From Norvelt to Bement
Award-winning author Jack Gantos visits November 7
Author Illustrator Day with Jack Gantos
Friday, Nov. 7th, 9am
The Bement School, Old Main Street, Deerfield, MA
Preparing for the big day
The key to a successful author visit is preparation. Students need to be familiar with the author and have read some of his work in order to make a connection. We want to help you as much as possible in preparing for the big day.
Be sure to take a look at the video interview below. It will really give you a taste of his personality and presentation style, and his journey to becoming a writer.
A HUGE thank you to our Parents' Association for making this visit possible!
Rotten Ralph Feels Rotten
Series of picture books and early readers.
Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key
The first in the Joey Pigza series. A National Book Award Finalist and an important book in taking on the topic of ADHD.
Hole in My Life
Printz Medal winner and National Book Award finalist. An unforgettable and honest memoir for young adult readers.
Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key
Dead End in Norvelt
Newbery Medal winner. Historical fiction at its funniest.
Jack on the Tracks
Non-stop laughs in the Jack Henry Series.
From Norvelt to Nowhere
The sequel...we haven't seen the end of Miss Volker!
Important Book Sale Information
38 West Newton Street, #1, Boston, MA 02118
Ph: 617-267-5405, Cell: 617-875-0848
Emerson College (1978-1996)
Tenured Professor: Writing, Literature and Publishing
Boston, MA 02116
Norwich/Vermont College (1996-1998): Faculty/MFA Writing for Children, Montpelier, VT 05602
Self Employed Writer: 1996--Present
MA Literature/Creative Writing, Emerson College, 1984
BFA Creative Writing, Emerson College, 1976
UPPER ELEMENTARY/MIDDLE GRADE/YOUNG ADULT
Heads or Tails, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1994
Jack's New Power, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1995
Desire Lines, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1997
Jack's Black Book, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1997
Joey Pigza Swallowed The Key, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1998
Jack On the Tracks, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1999
Joey Pigza Loses Control, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2000
Hole In My Life, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2002
What Would Joey Do?, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2002
Jack Adrift, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2003
The Love Curse of the Rumbaughs, Farrar, Straus and Giroux,
I Am Not Joey Pigza, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2007
Dead End in Norvelt, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2011
From Norvelt to Nowhere, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2013
The Key that Swallowed Joey Pigza, Farrar, Straus and Giroux 2014 (Fall Release)
CHILDREN'S PICTURE BOOKS
Rotten Ralph, Houghton Mifflin Co., 1976
Worse Than Rotten Ralph, Houghton Mifflin Co., 1978
Rotten Ralph's Rotten Christmas, Houghton Mifflin Co., 1984
Rotten Ralph's Trick Or Treat, Houghton Mifflin Co., 1986
Rotten Ralph's Show And Tell, Houghton Mifflin Co., 1989
Happy Birthday Rotten Ralph, Houghton Mifflin Co., 1990
Not So Rotten Ralph, Houghton Mifflin Co., 1994
Rotten Ralph's Rotten Romance, Houghton Mifflin Co., 1996
Back to School For Rotten Ralph, HarperCollins, 1998
Rotten Ralph Howls, HarperCollins, 1998
Rotten Ralph Has the Christmas Spirit, HC, 1998
Wedding Bells for Rotten Ralph, HC, 1999
Rotten Ralph's Thanksgiving Wish, HC, 1999
The Nine Lives of Rotten Ralph, Houghton Mifflin Co., 2008
ROTTEN RALPH ROTTEN READER SERIES, FSG
ROTTEN RALPH HELPS OUT, 2001
PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT FOR ROTTEN RALPH, 2002
ROTTEN RALPH FEELS ROTTEN, 2004
BEST IN SHOW FOR ROTTEN RALPH, 2006
THREE STRIKES FOR ROTTEN RALPH, 2011
ROTTEN RALPH’S ROTTEN FAMILY, 2014
Sleepy Ronald, Houghton Mifflin Co., 1976
Fair Weather Friends, Houghton Mifflin Co., 1977
Aunt Bernice, Houghton Mifflin Co., 1978
The Perfect Pal, Houghton Mifflin Co., 1979
Greedy Greeny, Doubleday and Co., 1979
The Werewolf Family, Houghton Mifflin Co., 1980
Swampy Alligator, Simon and Schuster, 1980
Willy's Raiders, Parents Magazine Press, 1981
ZIP SIX, Bridge Works Publishing, New York, 1996
BRASILIA, (NEA Grant)
PAPERBACKS AND AUDIO BOOKS
List upon request.
World wide list of translations upon request.
My agent is Amy Berkower at Writer's House, NYC.
FILM AND VIDEO PRODUCTION
Two animated ROTTEN RALPH specials have been produced and broadcast on the Disney Channel by Disney/Italtoons Productions. Presently 52 Rotten Ralph episodes have been produced by the BBC for British, American and World Wide markets.
JOEY PIGZA SWALLOWED THE KEY has been optioned by Ken Kwapis and United Studios and is in development for TV.
HOLE IN MY LIFE has been optioned in 2012 by Almada Productions Ltd for film development.
Multiple articles including “Mausoleum Madness” for Horn Book, 2006-2013
"THE KISS OF DEATH or THE FOUR MISS KITTYS", plus a dozen JACK HENRY serial stories printed in over 100 newspapers nationwide, 1998-2012
New Scholastic Introduction for Peter Pan, 2001
"ADHD and Literature Activities", SLJ, 2001
"The Next Level", Book Links, 1998
"The Hit List", SLJ, 1997
"Warts And All", SLJ, 1999
"Creativity and Structure" Teaching K-8, 1996
El Dorado, Places, M.I.T. Press, 1989
Nicaragua Diary (w/photographs), Naked Global Issues, 1988
8-Track, B-T.V., 1988
TEACHING AND WORK EXPERIENCE
I became an Adjunct Instructor at Emerson College in 1978. In 1986 I received a full-time position as Assistant Professor of Creative Writing and Literature in both the
undergraduate and graduate divisions. In 1992 I became an
Associate Professor. In 1993 I accepted the Graduate Coordinator position for the MA degree in Creative and Professional Writing. In 1995 I received full tenure and was offered the Chairmanship of the combined Creative and Professional Writing Program. I declined, and resigned my position in 1996 in order to gain time for writing books.
I have been on many core, all-college, and divisional
committees: Status, Faculty Council, Graduate Council,
Curriculum, Library, Chair Evaluation, Presidential Search,
Thesis, Readings. I was the faculty advisor for the Emerson
literary magazine, Gangsters in Concrete.
In 1993 and 1995 I taught courses in Creative Writing and Literature at the University of New Mexico. In 1996 I became a core faculty member for the low residency MFA Program in Children's Writing at Norwich/Vermont College. I am also a frequent speaker at Book, Library, Teacher, Literacy and Author Conferences throughout the country and overseas.
I built the Emerson MA/MFA degree concentration in Children's Book Writing and Literature, and designed the MFA degree in Children's Literature and Writing at Norwich/Vermont College.
SELECTION of COURSE TITLES
Introduction to Creative Writing: Prose and Poetry
Introduction to Creative Writing: Children's Books
Advanced Creative Writing: Prose and Poetry
Advanced Creative Writing: Children's Books
Senior Seminar: Writing the Non-Fiction Book
Senior Seminar: Fiction Writing
Senior Seminar: Children's Book Writing: Primary to Adolescent
American Novel: Rotating Topics
American Short Story: Rotating Topics
International Short Story/Novel: Rotating Topics
Graduate Literature Seminar: Rotating Nationalities/Topics
Graduate Seminar: Picture Book Lit and Writing
Graduate Seminar: Middle Grade Lit and Short Story Writing
Graduate Seminar: Adolescent Lit and Novel Writing
2014 Anne V. Zarrow Award for “Significant Contribution to the field of literature for children and young adults.”
2012 John Newbery Award to the author of the most “Distinguished Contribution to American Literature for Children.” Dead End In Norvelt
2012 Scott O’Dell Award for Best Historic Fiction: Dead End
2010 NCTE/ALAN Award for “Outstanding Achievement in the field of Adolescent literature”
2009 Joey Pigza Swallowed The Key: “Booked Up” Award. United Kingdom Booktrust
2005 Library of Congress Outstanding Contribution to American Children’s Literature
2003 ASTAL HONOR for Outstanding Contribution To Children’s Literature
2002 Hole In My Life: Winner of the MA ST. Award
2002 Hole In My Life: ALA Printz Honor
2002 Hole In My Life: ALA Sibert Honor
2002 Hole In My Life: Parent’s Choice, Gold Award
2001 Boston Public Library Literary Lights Award for Outstanding Contribution to Children’s Literature.
2001 Joey Pigza Loses Control, NASEN AWARD: Best Book for Special Needs Education in the United Kingdom
2001 Joey Pigza Loses Control, Newbery Honor Award
2001 Joey Pigza Loses Control, ALA Notable Book
2001 Joey Pigza Loses Control, Book List: Editor's Choice
2001 Joey Pigza Loses Control, Book Links: Lasting
2001 Joey Pigza Loses Control, Parents' Choice Gold Award
2001 Joey Pigza Swallowed The Key: Washington, Virginia and California State Awards: Best Book of the Year
2000 Jack On The Tracks, Vermont Dorothy Canfield Fisher Master List
2000 Jack On The Tracks, Parents' Choice Silver Honor
2000 Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key, Best Children's Books of the Year "Dealing with Alienation"-Bank St. College
2000 Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key,
(state award listings):Georgia, New Hampshire, Maine, Arizona, Northwest Territories, Texas, Pennsylvania, Iowa, New Mexico, Minnesota, Florida, Washington St., California
1999 Joey Pigza Swallowed The Key, Notable Trade Book in Social Studies (NCSS/CBC)
1998 Joey Pigza Swallowed The Key, National Book Award Finalist in Children's Literature
1998 Joey Pigza Swallowed The Key, ALA Notable Book
1998 Joey Pigza Swallowed The Key selected as one of "THE BEST BOOKS OF 1998" by School Library Journal
1998 Joey Pigza Swallowed The Key, selected as one of "A
Hundred Books to Read and Share" by the New York Public Library.
1998 Jack's Black book: Arizona and Maine Reader's Choice Awards.
1998 Jack's Black Book selected by the New York Public
Library for TEEN AGE BEST BOOKS.
1997 Golden Pulcinella Award for "Best Character of the Year, ROTTEN RALPH": CARTOONS ON THE BAY, AMALFI INTERNATIONAL ANIMATION FILM FESTIVAL.
1997 Silver Pulcinella Award for "Best series for Children, ROTTEN RALPH": CARTOONS ON THE BAY, AMALFI INTERNATIONAL ANIMATION FILM FESTIVAL
1997 Silver Apple Award: National Educational Media Network, for Not So Rotten Ralph
1996 Parents Magazine Best Video Award: ROTTEN RALPH
1995 Jack's New Power,"The Best Books of 1995" by THE BULLETIN OF THE CENTER FOR CHILDREN'S LITERATURE.
1995 Jack's New Power, selected as one of "The Best Books
of 1995" by SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL.
1995 Jack's New Power, selected as one of "A Hundred Books
to Read and Share" by the New York Public Library.
1994 Heads or Tails, selected as one of "A Hundred Books
to Read and Share" by the New York Public Library.
1994 Heads or Tails: ALA Booklinks "A Few Good Books of 1994”
1990 Children's Choice Award, International Reading
Association: Rotten Ralph's Show and Tell
1989 Quarterly West Novella Award: "X-Rays"
1988 Massachusetts Council for the Arts Award: "Brasilia"
1988 National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship for
Creative Writing: Fiction
1985 Gold Key Honor Society Award for Creative Excellence
1983 Massachusetts Council for the Arts Award:
"The Shadow of Elvis Presley's Hips"
1979 Emerson Alumni Award for Outstanding Achievement in
1976-2013 "Best Books for Young Readers"--Rotten Ralph
series, American Library Association
The Author's Guild
Trustee: The Boston Athenaeum
National Council of Teachers of English
International Reading Association
Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators
Leman School, NYC: Advisor to the JACK GANTOS Creative Writing Scholarship
GANTOS SHORT BIO:
JACK GANTOS is the author of over forty books for children from the ROTTEN RALPH picture books, collections of JACK HENRY short stories, upper elementary and middle school JOEY PIGZA novels, young adult novels—LOVE CURSE OF THE RUMBAUGHS, DESIRE LINES, and a memoir, HOLE IN MY LIFE. His work can lead readers from the cradle to the grave.
Mr. Gantos was a professor at Emerson College where he developed the Masters Degree Program in Children’s Literature, Writing and Publishing. He now spends his time writing and is an active speaker at book and literacy conferences, schools and libraries. His works have received a Newbery Award, Scott O’Dell Award, Newbery Honor, Printz Honor, Sibert Honor, National Book Award Finalist honor and he is the 2010 recipient of the NCTE/ALAN AWARD for his contribution to the field of Young Adult and Children’s Literature. DEAD END IN NORVELT received both the 2012 John Newbery Award and the Scott O’Dell award for Historic Fiction. The companion novel, FROM NORVELT TO NOWHERE, is his most recent release with THE KEY THAT SWALLOWED JOEY PIGZA due out in the fall of 2014.
GANTOS: LETTER TO YOUNG WRITERS
Dear Readers and Writers,
I am no different than any other writer in that the desire to write came to me after my desire to read. It is the reading that saturates the imagination with vast possibilities. Not just the possibility of creating a story, but with the possibility of holding a book in your hand that has your name printed on the cover.
In school I was a library helper. I shelved books and you can probably guess that the G section was my favorite. I would walk my fingers across the spines of the G authors until I came to my slot with GALDONE on one side and GEORGE on the other. I could imagine my book, with my last name fitting on the shelf between those two authors. Every school day I would pass that G shelf and imagine my book, with my name on it, proudly reaching out at me.
Of course, when you are young, it is easy to imagine a book with your name on it, but as I grew older I realized a bit of effort was going to go into the construction of a book. So I bought a small black writing journal and on the spine I took a pen knife and carved my last name into the black cover. I wasn’t sure what to title the book and so I didn’t. After a while
I just called it my “Black Book.” I took that book everywhere. I wrote very unorganized stories in it. But I did have an eye for
the odd moment. I saw my dog eaten by an alligator. I wrote about it in my Black Book. I saw an airplane crash in my neighborhood. I wrote it down. I broke my brothers arm—three times! I wrote it down. And I kept filling up the Black Book. And when it was full of odds and ends and bits and pieces of stories I made a fake
library call number and pasted it on the spine of my book. I glued a card pocket on the inside back cover and slipped a Date Due card inside. Then I carved my title on the spine: JACKS BLACK BOOK. When no one was looking I went to the book shelf and slipped it between GALDONE and GEORGE.
Each day I would pass it in the library. Weeks went by. It didn’t move. Then one day it was gone! I was thrilled.
But after many long weeks went by I thought maybe it was pretty foolish of me to put the only copy of my book on the shelf. Whoever checked it out was probably laughing at me. I was feeling pretty dejected. The empty gap on the shelf where my book had been now looked like a sad missing tooth.
Then it came back. I was working in the library and found it in the BOOK RETURN bin. I quickly flipped to the back where I had written a note on the last page asking the reader if he or she liked the book. They had responded. Eagerly I read: “Whoever wrote this book should seek mental help.”
I did. But it wasn’t a doctor. I went to my teacher and told her what I had done and asked for help on how to organize my stories. She did help me. She, and reading more books, made me a better writer.
I went to college for creative writing. I have published forty-five books from the ROTTEN RALPH series to the JACK HENRY series to the JOEY PIGZA series to HOLE IN MY LIFE and more—all the way to DEAD END IN NORVELT, the 2012 Newbery Medal winner. I have won many awards, but the Newbery Medal tops them all. My next job as a writer is to top myself. FROM NORVELT TO NOWHERE has just been released. Will it top the Newbery winner? Some people think it has. Next up in the fall of 2014 is the final Joey Pigza book. Read the first Joey book, JOEY PIGZA SWALLOWED THE KEY then read the new one, THE KEY THAT SWALLOWED JOEY PIGZA. When your head stops spinning let me know what you think.
All Best, Jack Gantos