The noted novelist and children's author
Jerry Spinelli, born on the 1st February, 1941 at Norristown in Pennsylvania,
United States, is best known for his specialized novels intended towards readers
in their early adolescence. His well-known books include his Space Station
Seventh Grade (1982), the 1991 Newbery Medal winning Maniac Magee, the
Newbery Honor-winning 1998 novel Wringer, the 2000 novel Stargirl and the
the 2003 historical fiction novel Milkweed.
At the age of 16, Spinelli decided to be a writer, when his football team at
high school conquered a tough opponent in a big game, young Jerry
Spinelli composed a poem recognizing this achievement. To the surprise of Jerry
Spinelli the poem was
published the following day in the local newspaper. Spinelli started his
professional writing career by attempting books for adults and not for children.
However, these books were rejected by publishers and remained unpublished. Jerry
Spinellis imagination flew one night when one of his six children ate fried
chicken that was being saved for the following day. Spinelli described this
event, and the description eventually turned in to the story line for his first
novel entitled Space Station Seventh Grade. Spinelli originally wanted it to be
an adult novel but adult publishers rejected it since the central character was
a 13 year old child and finally it became a famous children's book.
Spinellis 1984 novel Who
Put That Hair in My Toothbrush? describes characters Megin
& Greg who are inspired by his real life children Molly &
Jeffrey. Next he created children's books Jason and Marceline
1986 which is the sequel to Space Station Seventh Grade. In 1988, Spinelli wrote
Dump Days. In 1990 he wrote Maniac Magee which won the
Newbery Medal in the subsequent year. The novel has been developed in to a tv
movie. His other major works in 1991 were There's a Girl in My Hammerlock,
Report to the Principal's Office & Fourth Grade Rats. In 1992, Spinelli worked
on The Bathwater Gang Gets Down to Business, Who Ran My Underwear Up the
Flagpole? & Do the Funky Pickle. Spinellis novel Stargirl has also been
developed into a movie due for release in 2009. He has also
autobiography by the title Knots in My Yo-Yo String in 1998. His 2007
novel Eggs outlines a relationship that develops between two children out of
published Love, Stargirl the sequel to his previous bestseller in 2007 .
This novel was published by Knopf Books and was followed by Smiles to Go
Jerry Spinelli graduated in 1963 from Gettysburg College and
completed his MA in 1964 from
Johns Hopkins University. He is married Eileen Mesi in 1977 and
together they have six children. Jerry served in the
United States Navy Reserve between 1966 and 1972.
This biography was last updated on 03/04/2009.
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