About Jon Scieszka
An Interview with Jon Scieszka
More About Jon Scieszka
Multiple award-winning author Jon Scieszka grew up in Flint, Michigan, the second oldest and the nicest of six boys. Jon went to school at Culver Military Academy in Indiana where he was a Lieutenant; Albion College in Michigan where he studied to be a doctor; and Columbia University in New York, where he got a M.F.A. in fi ction. He taught elementary school in New York for ten years in a variety of positions. In addition to his work as an author, Jon also runs a web-based literacy program called “Guys Read” that is designed to encourage boys, particularly reluctant readers, to get involved with books. Currently, he lives in Brooklyn, NY with his wife and two kids.
Recently, Jon was named the country’s first National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, a joint effort of the Library of Congress and the Children’s Book Council. During his two-year role as Ambassador, he will act as a spokesperson for children’s literature, speaking to groups of parents, teachers, and children to encourage the importance of reading.
DATE OF BIRTH
10 September 1954
I was born full grown in the middle of a hurricane and an earthquake on 10 September 1954,
12.52 p.m. When I found out that I had missed lunch, I gave such a shout that the earth stopped and spun backwards two days. That's why I celebrate my birthday on 8 September. Nobody had ever seen a ring-tailed, rip-roaring wowser like me. When I was one day old, I learned how to read. When I was two days old I started to write. By the time I was three, I had finished 212 short stories, 38 novels, 730 poems, and one very funny limerick, all before breakfast.
As a kid, I was faster than a cheetah, smarter than Einstein, and nicer than a hundred grandmothers put together. I wrestled wild animals in the Michigan woods, read novels by moonlight, and climbed trees blindfolded for inspiration.
I didn't need to go to school because I could out-read, out-write, and out-fight any living teacher or student. I could rhyme any word in twenty-seven languages (including 'orange'), write haiku with my left hand, and spell 'flaccinaucinihilipilification' with my right.
I'm the oldest and the very best of six boys born to Louis and Shirley Scieszka. Every year I golf a lower score, bowl a higher score, and draw a better poker hand than the rest of the Scieszka brothers.
In 1977 I met a wildcat woman who had lassoed the moon. I took one look at her. She took one look at me. Then we howled and hooted for forty days and forty nights, each trying to get the best of each other. At the end of the fortieth night we had dug the Grand Canyon, built Mt Everest and opened the Panama Canal, but neither had given an inch. So we called it a draw, fell in love, and got married.
Our daughter Casey was born in 1984. And naturally enough, she is a better writer, piano player and basketball player than anyone except her mom and dad. Jake was born two years later. And if eleven-year-olds were allowed to play on MTV and skate in the NHL, Jake would be the first starting centre with a gold record.
We live on the best street in Brooklyn, New York, with our cat Potvin (named after the Toronto Maple Leafs' goalie, Felix 'The Cat' Potvin), where the sun always shines, the garden always flowers, and the neighbours are always friendly.
I taught elementary school and painted apartments for ten years. Now I write full-time and never have to change a thing I write. Every book comes to me in a flash of inspiration and takes me about two seconds to finish. The longer books, like the Time Warp Trio novels, take a little longer to write - more like four seconds. I give Lane Smith all of the ideas for paintings and then instruct him in the proper use of art materials.
Our first book, The True Story of the Three Little Pigs sold thirty bazillion copies in eight languages. The Stinky Cheese Man did the same. And Maths Curse has sold twice as many as both put together. There are six Time Warp Trio books that would take a page each to fully praise. And I just thought up twelve more while I was typing this sentence.
Lane and I have been on radio shows, TV shows, in movies and on bus ads. We know Michael Jordan and Madonna, we've flown the space shuttle and are two of the friendliest, most handsome, and most humble guys you'd ever want to meet.
If you are a Jon Scieszka fan, why not e-mail him and ask him some more questions about his brilliant books at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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