Jerry Spinelli's picture

Jerry Spinelli

USA flag (b.1941)

Growing up, Jerry Spinelli was really serious about baseball. He played for the Green Sox Little League team in his hometown of Norristown, Pennsylvania, and dreamed of one day playing for the major leagues, preferably as shortstop for the New York Yankees.

One night during high school, Spinelli watched the football team win an exciting game against one of the best teams in the country. While everyone else rode about town tooting horns in celebration, Spinelli went home and wrote "Goal to Go," a poem about the game's defining moment, a goal-line stand. His father submitted the poem to the Norristown Times-Herald and it was featured in the middle of the sports page a few days later. He then traded in his baseball bat for a pencil, because he knew that he wanted to become a writer. 
Spinelli lives with his wife and fellow writer, Eileen, in West Chester, Pennsylvania. While they write in separate rooms of the house, the couple edits and celebrates one another's work. Their six children have given Jerry Spinelli a plethora of clever material for his writing.

Genres: Children's Fiction

Non fiction
   Knots in My Yo-Yo String (1998)
   Stargirl Journal (2007)
   Today I Will (2009) (with Eileen Spinelli)
Newbery Medal Best Novel winner (1991) : Maniac Magee
Newbery Medal Best Novel nominee (1998) : Wringer

Jerry Spinelli recommends
One of the Survivors (2009)
Susan Shaw
"Susan Shaw peels the layers away until nothing is left but the seed - and it is both terrible and wonderful."

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