Croak - 2014-2015 Gateway 2nd Place Recipient
Bio: I grew up under four feet of snow in Syracuse, New York. I received a degree in theater and sociology from Boston College, and I have since worked as a tour guide, transcriptionist, theater house manager, scenic artist, movie extra, office troll, retail monkey, yarn hawker and breadmonger. I am the author of the grim-reapers-gone-wild books of the Croak trilogy (Croak, Scorch, and Rogue), and Hellhole, all published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. I live in Western Massachusetts with my husband, two cats, one dog, and while I have never visited hell in person, I have spent countless waking hours at the Albany Regional Bus Terminal, which is pretty darn close.
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Pinch Hit - 2014-2015 Mark Twain 3rd Place Recipient
Bio: After studying writing at Syracuse University where he was an All American football player, Tim was drafted in the first round of the NFL draft by the Atlanta Falcons where he was a top defensive player for eight years.
While Tim played in the NFL, he also studied law and began his writing career. By the time he retired from football in 1994, Tim had already published his first book and become a lawyer. In addition to those two jobs, he began working as a television broadcaster for FOX NFL Sunday and other shows, including Battlebots, Good Morning America, Court TV, A Current Affair, and most recently, Find My Family.
After writing more than a dozen books for adults, Tim began writing a series of novels for young readers set in a world of sports taken from his own experiences as an athlete and a coach. In the meantime, Tim has visited over 1000 schools and spoken to nearly a half million students across the United States about the importance of education and character, in addition to the joys and benefits of reading!
Tim serves on the board of the Golisano Children’s Hospital in Syracuse, NY, as well as the National Writing Project. He lives with his wife, Illyssa, their five kids, and two dogs in Upstate New York. When Tim isn’t writing, he enjoys boating, fishing, hunting, reading, and spending time with his family and friends.
Jangles: A Big Fish Story - 2014-2015 Show Me Award Winner
Bio: David Shannon was born in Washington, D.C, in 1959. He grew up in Spokane, WA. David liked to draw as soon as he could hold a crayon. He went to Hutton Elementary school where his teachers soon realized that if they let David draw murals it would keep him from disrupting class and their classroom would have some pretty good art on the walls, too. David eventually graduated from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena where he majored in Illustration. In He sold his pickup truck and moved to New York City in 1983 to start a career in editorial illustration. David’s work appeared in many magazines and newspapers, including Time, Newsweek, Rolling Stone, and The New York Times, as well as numerous book jackets and posters. In 1988 he illustrated his first children’s book, How Many Spots Does a Leopard Have?, by Julius Lester. (Btw, Leopards have two spots – dark ones and light ones.) After illustrating several books by other authors, David was encouraged to try writing his own stories. His first book was How Georgie Radbourn Saved Baseball, which was named a New York Times Best-illustrated book in 1994. In 1999 the semi-autobiographical story, No, David!, received a Caldecott Honor. Davidhas written and/ or illustrated over 35 books for children. He lives in Los Angeles with his Wife, Heidi and his daughter, Emma.
The Raft - 2014-2015 Truman Award Winner
Bio: S.A. Bodeen grew up on a dairy farm in Wisconsin. She graduated from UW-River Falls with a degree in Secondary Ed., then joined the Peace Corps with her husband and went to Tanzania, East Africa. Her first picture book, Elizabeti's Doll (written as Stephanie Stuve-Bodeen) was published in 1998, followed by six other picture books.Her first YA novel written as S.A. Bodeen, the award-winning The Compound, came out from Feiwel and Friends in 2008. The novel count is up to five, with two more releasing in 2015. She has lived in eight states, two African countries, and an insular possession. Currently, she lives in the Midwest with her husband and two daughters.