Pittsburgh, PA, US
Sebastopol, CA, US
Watch a video interview with Megan McDonald.
What do you do when it's your first day back at school and you don't have a cool t-shirt from an extraordinary summer vacation destination to wear? If you're Judy Moody, you make your own!
After learning from her dad that she has unknowingly eaten shark over the summer, she proceeds to pull out a marker and make her own shirt complete with a clever shark drawing and the words, “I Ate a Shark” emblazoned on it! Who could create such a precocious and lovable character? Megan McDonald, of course! McDonald credits her own formative years as inspiration for many of her stories. As the youngest of five daughters, she says that many of her Judy Moody scenarios “grew out of anecdotes about growing up with them.”
Obviously, this practice has evolved into an incredible formula for success! Judy Moody earned McDonald the ALA Notable Book and Publisher's Weekly Best Book of 2000 awards. After that, McDonald could have easily rested on her Judy Moody laurels, but instead she has launched herself into a quirky series with Judy Moody Gets Famous! Her newest book in the series is Judy Moody Saves the World!, in which Judy tries to single-handedly whip the world into shape!
What propels McDonald to write? It's her love and passion for reading coupled with her childhood memories and a vivid imagination that draw her to the transforming power of a story. McDonald says, “What I like about writing is that in all things there is a story — a leaf falling, a dream, a child on the way to school. . . ."
McDonald earned her B.A. in Children's Literature from Oberlin College and also holds a M.L.S. from the University of Pittsburgh. She has published more than 20 other children's books, such as The Night Iguana Left Home, Beezy, and Funnybones. Megan feels lucky to be a writer and explains, “I spend my days thinking like a mouse or pretending I have taste buds on my feet like a butterfly. I look at things sideways, questioning, always wanting to see the inside.” We're glad she does — it makes us lucky, too.