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Biography

This is the Official Information Page.

Hi-res publicity photos can be found here.

A bio for young readers can be found here.

The Michele Norris/NPR/All Things Considered interview link is here.

1. Short Bio:

Deborah Wiles is the author of picture books and novels for young readers including Each Little Bird That Sings, a National Book Award Finalist, and Countdown, book one of “The Sixties Trilogy. Book two, Revolution, was published in 2014 and is long-listed for the 2014 National Book Award. Deborah teaches teachers and young writers, around the country, and writes from Atlanta, Georgia

2. More detailed version:

Deborah Wiles is the author of two picture books, ONE WIDE SKY and FREEDOM SUMMER, and four middle-grade novels:  LOVE, RUBY LAVENDER, EACH LITTLE BIRD THAT SINGS (a 2005 National Book Award Finalist), THE AURORA COUNTY ALL-STARS, and COUNTDOWN, book one of The Sixties Trilogy. Book two, REVOLUTION, was published in 2014 and is long-listed for the National Book Award.

Deborah’s work has received the Ezra Jack Keats New Writer Award, the PEN/Phyllis Reynolds Naylor Working Writer Fellowship, and the E.B. White Read-Aloud Award. She has taught writing workshops to thousands of children and teachers all over the country. She lives in Atlanta, Georgia, where she grows the world’s most beautiful zinnias, climbs Stone Mountain, and avoids the Atlanta traffic.

3. Longer version

 

National Book Award Finalist Deborah Wiles was born in Alabama into an Air Force family and spent her growing-up summers in a small Mississippi town with an extended family full of Southern characters. Today she writes about them and they live on in her stories.

Deborah is the first children’s book author to be named Writer-in-Residence at Thurber House, James Thurber’s boyhood home in Columbus, Ohio. She received the Ezra Jack Keats New Writer Award from the New York Public Library and the Keats Foundation in 2002 and is the 2004 recipient of the PEN/Phyllis Reynolds Naylor Working Writer Fellowship.

She holds an MFA in Writing from Vermont College and taught “Writing Techniques for Teachers” at Towson University in Maryland until she moved to Atlanta in 2004. She also taught writing in the MFA programs at Lesley University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and at Vermont College.

Deborah has written two picture books: One Wide Sky (Harcourt, 2003), a Children’s Book of the Month Club selection, and Freedom Summer (Simon & Schuster, 2001), winner of numerous awards including dual Ezra Jack Keats Awards and the Coretta Scott King/Steptoe award for illustrator Jerome Lagarrigue. A picture book about Robert Kennedy is forthcoming from Scholastic.

Deborah has written three novels about growing up in the south. They are known as the Aurora County Trilogy. Love, Ruby Lavender was an ALA Notable Children’s Book, a Children’s Book Sense 76 Pick, and a New York Public Library Book for Reading and Sharing. The book has also been nominated for twenty-six state book award reading lists, voted on by children. Deborah’s novel Each Little Bird That Sings won the Bank Street Fiction Award for 2005, a Golden Kite Honor Award, the California Young Reader Medal, was a 2005 E.B. White Award winner and is a 2005 National Book Award finalist. The Aurora County All-Stars was a SEBA Book Award finalist. It completes the Aurora County trilogy.

Deborah’s newest project is called “The Sixties Trilogy: Three Novels of the 1960s for Young Readers.” Book one, Countdown, was published in May 2010 by Scholastic. Book two, Revolution, was published in 2014 and is long-listed for the National Book Award.

Deborah lives in Atlanta, Georgia, where she avoids the traffic, writes songs with her husband, jazz pianist Jim Pearce, climbs Stone Mountain, and grows the world’s most beautiful zinnias.


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