Author Information/Bio: Jon Scieszka was appointed the first National Ambassador for Young People”s Literature in January 2008. The position was created by the Library of Congress to raise national awareness of the importance of young people”s literature as it relates to lifelong literacy, education, and the development and betterment of the lives of young people.
Born in Flint, Mich., Jon Scieszka earned a bachelor”s degree in writing from Albion College and a master of fine arts degree from Columbia University. He held a number of teaching positions in the first through eighth grades before taking a year off to develop ideas for children”s books. He is the author of several bestselling children”s titles, including The Stinky Cheese Man, which won a Caldecott Honor medal, The True Story of the Three Little Pigs and the Time Warp Trio, a chapter book series. Scieszka is the founder of Guys Read, a nonprofit literacy organization.
“I read everything — comic books, newspapers, cereal boxes, poems — anything with writing on it. My favorite things to read are fairy tales, myths, and legends. When I’m not reading, I listen to music, watch cartoons, and sit in my chair and just think about stuff. I’ve always thought about being an author. One of the first books I read was Green Eggs and Ham, by Dr. Seuss. It made me realize that books could be goofy. It’s the book that made The Stinky Cheese Man possible!
My ideas come from all different things: my kids, kids I’ve taught, kids I’ve learned from, watching movies, playing with my cat, talking to my wife, staring out the window, and about a million other places. But what turns the ideas into stories and books is sitting down and writing and re-writing and throwing away writing and writing some more. That’s the hard part. I never know exactly how long it takes to write a story. I read a lot of stuff, think about different stories all the time, scribble things down on paper, type them up, change them, scribble again, think some more, add things….
I write books because I love to make kids laugh. I knew Lane Smith (illustrator of The True Story of the Three Little Pigs!, The Stinky Cheese Man and Squids Will Be Squids) would do a great job because we like a lot of the same cartoons and books and ideas. And we laugh at each other’s bad jokes all of the time. Our audience is hardcore silly kids, and there are a lot of ’em out there! My motto in writing is: “Never underestimate the intelligence of your audience.” Kids can be silly and smart!
Before I became an author, I attended military school, studied pre-med in college, and worked as a lifeguard and house painter. I also taught computers, math, science, and history to kids grades 1-8.
I now live in Brooklyn, N.Y., with my wife Jeri, daughter Casey and my son Jake. I like fruit and a cup of coffee for breakfast, but I usually steal some of Jake’s Honey Nut Cheerios or his pancakes. If you’d like to call out my name, it’s pronounced ‘SHEH-ska.’ It kind of rhymes with “Fresca.”
Explore Fractured Fairy Tales and Fables with Jon Scieszka in this writing workshop centered around his books The True Story of the Three Little Pigs and Squids Will Be Squids.—from Scholastic.com
Watch Barb Langridge interview Jon: https://abookandahug.com/books-alive-with-jon-scieska/
Watch an interview with Jon: https://www.readingrockets.org/books/interviews/scieszka
Series By Jon Scieszka Time Warp Trio Frank Einstein SpaceHeadz
Picture books The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs!, illustrated by Lane Smith – Harper & Row – 1989 ISBN 9780140544510 The Frog Prince, Continued, illustrated by Steven Johnson – Viking Press – 1991 The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales – Viking Press – 1992 ISBN 9780670844876 The Book That Jack Wrote, illustrated by Dan Adel – Viking Press – 1994 (out of print) Math Curse, illustrated by Lane Smith – Viking Press – 1995 ISBN 9780670861941 Squids Will Be Squids, illustrated by Lane Smith – Viking Press – 1998 Baloney, (Henry P.), illustrated by Lane Smith – Viking Press – 2001 Science Verse, illustrated by Lane Smith – Viking Press – 2004 Seen Art?, illustrated by Lane Smith – Viking Press- 2005 Cowboy and Octopus, illustrated by Lane Smith – Viking Press – 2007 Walt Disney’s Alice In Wonderland, illustrated by Mary Blair – Disney Press – 2008 Robot Zot, illustrated by David Shannon – Simon & Schuster – 2009
His Time Warp Trio series:
The Time Warp Trio books are illustrated middle grade novels about three boys, Sam, Joe, and Fred, who travel through time and space with a magical book. The early books were illustrated by Lane Smith, and later ones by Adam McCauley. They are published by Viking Press.
Knights of the Kitchen Table, illustrated by Lane Smith- 1991 The Not-so-Jolly Roger, illustrated by Lane Smith – 1991 The Good, The Bad, And The Goofy, illustrated by Lane Smith – 1992 Your Mother Was A Neanderthal, illustrated by Lane Smith – 1993 2095, illustrated by Lane Smith – 1995 Tut Tut, illustrated by Lane Smith – 1996 Summer Reading Is Killing Me, illustrated by Lane Smith – 1998 It’s All Greek to Me, illustrated by Lane Smith – 1999 See You Later, Gladiator, illustrated by Adam McCauley – 2000 Sam Samurai, illustrated by Adam McCauley – 2001 Hey Kid, Want to Buy A Bridge?, illustrated by Adam McCauley – 2001 Viking It and Liking It, illustrated by Adam McCauley – 2002 Me Oh Maya, illustrated by Adam McCauley – 2003 Da Wild, Da Crazy, Da Vinci, illustrated by Adam McCauley – 2004 Oh Say, I Can’t See, illustrated by Adam McCauley – 2005 Marco? Polo!, illustrated by Adam McCauley – 2005
Spaceheadz Book #1!, illustrated by Shane Prigamore with Francesco Sedita – 2010 Spaceheadz Book #2!, illustrated by Shane Prigamore with Casey Scieszka and Steven Weinberg – 2010 Spaceheadz Book #3!, illustrated by Shane Prigamore with Casey Scieszka and Steven Weinberg – 2011 Spaceheadz Book #4!, illustrated by Shane Prigamore with Casey Scieszka and Steven Weinberg – 2013
Frank Einstein series:
Frank Einstein and the Antimatter Motor, illustrated by Brian Biggs – Abrams/Amulet, 2014 Frank Einstein and the Electro-Finger, illustrated by Brian Biggs – Abrams, 2015 Frank Einstein and the BrainTurbo, illustrated by Brian Biggs – Abrams, 2015 Frank Einstein and the EvoBlaster Belt, illustrated by Brian Biggs – Abrams, (forthcoming September 2016) Frank Einstein and the Bio-Action Gizmo, illustrated by Brian Biggs – Abrams, 2017 Frank Einstein and the Space-Time Zipper, illustrated by Brian Biggs – Abrams, 2018
Anthologies he has edited:
Guys Write for Guys Read – Viking Press – 2005 Guys Read: Funny Business, contributors: Mac Barnett, Patrick Carman, Christopher Paul Curtis, Kate DiCamillo, Paul Feig, Jack Gantos, Jeff Kinney, David Lubar, Adam Rex – Walden Pond Press – 2010 Guys Read: Thriller, contributors: M.T. Anderson, Gennifer Choldenko, Matt de la Peña, Margaret Peterson Haddix, Bruce Hale, Jarrett J. Krosoczka, Anthony Horowitz, Walter Dean Myers – Walden Pond Press – 2011 Guys Read: Sports Pages, contributors: Dustin Brown, James Brown, Joseph Bruchac, Chris Crutcher, Tim Green, Dan Gutman, Gordon Korman, Chris Rylander, Anne Ursu, Jacqueline Woodson, with illustrations by Dan Santat – Walden Pond Press – 2012 Guys Read: Other Worlds, contributors: Rick Riordan, Tom Angleberger, D. J. MacHale, Rebecca Stead, Ray Bradbury, Shaun Tan, Neal Shusterman, Shannon Hale, Kenneth Oppel, Eric S. Nylund, with illustrated by Greg Ruth – 2013 Guys Read: True Stories, contributors: Jim Murphy, Elizabeth Partridge, Nathan Hale, James Sturm, Candace Fleming, Douglas Florian, Sy Montgomery, Steve Sheinkin, T. Edward Nickens, Thanhha Lai – 2014 Guys Read: Terrifying Tales, contributors: Adam Gidwitz, R.L. Stine, Dav Pilkey, Michael Buckley, Claire Legrand, Nikki Loftin, Adele Griffin, Kelly Barnhill, Lisa Brown, Daniel José Older, Rita Williams-Garcia, with illustrations by Gris Grimly – 2015 Guys Read: Heroes & Villains, contributors: Christopher Healy, Sharon Creech, Cathy Camper, Laurie Halse Anderson, Ingrid Law, Deborah Hopkinson, Pam Muñoz Ryan, Eugene Yelchin, Jack Gantos, Lemony Snicket- 2017
Truck Town Series
Smash! Crash! – 2008 Melvin Might? – 2008 Truckery Rhymes – 2009 Ready-to-Roll:
Snow Trucking! – 2008 Pete’s Party – 2008 Uh-Oh Max – 2008 Zoom! Boom! Bully – 2009 Melvin’s Valentine – 2009 The Spooky Tire – 2009 Kat’s Mystery Gift – 2009 Trucksgiving – 2010 Dizzy Izzy – 2010 Trucks Line Up – 2011