon, the Quarter Horse; Caspian, the Border collie; Copperfield, the Foxhound; and Chance, the cat.

Photo by Jen Fariello

SCHOOL VISITSschool_visits_2.html