My mother, widowed when I was three years old, taught school for forty-nine years in that same small town, and her major (indeed, only) extravagance was books. I grew up with, and quickly adopted, the notion that reading was the only way to fill up every scrap of loose time you could snatch.
I had the benefit, as well, of a wide variety of aunts and uncles and cousins, plus the extended family so common to small-town life--the neighbors, friends, teachers, bus drivers, mailmen, local heroes and local neer-do-wells, and even a local blacksmith . . . great stuff to feed the imagination.
I began writing very early--poems, plays, stories--and just never quit. I attended local schools and then, being both bookstruck and stagestruck, found a college--Allegheny College--where I could satisfy both passions.
I've been a short story writer, with some forty to fifty stories in McCall's, Ladies' Home Journal, Redbook, etc.; a playwright; an occasional poet, and finally and most happily, an author of children's books . . . happily, because there's no greater audience than boys and girls who read books and demand that those books be the most exciting, the most mysterious, the most touching, the funniest . . . the best.
I live and write in a suburb of Philadelphia, and I have two daughters--Carolyn, who is a nurse, and Marjorie, who is a sixth grade teacher and at home now with my grandchildren Tomas, Marcos, and Lucas. All these people read books like crazy!
THE BEST HALLOWEEN EVER
The Herdmans and Halloween always spell disaster. They steal all the candy, spray-paint kids green, and walk off with street signs. So now the Mayor has said, "No Halloween this year!" No costumes, no candy, no trick-or-treat...especially, no Herdmans. But can this be? Can this happen? No way!
"Fast-paced and funny." --School Library Journal
"The Herdmans still have some tricks -- and some treats -- up their sleeves." --Horn Book
THE BEST CHRISTMAS PAGEANT EVER
The Herdmans, terrors of the town, take over the annual Christmas Pageant with surprising results, for both the town and the Herdmans.
" . . . outrageous, lively, funny, and wonderful . . . " --The Denver Post
" . . . could become a classic, one of the best Christmas books ever." --Publisher's Weekly
THE BEST SCHOOL YEAR EVER
The Herdmans take on Woodrow Wilson School, creating customary chaos for students, teachers, parents, and the Fire Department . . . with, at the end of the year, a surprise.
Children's Choice for 1995 (IRA Children's Book Council)
"Certain to be a hit with fans old and new." --School Library Journal
"More laugh-out-loud adventures of the dreaded Herdmans . . ." --Horn Book
MY BROTHER LOUIS MEASURES WORMS
Ten stories about the Lawson family--Mary Elizabeth, her brother Louis, and their various relatives and friends . . . a cheerfully off-the-wall assortment of characters who stumble into one comic misadventure after another.
"Will leave readers in stitches." --Booklist
"Told with deadpan humor; eminently readable." --Kirkus Reviews
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