We have a winner for number 25. Karen correctly identified Paul Zindel. Congratulations, Karen!
Although at first glance it may seem they have little in common, both of today’s authors are playwrights as well as children’s authors.
25. This author trained as a chemist because he didn’t think writing would be a good career. It turns out there were no jobs in chemistry when he graduated, so he wrote The Pigman instead. Do you know his name?
The author is Paul Zindel.
Paul Zindel had an unusual childhood, which he discusses during a speech at the 1993 ALAN breakfast.
While working at the school newspaper during high school, Mr. Zindel learned that writing could earn acclaim, but he never thought you could make a living at it. After studying chemistry in college, Mr. Zindel did get a job teaching chemistry for awhile, but gave it up when his writing took off.
If you aren’t familiar with his children’s books, perhaps you have heard of his play, The Effect of Radiation on the Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds.
26. Our next mystery author grew up in Oklahoma where she listened to older people telling stories. When she incorporated some of their folk wisdom into the title of one of her books of poems, she found out that oral wisdom can be susceptible to misinterpretation. It turns out the broom wheat in Brown Honey in Broomwheat Tea was actually broom “weed.” She had misheard the name for years. Have you heard of this author’s poems? Do you remember her name?
Joyce Carol Thomas also had an unusual childhood. When she was a child, her family picked cotton. Later they moved to California where they picked vegetables. From these beginnings, Joyce Thomas Carol worked her way through college. Eventually she taught at several universities.
In addition to her books, she has also written five plays.