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I grew up on Chicago's south side, where we identified our neighborhoods by parishes - St. Margaret of Scotland was mine.  I was always itchy to be part of a bigger world, to see how other people lived, to discover what the heck I was doing on this earth. After college, I backpacked through Europe, taught English in Athens, was a very good nanny to bambinos in Rome, and a very bad cook in Florence. Later, I worked a boatload of jobs, from TWA flight attendant to convention sales manager at Playboy Resorts. I kept journals all those years; the writing kept me centered, hopeful and real. I finally focused on writing as a profession (huge leap of faith!) when I turned 30 and had a son.

It’s been travel that has inspired most of my 65 children’s books. Settling in the Rocky Mountains brought me the story of pioneer Aunt Clara Brown. Colonial San Miguel de Allende turned my Day of the Dead book into an 8-year stay and a bunch of Mexican-themed books, including my coming-of-age story Truth and Salsa, set in a stone tower where we lived.  I now live in Asheville, NC.


New York Times paperback best-seller list - Trick or Treat, It’s Halloween!

Colorado Book Award finalist 2002 -  Aunt Clara Brown

Starred Reviews in School Library Journal, Horn Book, Publishers Weekly, Kirkus - various books

New York Times “Recommended Read” - Twist with a Burger, Jitter With A Bug

American Library Association, Notable Books of Year -Twist With A Burger, Jitter With A Bug

Society of School Librarians, Honor Book Lists - various

American Book Association, Best Children’s Books of the Year and Pick of the List - various

Parents’ Magazine, Choice for Children Honor Books - Pablo Picasso

Bank Street College, Best Books of the Year List - various

International Society of School Librarians, 2007 Honor Book - Truth and Salsa 

Society for the Care of Children’s Health Gold Award 1995 - Laurie Tells