McDonough, Yona Zeldis

McDonough, Yona Zeldis

Yona Zeldis McDonough is the author of 28 books for children, including several in the highly popular WHO WAS…? series. She has also published seven novels for adults as well as articles, essays and short fiction. She lives in Brooklyn, NY with her husband, photographer Paul McDonough.

3 Fun Facts

1. I love Pomeranians and I’ve had as many as three at once.
2. My husband built a doll house for me. It inspired one of my books (The Doll House Magic) and it has pride of place in our living room.
3. I like to memorize poetry an know over sixty poems by heart.

Masiello, Ralph

Masiello, Ralph

Ralph was born, raised in the state of Massachusetts. He now resides in Connecticut where he lives with his daughters Alexa and Talia. A graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design (BFA, Illustration, 1985), Ralph has illustrated for magazines, newspapers and books, created posters and prints, and shown his fine art paintings in galleries throughout the world. Since 1987, he has visited over 2,700 schools all over the nation and the world, inspiring children with his life story, humor, and art. While visiting schools, he is often inspired himself by the enthusiasm, creativity, and hard work of the students and teachers. This led him to create his unique “How to Draw” book series which has become his most popular books yet!  www.ralphmasiello.com

3 Fun Facts

1. I am 57 (as of the book festival) and race motocross for fun.
2. I am a certified Advanced Open Water SCUBA diver and have logged over 300 dives (although I haven’t lately since hurting an eardrum) and have swam with sharks, stingrays, moray eels, and manatees.
3. I have been skiing since I was 5 years old, but not as much as I would like!

Miller, Sam J.

Miller, Sam J.

Sam J. Miller is a writer and a community organizer. His debut novel The Art of Starving (YA/SF) was published by HarperCollins in 2017, and will be followed by Blackfish City from Ecco Press in 2018. His stories have been nominated for the Nebula, World Fantasy, and Theodore Sturgeon Awards, and have appeared in over a dozen “year’s best” anthologies. He’s a graduate of the Clarion Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers Workshop, and a winner of the Shirley Jackson Award. He lives in New York City, and at www.samjmiller.com

3 Fun Facts

1. I grew up in Hudson; my family owned Sam’s Supermarket on Warren Street!
2. I was Most Valuable Player on the Hudson High Swim Team (also, I was the only player on the Hudson High Swim Team)
3. Joan Rivers made fun of me once, and it was The Greatest Thing.

Mack, Jeff

Mack, Jeff

Jeff Mack spent his childhood drawing monsters, making comic books, and building haunted houses in his basement. He has spent most of his adulthood doing the same things.

He has written and illustrated a long list of award- winning picture books, chapter books, and early readers, including the Clueless McGee series, Good News Bad News, Hush Little Polar Bear, Look!, and Mine!.

He has also illustrated James Howe’s Bunnicula and Friends series and Eve Bunting’s Hurry! Hurry!.

Now from Western Massachusetts, he travels widely visiting schools and talking with kids about creating books. Visit him at www.jeffmack.com.

3 Fun Facts

1. My favorite children’s book author/illustrator is William Steig.
2. I named Clueless McGee after my dog McGee.
3. Clueless McGee was originally going to be about a dog who wears pajamas and solves mysteries, but I didn’t want it to be like Scooby-Doo. So I turned the dog into a fifth-grade boy.

Miller, Daniel Jude

Miller, Daniel Jude

Daniel Jude Miller is the author and illustrator of the children’s picture book series Monsters in Manhattan, as well as Everybody Wake Up, Earclaw and Eddie and the upcoming Halloween Boy and the Christmas Kid. Growing up in Queens, NY and going to college and working in Manhattan for many years inspired him to write and draw all the creatures and goblins he came across on a daily basis. He now lives upstate, far from the clutches of those monsters. www.djudemiller.com

3 Fun Facts

1. I met my wife while working up in the clouds on the 65th floor of the Empire State Building.
2. I have a baseball hat collection, 279 and counting…
3. My middle name is Jude. It’s also the middle name of my brother, two sisters and son. And I donate a dollar from every book to St. Jude Children’s Hospital.

Magaziner, Lauren

Magaziner, Lauren

Lauren Magaziner is the author of Wizardmatch, Pilfer Academy, and The Only Thing Worse Than Witches. She grew up in New Hope, Pennsylvania. She currently lives in Brooklyn, New York, where she writes full-time and frequently uses her wizard power: the ability to turn vegetables into cookies. Her upcoming fourth book, a pick your path mystery series called Case Closed, releases in August 2018. www.laurenmagaziner.com

3 Fun Facts

1. I’ve been in three different food fights! (Which came in handy for when I had to write a food fight scene in Wizardmatch.)
2. I started writing novels at 13… but it took 11 years of practice before one got published!
3. Most of the characters in Wizardmatch are named after my real life cousins. Like the main character Lennie, I have a large and loud extended family!

McAnulty, Stacy

McAnulty, Stacy

Stacy McAnulty is a children’s book author, who used to be a mechanical engineer. She’s still better at multiplying than spelling. Stacy is the Ezra Jack Keats New Writer Honor Recipient for Excellent Ed. Her debut middle grade novel, The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl, hits shelves May 1, 2018. She writes fiction and nonfiction picture books, including Earth! My First 4.54 Billion Years and Max Explains Everything: Grocery Store Expert, and the chapter book series Goldie Blox and The Dino Files. Originally from upstate NY, she now lives in Kernersville, NC with her 3 kids, 2 dogs, and 1 husband. www.stacymcanulty.com

3 Fun Facts

1. In fourth grade, I checked out the same book from the library over and over until the librarian put a stop to it. Where The Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein.
2. I’ve dug for dinosaur fossils in Wyoming.
3. he playlist on my iPhone is 95% from musicals. I love Broadway.

Mojica, Barbara Ann

Mojica, Barbara Ann

Barbara Ann Mojica is a historian and retired educator. She writes historical articles for the Columbia Insider under the banner “Passages.” Using the whimsical Little Miss History character, Barbara hopes to inspire children to learn about historical people and places. Little Miss History’s antics make reading nonfiction a fun-filled adventure for all ages. LittleMissHISTORY.com

3 Fun Facts

1. Little Miss HISTORY began her hiking career in the nearby Catskill Mountains.
2. I once took a trip behind “The Iron Curtain.”
3. I am one of the judges for The Cybils Children’s and Young Adult Bloggers Literary Awards this year.

Mojica, Victor Ramon

Mojica, Victor Ramon

Illustrator, cartoonist, writer and publisher, Victor has produced comic strips, comic books, coloring books, children’s books, authored web-sites, written poetry and screenplays. He is mostly self taught in all these endeavors too. I’ve been writing and drawing since the age of five. I love producing art and stories so much I started my own publishing company in 1992.  www.captaincrossbones.com

Fun Facts

1. I still study human anatomy even though people say I could teach it.
2. I build my own computers.
3. I don’t like being more than a foot off the ground.

Maldonado, Torrey

Maldonado, Torrey

Voted a NBC and more have spotlighted Maldonado and his critically acclaimed novel Secret Saturdays (Penguin). Maldonado was raised in Brooklyn, New York and overcame what he calls “the boy crisis” that prevents boys from becoming the best men they can be. He graduated Vassar then went on to earn a Masters in Educational Administration. He approaches his twelfth year as a schoolteacher. Secret Saturdays is an American Library Association’s Quick Pick, develops readers to embody the Common Core State Standards, and is inspired by Maldonado’s and his students’ struggles with being their true selves, friendships, family, and bullying. www.torreymaldonado.com

3 Fun Facts

1. I got hooked on comic books in the third grade. By age fourteen, I had almost two hundred collectibles. I also had a cat named Snow White and she peed on and scratched my collection down to fifty comics. So I secretly wish I had the super power of pausing and redirecting pets to pee in the right places freeze to prevent people from losing things we love.
2. I’m fairly certain that, wherever I am, no one in a five mile radius can beat me in Scrabble OR no one in a five mile radius would enjoy losing as much as me in Scrabble. I love the game and even saying Scrabble gets me pumped!
3. As a teen, for about a month, I taped my ears to my head with black electrical tape because I thought that would flatten my then big ears. It didn’t work. Good thing that the high school and middle school students I’ve taught think my head has grown and caught up with my ears.