Chandler, Matt

Chandler, Matt

Matt Chandler is an award-winning children’s book author from Buffalo, New York. He is a former newspaper editor, freelance magazine writer and the author of 22 books. He regularly visits elementary schools for author visits to share his experiences as a writer with students. He writes primarily non-fiction books including many titles on sports and four books about ghosts and haunted places! www.mattchandlerwriting.com

3 Fun Facts

1. I wrote my first book when I was six-years-old!
2. I once had a job dressing up as Clifford the Big Red Dog for bookstore events.
3. I am terrified of eating Zucchini . . . REALLY terrified.

Czajak, Paul

Czajak, Paul

Paul Czajak struggled with reading and writing as a child, and never thought he’d end up writing books. But after working as a scientist for 20 years, he discovered that his creativity could no longer be contained to the laboratory. Now he hopes his books will be the seeds to a new generation of book gardeners! Paul lives in New Jersey, USA. www.paulczajak.com

3 Fun Facts

1. I was a Chemist for 21 years before becoming an Author
2. My babysitter as a kid was once Meg Ryan
3. I’ve been studying Karate for 16yrs

Calonita, Jen

Calonita, Jen

It’s no secret how Jen Calonita knows the inside scoop on Hollywood. A former entertainment editor at a teen magazine, Jen started out her career chronicling backstage life at concerts with Justin Timberlake and interviewing Zac Efron on film sets. It was her work in the entertainment world that inspired her first series, Secrets of My Hollywood Life. The six-book series is about a teen starlet named Kaitlin Burke who grows weary of the fame game, but loves being an actress and it’s been published in nine countries.

Fans have loved getting to know spunky Gilly and the enchanted reform school she attends run by Cinderella’s formerly wicked stepmother in Flunked and the sequel, Charmed. The third book in the Fairy Tale Reform School series, Tricked, will be released March 2017. www.jencalonitaonline.com

3 Fun Facts

1. If I met a genie and could wish for something fun, I’d love to be a Disney princess for the day at Disney World. My personal favorites: Anna or Belle (after all, Belle loves to read!)
2. I am now an avid runner who has completed three half marathons, but I didn’t start running till I was 40!
3. If I could live anywhere, it would be on the ocean. I love the water! I sometimes wonder if I was meant to be a mermaid.

Castaldo, Nancy

Castaldo, Nancy

Nancy Castaldo has written books about our planet for over 20 years and received numerous awards and accolades. Her recent book BACK FROM THE BRINK: Saving Animals from Extinction has garnered starred reviews, a Eureka Award for Nonfiction honor, Sigurd Olsen Nature Writing honor, and is on state lists. Her recent titles include a biography of Ada Lovelace, a picture book about farms, and a middle grade/YA book about water issues facing our planet. Nancy believes that we all have the ability to make a difference and instills that theme in her books. www.nancycastaldo.com @NCastaldoAuthor

Green Earth Book Award
SCBWI Crystal Kite Award
NSTA Outstanding Science Trade Book
Eureeka Silver Honor
Sigurd Olsen Nature Writing Honor
Nerdy Book Club Award
Multiple stars and state lists

3 Fun Facts

1. I’ve held a koala.
2. I’ve climbed into the shell of a Galapagos tortoise.
3. I’ve talked with a bonobo

Craft, Jerry

Craft, Jerry

JERRY CRAFT is an author and illustrator. New Kid is his middle grade graphic novel that has earned five starred reviews, including one from Booklist magazine, which called it “possibly one of the most important graphic novels of the year.” Kirkus Reviews called it “an engrossing, humorous, and vitally important graphic novel that should be required reading in every middle school in America.”

He is the creator of Mama’s Boyz, a comic strip that was distributed by King Features Syndicate from 1995-2013, and won five African American Literary Awards. Jerry is a co-founder of the Schomburg’s Annual Black Comic Book Festival. He was born in Harlem and grew up in nearby Washington Heights. He is a graduate of The Fieldston School and received his B.F.A. from the School of Visual Arts. Visit him online at www.jerrycraft.net.

New Kid (HarperCollins) Starred reviews from School Library Journal, Kirkus, Booklist, and Publishers Weekly. Featured in Horn Books, NY Times Book Review. NAIBA’s Book of the Year Award. NEIBA Book Award. Junior Library Guild Selection. 2019 Harvey Award Nominee. 

3 Fun Facts

1. I was a reluctant reader until I was an adult.
2. I met Queen Elizabeth when I was a kid.
3. I saw the original Star Wars on opening day. Still have the button they gave me!

Chappell, Crissa-Jean

Chappell, Crissa-Jean

Crissa-Jean Chappell was born in Miami and now lives in Brooklyn, New York. Her debut young adult novel, TOTAL CONSTANT ORDER (HarperTeen) is a NYPL Book For The Teen Age and a VOYA Perfect Ten. Chappell’s second novel, NARC (Flux Books) is currently optioned for film. MORE THAN GOOD ENOUGH (Flux Books) is a Florida Book Awards medalist, which Kirkus calls, “compelling and emotionally nuanced.” Chappell’s newest YA novel is SNOWBIRDS (Merit Press, F+W Media, winter 2017). She holds a PhD and MFA from the University of Miami and has taught creative writing and cinema studies for over ten years. www.crissajeanchappell.com

3 Fun Fact

1. When I hear music, I can taste colors and shapes.
2. I grew up in Miami, Florida and lived through several big hurricanes (including Andrew, a category 5 storm).
3. If I feel homesick, I talk to the wild parrots in Prospect Park.