Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Betsy Red Hoodie Blog Event Day Two - A profile of Gail Carson Levine

Gail Carson Levine is convinced she’s been touched by a fairy’s wand or has roamed accidentally into a fairy tale.  After working as a mid-level bureaucrat in New York State government for twenty-seven years, Levine’s first children’s book, Ella Enchanted, won a Newbery honor in 1998 and became a major motion picture in 2004.

The magic continues.  Levine now has eighteen books under her belt.  They’ve been published globally and translated into thirty-five languages.  She’s won reader choice awards - the most gratifying for a kids’ book writer because children do the choosing - in six states.  Her novels have been named annual Best Books by School Library Journal, Publishers Weekly, Los Angeles Times, and the American Library Association.  Levine’s historical novel, Dave at Night, was selected by the New York Public Library as among the Best Children’s Books of the 20th Century.  Her “Snow White” fairy tale, Fairest, was named a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice, a Los Angeles Times Favorite Book of the Year, and a Boston Globe Top 5 Young Adult Novels in New England.  The nonfiction Writing Magic was named a Bank Street College Children’s Book of the Year.  The excellence of Levine’s prose has been hailed with starred reviews in Booklist, School Library Journal, Publisher’s Weekly, and Kirkus.  Her books’ popularity shows on the bestseller lists: New York Times, Publishers Weekly, Indie Bound, Amazon, and Book Sense.

Levine’s passion for writing has extended into teaching writing to children and young adults.  Every summer she teaches a free fiction-and-poetry writing workshop for kids ten and up in cooperation with her local public library.  Children return year after year, and Levine is always delighted at their growth as writers.  She’s expanded her teaching range with her blog and by visiting schools across the country and around the world; she has spoken to school children in Canada, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Taiwan, Bangkok, Germany, and Italy.

Levine grew up in New York City.  Today, she and her husband David Levine and their Airedale Baxter live in a 220-year-old farmhouse in New York's Hudson Valley.  Over the living-room fireplace hangs a gargoyle-like carved wooden lion’s head from an early Barnum and Bailey circus wagon.  The lion may be the keeper of the enchantment.

To find out more about Gail please visit her blog and her website.

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