Deborah’s first novel, Love Ruby Lavender, was selected as an ALA Notable Children’s Book, a Children’s Book Sense 76 Pick, and a New York Public Library Book for Reading and Sharing. In addition, it has been nominated for twenty-six state book award reading lists, all voted on by children. She has written two picture books, One Wide Sky, a Children’s Book of the Month Club selection, and the acclaimed Freedom Summer, earning Deborah the Ezra Jack Keats/New York Public Library award for best new picturebook writer and awarding illustrator Jerome Lagarrigue a Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe new talent recognition. Deborah’s newest novel, Each Little Bird That Sings, was a 2005 National Book Award finalist. She currently resides near Atlanta, Georgia.
Perhaps Laurie’s best-known novel is Speak, which was awarded a 2000 Printz Honor for young adult literature, and was selected as a National Book Award finalist and a Booklist “Top 10 First Novels of 1999.” The movie Speak appeared on Showtime and Lifetime channels on September 5, 2005 and is now available on DVD. In addition, Laurie’s other noteworthy novels include Catalyst, Fever 1793, and Prom, which was published in 2005 and selected as a BookSense Top Ten Pick. The creator of the Wild at Heart series, she published the twelfth book in this series in 1999. Laurie has also four written picture books, including Thank You Sarah: The Woman Who Saved Thanksgiving and The Big Cheese of Third Street. She lives in Mexico, New York.
Author and illustrator of ten books for children, Jon Agee’s Terrific has recently been named one of the ten New York Times Best Illustrated Books of 2005. Other noteworthy titles include Milo’s Hat Trick, The Return of Freddy LeGrand (a School Library Journal Best Book of 1992), The Incredible Painting of Felix Clousseau (an ALA Notable Children’s Book), and Dmitri the Astronaut, named one of the ten best picture books of 1996 by The New York Times. Agee’s love of language captures readers’ interest in his several books of wordplay, including Go Hang a Salami!, I’m a Lasagna Hog! and other books of palindromes. Jon lives and works in San Francisco, California.
Emily Arnold McCully
Winner of the 1993 Caldecott Medal for Mirette on the High Wire, Emily has illustrated well over 100 books for children, garnering awards and starred reviews for illustration and writing and pleasing readers of all ages. Her work ranges from wordless picture books to easy readers to historical fiction, including the well-known wordless picture books Picnic (an ALA Notable Book and winner of a Christopher Award), School, and First Snow featuring mice characters and the companion books to her Caldecott winner, Starring Mirette and Bellini, and Mirette and Bellini Cross Niagra Falls. In many of Emily’s books strong females abound, including the protagonists in Beautiful Warrior, The Bobbin Girl, The Ballot Box Battle¸ and The Orphan Singer. Her illustrations in the recently published Nora’s Ark have earned starred reviews. McCully lives in New York City and upstate New York.