(Chosen by reviewer, Ashley Gamblin)
Donna Jo lives in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania, where she is a linguist and a writer of many children's books. Of her many books she has had published, most of them have had such good reputation that they have been reprinted. She has taught at many colleges and universities. Ms. Napoli has also held writing positions in Australia, Switzerland, and China. She has lectured in Australia, and South Africa. Some of the many awards she has won include: a Leeway foundation award in 1995, the New Jersey reading association award and many more. She has also contributed six of her poems to anthologies and co-edited four.
I have chosen Donna Jo Napoli as Author of the Month because I feel she is an excellent role model for all ages and her writing has been a tremendous inspiration to me.
You can find out more about her writings at her website.
AG: What Advice do you have for young poets and writers?
Write all the time. Keep a journal, write letters, write e-mail messages,
write essays, write poems, write stories. Write every single day.
And you'll get better and better.
AG: Where do you get your inspirations for writing from?
DJN: I just
look around. Anything that happens can set me off. I watched a little
boy stand at the top of the ladder of the sliding board and cry because he was
afraid to go down, and that led me to thinking about childhood fears and how
right they are, and I wrote WHEN THE WATER CLOSES OVER MY HEAD after that --
about a boy who's scared of drowning. I don't take what I see or hear
verbatim. I let it tumble about in my head and then I form it into the
story I want. I also think about stories that I know already, like folk tales,
fairy tales, myths, religious stories -- and I aim for the spots that have inconsistencies
or things that aren't explained. Then I try to explain them. It's
I'd like to thank Ms. Nopli for letting me ask her questions and for sending the books for to our contest.
The Hero of Barletta (1988)
Soccer Shock (1991)
When the Water Closes Over My Head (1994)
Prince of the Pond (1992)
The Bravest Thing (1995)
Jimmy, the Pickpocket of the Palace (1995)
Shark Shock (1995)
On Guard (1997)
Stones in Water (1997)
Trouble on the Tracks (1998)
Changing Tunes (1998)
Albert (2000-Not Yet Published)
Aladdin Angels Wings Series
(Illustrator Lauren Klementz-Harte)
# 1 (1999)
Little Creatures # 2 (1999)
On Her Own #3 (1999)
One Leap Forward #4 (1999)
Give and Take #5 (2000)
No Fair! #6 (2000)
April Flowers #7 (2000)
Playing Games #8 (2000)
Lies and Lemons #9 (2000-Not Yet Published)
Running Away #10 (2000)
Know-It-All #11 (2000-Not Yet Published)
New Voices #12 (2000)
Aladdin Angelwings #13 (2000-Not Yet Published)
The Magic Circle
Song of the Magdalene (1996)
Stones in the Water (1997)
For the Love of Venice (1998)
Crazy Jack (1999)
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