Hi, Readers! You may know I've written over 138 books, but I'll bet you don't know how many rejections I've received in my life. I wrote short stories for 15 years before I ever started writing books. Many of the magazines published stories of mine that had already appeared in other places, so sometimes I would send the same story out to 20 or 30 different magazines, and I recorded the number of sales and rejections in a notebook. We haven't counted the number of sales for these stories, but we counted the rejections: 10,443. That's ten-thousand four hundred and forty three! I sure bought a lot of stamps and envelopes. But if I hadn't stuck with it, if I hadn't tried to make my next story better than the one before, I probably wouldn't ever have got up the courage to write books.

When I first started writing books, I was afraid I would get bored with the story before it was finished. I don't get bored any more. One of the reasons, I guess, is that I never write two books of the same kind in a row. After I do a Bernie Magruder mystery book, for example, I may do a book about Alice McKinley. Then I might try a serious novel for young people, followed by a picture book for small children, and after that I may work on a novel for adults. Once I do a sad book, I want to write something funny. After I've written a novel for girls, I want to do one for boys. It's mixing things up like this that helps keep my job interesting, and if it wasn't fun, I wouldn't do it.

Illustrated by
Barry Moser

Each book begins in a different way. Shiloh began when I found a frightened, abused dog in West Virginia. The Grand Escape had its start when one of our cats was operated on for what we thought was a tumor in its stomach, but which turned out to be 40 feet of Christmas ribbon, 11 rubber bands, and a couple wads of grass and hair. That operation cost us $450, and I was determined to get the money back by writing a book about our troublesome cats. A scary movie got me thinking about writing the book, Jade Green.Beetles, Lightly Toasted came about because I'd read a recipe in the paper for making chocolate chip cookies using mashed-up earthworms.

Sang Spell began when I read a history of the Melungeons. Walker's Crossing was written because I'm alarmed about hate groups. The Alice books, of course, are about many of the embarrassing things that happened to me as a young girl. (Remember that Tarzan scene in The Agony of Alice? Don't ask).

Even when I'm not writing, I'm thinking about what I'm working on, or what I want to try next. But I also take time to swim and hike and snorkel and eat Chinese food and chocolate and go to the theater and play the piano and visit schools to talk about my books. My husband Rex reads every book I write and makes suggestions, and I get some of my ideas from our two sons, Jeff and Mike, and their families. And guess what: you don't really have to read because the principal says he'll spend the night on the roof if all the kids read 1000 books. Or because you'll win a contest or get extra points. The best reason to read is because it's fun. Find a book you think you'll like, even if nobody else cares much for it. Then take a nice juicy apple or a cup of hot chocolate, settle down in a comfortable chair, and have a great time!

My Books

  • Who Won the War?
    Delacote, coming 2006, $15.95, (ages 8-12)

  • Alice Aware
    Atheneum, coming 2006, $15.95 (ages 14 and up)

  • Roxie and the Hooligans
    Atheneum, coming 2006, $16.00, (ages 6-10)

  • Cuckoo Feathers
    Marshall-Cavendish, coming 2006, $14.95 (ages 6-9)

  • Boys Rock!
    Delacote, 2005, $15.95, (ages 8-12)

  • Alice on her Way
    Atheneum, 2005, $15.95, (ages 14 and up)

  • Anyone Can Eat Squid
    Marshall-Cavendish, 2005, $14.95, (ages 6-9)

  • Polo's Mother
    Atheneum, 2005, $15.95, (ages 8-12)

  • Lovingly Alice
    Atheneum, 2004, $15.95, (ages 9-12)

  • Including Alice
    Atheneum, 2004, $15.95, (ages 12 and up)

  • Girls Rule!
    Delacorte, 2004, $15.95, (ages 8-12)

  • After
    Soho Press, 2003, $25.00, (adult)

  • Alice in Blunderland
    Atheneum, 2003, $15.95, (ages 7 and up)

  • Boys in Control
    Delacorte, 2003, $15.95, (ages 8-12)

  • Patiently Alice
    Atheneum, 2003, $15.95, (ages 12 and up)

  • Bernie Magruder and the Bats in the Belfry
    Atheneum, 2003, $16.95, (ages 8-12)

  • Simply Alice
    Atheneum, 2002, $16.00 (ages 12 and up)

  • The Girls Take Over
    Delacorte, 2002, $15.95 (ages 9-12)

  • Blizzard's Wake
    Atheneum, 2002, $16.00 (ages 12 and up)

  • Starting With Alice
    Atheneum, 2002, $15.95 (ages 7 and up)

  • Please DO Feed the Bears
    Atheneum, 2002, (ages 5-8)

  • Alice Alone
    Atheneum, 2001, (ages 11-14) paperback by Aladdin, $4.99

  • The Great Chicken Debacle
    Marshall Cavendish, 2001, $14.95 (ages 8-11)

  • The Boys Return
    Delacorte, 2001, $15.95 (ages 9-12)

  • Carlotta's Kittens and the Club of Mysteries
    Atheneum, 2000, $16.00 (ages 8-12)

  • A Spy Among the Girls
    Delacorte, 2000, $15.95 (ages 8-12) paperback by Oell $4.99

  • The Grooming of Alice
    Atheneum, 2000, $16.00 (ages 11-14) paperback by Aladdin, $4.99

  • Jade Green: A Ghost Story
    Atheneum, 2000, $16.00 (ages 11-15) paperback by Aladdin, $4.99
    Kansas Heartland YA Award German Translation

  • Peril in the Bessledorf Parachute Factory
    Atheneum, 1999, $16.00 (ages 8-12) paperback by Aladdin, $4.99

  • Walker's Crossing
    Atheneum, 1999, $16.00 (ages 10-14) paperback by Aladdin, $4.99
    Random House Audio, $15.99. Scholastic Book Club

  • A Traitor Among the Boys
    Delacorte, 1999, $15.95 (ages 8-12) paperback by Oell, $4.99

  • Alice on the Outside
    Atheneum, 1999, $15.00 (ages 11-14) paperback by Aladdin, $4.99
    French Translation

  • Sweet Strawberries
    Atheneum, 1999, $16.00 (ages 5-8)

  • The Girls' Revenge
    Delacorte, 1999, $15.95, (ages 8-12) paperback by Dell, $4.99 British rights

  • Sang Spell
    Atheneum, 1998, $16.00 (ages 11 & up) paperback by Aladdin, $4.99
    Junior Library Guild.
    Random House Audio, $15.99. German Translation

  • Danny's Desert Rats
    Atheneum, 1998, $16.00 (ages 8-12) paperback by Aladdin, $4.99

  • Achingly Alice
    Atheneum, 1998, $15.00 (ages 10-14) paperback by Aladdin, $4.99

  • Bernie Magruder and the Pirate's Treasure
    Atheneum, 1997, $15.00 (ages 8-12) paperback by Aladdin, $4.99

  • Saving Shiloh
    Atheneum, 1997, $15.00 (ages 8-12) paperback by Aladdin, $4.99
    Bantam Audio, $15.99.
    Junior Library Guild, Scholastic Book Club, British rights, German Translation

  • The Healing of Texas Jake
    Atheneum, 1997, $15.00 (ages 8-12) paperback by Aladdin, $4.99

  • Outrageously Alice
    Atheneum, 1997, $11.00 (ages 9-13) paperback by Aladdin, $4.99
    French Translation

  • Ducks Disappearing
    Atheneum, l997, $13.00 (ages 5-8)

  • Bernie Magruder and the Bus Station Blow-Up
    Atheneum, 1996, $15.00, paperback by Aladdin, $4.99

  • Shiloh Season
    Atheneum, 1997, $15.00 (ages 8-12) paperback by Aladdin, $4.99
    Movie directed by Oale Rosenbloom, Utopis Pictures, Video by Warner Home Video Production
    British Rights, Dutch and German Translations, 6 state awards, Scholstic Book Club
    Bantam Audio $15.99

  • Alice in Lace
    Atheneum, 1996, $15.00 (ages 9-13) paperback by Aladdin, $4.99.
    Parent's Choice Honor Book. Danish Translation.

  • Ice
    Atheneum, 1996, $16.00 (ages 9-14) paperback by Aladdin, $4.99
    Troll Book Club. Dutch Translation

  • Being Danny's Dog
    Atheneum, 1995, $15.00, paperback by Aladdin, $3.99, (ages 8-12)
    Troll Book club, Italian Translation

  • Alice the Brave
    Atheneum, 1995, $15.00, paperback by Aladdin, $4.99,
    Audio tape by Recorded Books, $26.00 (ages 9-13)
    Keystone State Reading Association Award

  • The Fear Place
    Atheneum, 1994, $14.95, paperback by Aladdin, $3.99,
    Audio tape by Recorded Books, $26 (ages 9-14)
    Troll Book Club, British Rights, German, Dutch and French Translations, Danish audio

  • Boys Against Girls
    Delacorte, 1994, $14.95, paperback by Dell, $4.99 (ages 8-12)
    Weekly Reader Book Club

  • Alice in Between
    Atheneum, 1994, $14.95, paperback by Aladdin, $4.99 (ages 10-14)
    French, German and Indian Translations.

  • The Girls Get Even
    Delacorte, 1993, $13.95, paperback by Dell, $4.99 (ages 8-12)
    British rights.

  • The Boys Start the War
    Delacorte, 1994, $14.00, paperback by Dell, $4.99 (ages 8-12), six state awards
    British rights.

  • The Grand Escape
    Atheneum, l993, $13.95, paperback by Dell, $3.99 (ages 8-12), Connecticut Nutmeg Award, Japanese translation
    Nebraska Golden Sower Award

  • Alice in April
    Atheneum, l993, $14.95, paperback by Aladdin, $4.99 (ages 9-13)
    Recommended Books for the Reluctant Young Adult Reader
    British rights.

  • Bernie Magruder and the Drive-Thru Funeral Parlor
    Atheneum, 1993, $13.95, paperback by Aladdin, $4.99 (ages 8-12)
    Japanese, Russian and German translation

  • All But Alice
    Atheneum, 1992, $13.95, paperback by Aladdin, $4.99 (ages 9-13), ALA Notable Children's Book, Recommended Books for the Reluctant Young Adult Reader
    British rights, Japanese, German. French and Portugese translations.

  • Josie's Troubles
    Atheneum, 1992, $12.95 (ages 8-12) paperback by Dell, $3.50

  • Reluctantly Alice
    Atheneum, 199l, $13.95, paperback by Aladdin, $4.99 (ages 8-12)

  • Shiloh
    Atheneum, 199l, $12.95, paperback by Aladdin, $4.99 (ages 8-12), Newbery Award, ALA Notable Books, IRA Young Adult Choices, IRA Teachers' Choice, 24 state awards, Bantam audio tape, $15.99, 10 foreign translations, movie directed by Dale Rosenbloom, Utopia Pictures, video by Warner Home Video Productions, Book of the Month Club

  • King of the Playground
    Atheneum, 1991, $13.95, paperback by Aladdin, $4.95 (ages 5-8)

  • Send No Blessings
    Atheneum, 1990, $13.95, paperback by Puffin, $3.99 (ages 12 and up)

  • Bernie Magruder and the Haunted Hotel
    Atheneum, 1990, $12.95, paperback by Aladdin, $4.99, (ages 8-12 ), Japanese translation

  • The Craft of Writing the Novel
    1989, $12.95 (ages 14 and up)

  • Keeping a Christmas Secret
    Atheneum, 1989, $13.95, paperback by Aladdin, $4.95 (ages 5-8),Christopher Award

  • Alice in Rapture, Sort Of
    Atheneum, 1989, $12.95 (ages 8-12),paperback by Aladdin, $4.99
    Hedda Seisler Mason Award, British rights. Japanese, Italian and German translations.

  • One of the Third-Grade Thonkers
    Atheneum, l988, $12.95, paperback by Dell, $3.25 (ages 8-12)

  • Maudie in the Middle
    (co-authored with my mother, Lura Schield Reynolds), Atheneum, 1988, $13.95, paperback by Dell, $3.25 (ages 8-12), Book Award, Society of School Librarians International

  • Beetles, Lightly Toasted
    Atheneum, 1987, $11.95, paperback by Dell, $2.95, (ages 9-12)
    Junior Literary Guild selection, Joan Sugarman Award, Tennessee state Book Award

  • Unexpected Pleasures
    1986, $17.95 (adult), Swedish and Dutch translations, YASD Best Books for Young Adults

  • The Bodies in the Bessledorf Hotel
    Atheneum, 1986, $11.95, paperback by Avon, $2.50, Japanese translation;

  • The Keeper
    Atheneum, 1986, $12.95, paperback by Bantam, $2.95 (ages 12-14),
    Jr. Literary Guild Selection, ALA Notable, YASD Best Book for Young Adults, ABC After school Special ("My Dad Can't be Crazy...Can He?")

  • The Agony of Alice
    Atheneum, 1985, $10.95, paperback by Aladdin, $4.99, (ages 8-12)
    Japanese, Italian German and portuguese translations. British rights.
    ALA Notable, IRA Children's Choice

  • Old Sadie and the Christmas Bear
    Atheneum, 1984, $11.95 (ages 5-8)

  • Night Cry
    Atheneum, 1984, $10.95, paperback by Dell, $2.95 (ages 10-15), Edgar Allan Poe Award, Danish translation

  • The Solomon System
    Atheneum, 1983, $10.95, paperback by Aladdin, $3.95 (ages 10-14), Child Study Award

  • A String of Chances
    1982, $10.95 (ages 11 and up), ALA Notable Book, YASD Best Book for Young Adults, Notable Children's Book in the Field of Social Studies, South Carolina Young Adult Book Award

  • The Boy With the Helium Head
    Dell, 1982, $2.99 (ages 5-8)

  • Eddie, Incorporated
    Atheneum, 1980, $8.95, paperback by Aladdin, $3.50, Chinese translation; (ages 8-12)

  • How I Came to be a Writer
    Aladdin, 1978, $4.95 (ages 8-12), Golden Kite Award for Nonfiction, IRA Children's Choice

  • To Walk the Sky Path
    Dell, 1973, $4.95 (ages 8-12)

  • Jennifer Jean, the Cross-Eyed Queen
    Lerner, 1978, $18.95, (ages 5-8)

My Links
The Alice Books

Simon Says Kids - Simon & Schuster site for kids




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