Jerry Spinelli

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Jerry Spinelli
Jerry Spinelli (signing a book).jpg
Spinelli signing one of his books
Born (1941-02-01) 1 February 1941 (age 73)
Norristown, Pennsylvania, USA
Occupation Writer
Nationality American
Genres Children's and young-adult novels
Notable work(s)
Notable award(s) Newbery Medal
Spouse(s) Eileen Spinelli

Jerry Spinelli (born February 1, 1942)[1] is an American writer of children's novels that feature adolescence and early adulthood. He is best known for Maniac Magee[2] and Wringer.

Jerry Spinelli was born in Norristown, Pennsylvania[3] and currently resides in  Phoenixville, PA. At the age of sixteen, his love of sports inspired him to compose a poem about a recent football victory, which his father published it in the local newspaper without his knowledge. It was at this time he realized that he would not become a major league football player, and decided to become a writer instead.[2]

At Gettysburg College, Spinelli spent his time writing short stories and was the editor of the college literary magazine. After graduation, he became a writer and editor for a department store magazine. The next two decades, he spent his time working normal jobs during the day so that he had the energy to write fiction in his free time. He found himself writing during lunch breaks, on weekends, and after dinner.[4]

His first few novels were written for adults and were all rejected. His fifth novel was also intended for adults, but became his first children's book. This work, Space Station Seventh Grade, was published in 1982.[4]

Spinelli graduated from Gettysburg College in 1963 and acquired his MA from Johns Hopkins University in 1964. In 1977 he married Eileen Mesi,[1] another children's writer.[4] They have six children and twenty-one grandchildren.[3]


Space Station Seventh Grade 1982
Who Put That Hair in My Toothbrush? 1984
Jason and Marceline 1986
Night of the Whale 1988
Dump Days 1991
Maniac Magee 1990 - 1991 Newbery Award
The Bathwater Gang 1990
Hallie Jefferys Life 1991
Fourth Grade Rats 1991
Report to the Principal’s Office 1991
There's a Girl in My Hammerlock 1991
Do the Funky Pickle 1992
Who Ran My Underwear Up the Flagpole? 1992
Picklemania 1993
Tooter Pepperday 1996
Crash (Spinelli novel) 1996
The Library Card 1997
Wringer 1997 - 1998 Newbery Honor [5]
Blue Ribbon Blues: A Tooter Tale 1998
Knots in My Yo-Yo String 1998
Stargirl 2000
Loser 2002
Milkweed: A Novel 2003
My Daddy and Me 2006
Love, Stargirl 2007
Eggs 2007
Smiles to Go 2008
I Can Be Anything! 2010
"Jake and Lilly" 2012
"Hokey Pokey" 2013

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Biography, Pictures, Videos, & Quotes". Retrieved 2009-05-24. 
  2. ^ a b "He's a Man of Many Words". The Washington Post. June 8, 2009. Retrieved 2009-05-24. 
  3. ^ a b "My Gen Club author Q&A: Jerry Spinelli". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. September 12, 2006. Retrieved 2009-05-24. 
  4. ^ a b c "A video interview with Jerry Spinelli". WETA Washington, D.C. Retrieved 2010-04-08. 
  5. ^ "1998 Newbery Medal and Honor Books". Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC). American Library Association (ALA). Retrieved 2009-11-02. 

External links[edit]