Todd Strasser in Langenau, Germany, on March 9, 2004
May 5, 1950 |
New York City
Todd Strasser (born May 5th, 1950) is an American author of more than 140 young-adult and middle grade novels and many short stories and works of non-fiction, some written under the pen names Morton Rhue and T.S. Rue.
After studying literature in college, Strasser earned his living working as a journalist, also operated his own fortune cookie company, producing cookies under the "Dr. Wing Tip Shoo" brand name. He is the father of two children, and an avid tennis player, skier, and surfer.
Strasser has written many award-winning novels for young adults and teens, picking controversial themes like Nazism, bullying at schools, homelessness, school shootings, and sexuality. His works include Give a Boy a Gun, Boot Camp, Asphalt Tribe and most recently, If I Grow Up. His most famous work is The Wave, a novelization of a teleplay by Johnny Dawkins for the movie The Wave, a fictionalized account of the "Third Wave" teaching experiment by Ron Jones that took place in a Cubberley High School history class in Palo Alto, California. This book has been translated into more than a dozen languages and is read in schools around the world.
His newest novel, Fallout, is part memoir and part speculative fiction based on the scenario of a nuclear war resulting from the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962. Its publication date is Sept. 10, 2013 and it has already received starred reviews from Publisher's Weekly and Kirkus.
Strasser is also the author of the Time Zone High trilogy, How I Changed My Life, How I Created My Perfect Prom Date, and How I Spent My Last Night on Earth. How I Created My Perfect Prom Date was adapted for the feature film Drive Me Crazy, starring Adrian Grenier and Melissa Joan Hart (a movie that Strasser was reportedly not pleased with).
Other novels for young adults include The Accident, which became the television movie Over the Limit, as well as Angel Dust Blues, Friends Till the End, and A Very Touchy Subject. The latter also became a television movie, entitled Can a Guy Say No? Another novel, Workin' For Peanuts, was adapted to a television movie with the same title.
He trilogy of mystery thrillers for older YA readers includes Wish You Were Dead, Blood on My Hands, and Kill You Last, which was nominated for the 2012 Edgar Award by the Mystery Writers of America.
Strasser has also written a number of young adult series, including Impact Zone (about surfing), Drift X (about drift car competitions), and Here Comes Heavenly (about a punk nanny with magical powers).
His books for middle-graders include CON-fidence, The Diving Bell, and Abe Lincoln for Class President. His series for middle graders include the very popular 17-book Help! I'm Trapped... collection, as well as the Don't Get Caught, Against the Odds, and Camp Run-A-Muck books. He also wrote Is That a Dead Dog in Your Locker?, Is That a Sick Cat in Your Backpack?, Is That a Glow-In-The-Dark Bunny in Your Pillow Case?, Is That an Angry Penguin in Your Gym Bag?, and Is That an Unlucky Leprechaun In Your Lunch?
His Kids' Books series of E-books includes The Kids' Book of Gross Facts and Feats, (Vol 1 and 2), The Kids' Book of Weird Science, The Kids' Book of Stupendously Stupid Stunts, The Kids' Book of Really Dumb American Criminals, The Kids' Book of Amazing Sports Facts and Feats, The Kids' Book of Funny Animal Jokes, and other titles.
Can't Get There from Here
Can't Get There from Here is about a group of homeless teenagers in Manhattan who struggle to survive a harsh winters. Maybe (the main character) has to deal with the death of many of her friends during the winter. She lives with a tribe of homeless teens-runaways and thrownaways, kids who have no place to go other than the cold city streets, and no family except for one another. Abused, abandoned, and forgotten, they struggle against the cold, hunger, and constant danger. With the frigid winds of January come a new girl: Tears, (real name: Nikki Frimer) a twelve-year-old whose mother loves her but does not believe Tears when Tears tells her that her stepfather has been sexually abusing her. As the other kids start to disappear-victims of violence, addiction, and exposure-Maybe tries to help Tears get off the streets... and she hopes that it is not too late to do so. Maybe then seeks the help of Anthony, the city's librarian and together, they send Tears back to Hundred, West Virginia, which was her hometown to live with her grandparents.
This novel is about a young man who is sent to a physically abusive boot camp by his parents because of behavior.
Give a Boy a Gun
The book Give a Boy a Gun was written as a series of interviews from Middletown High School, which was a recent location of a school shooting. Teachers, friends, and students give their versions of their time with Brendan and Gary, the two perpetrators of the shooting, from the beginning of ninth and tenth grades, and the day of the attack, which eventually led to the suicide of Gary (Brendan was severely beaten by students but it is unknown if he survived. Eventually the courts had to decide whether to disconnect his life support or not).
The Nightmare Inn series consists of four horror novels set at a luxurious mountain hotel. The inn is the site of many horrific acts of murder and ghostly revenge. All four installments were published in 1993.
If I grow up
DeShawn lives in the Frederick Douglass Project, where he encounters death daily. Caught between the war of the Gentry Gangstas and the Douglass Disciples he tries to stay out of gang live. Growing older and starting to see his friends having enough money to sustain a luxurious life, while his family suffers,he decides to join the Disciples and work his way up.
Help! I'm Trapped...
He is also popular for the Help! I'm Trapped... series of 17 books written between 1993 and 2001.
Wish You Were Dead
Lucy goes missing after Str-S-d wrote on their blog that she wish Lucy was dead. Str-S-d keeps writing about how the popular kids in school pick on her and make fun of her. When Lucy's boyfriend goes missing, the town doesn't know what to do. They are scared for their children's lives. Str-S-d thinks this is just coincidence, when she talked about Adam, Lucy's boyfriend. But soon after she writes about Madsison, the main character, Best friend she ends up missing. Madison feels its her because Lucy, Adam, and Courtney were friends. Tyler a boy who Madison has a crush on, seems to know about this, but won't tell Madison about it. She wants to hear about his opinion, but is afraid what this will lead to. Soon she finds out who Str-S-d and the cyberstalker Madison has. That leads her to the real killer.
Strasser has also written separate stories including Kidnap Kids (about two siblings who kidnap their parents), Y2K-9 (about a dog who gets his three chat room friends to save the world from Year 2000 problem), and Hey Dad! Get a Life.
List of works
- Super Mario Brothers. Phoenix, AZ: Blue Cloud Books 1993. ISBN 1-562-82471-6
- The Wave. New York: Dell, 1981; Laurel Leaf/Dell, 1985; Puffin Books 1988, ISBN 0-14-037188-5. Novelization of the 1981 ABC television show The Wave.
- "Young Adult Books: Stalking the Teen." Horn Book Magazine, vol. 62, no. 2 (1986, Mar.-Apr.), pp. 236–239.
- The Accident. New York: Delacorte, 1988. Adapted for television in the ABC Afterschool Special Over the Limit (1990).
- How I Created my Perfect Prom Date. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1996. Originally published as Girl Gives Birth to Own Prom Date (1996) and later adapted into the film Drive Me Crazy (1999).
- Give a Boy a Gun. New York: Simon and Schuster, 2000; Simon Pulse 2002, ISBN 0-689-84893-5
- Thief of Dreams, Putnam Juvenile 2003, ISBN 0-399-23135-8
- Can't Get There from Here, Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing, 2004, ISBN 0-689-84169-8
- Slide or Die. Simon Pulse 2006, ISBN 1-4169-0581-2 Drift X Series
- Battle Drift
- Sidewgayz Glory
- Wish You Were Dead
- Mob Princess:1 For Money and Love
- Mob Princess:2 Secrets, Lies, and Stolen kisses
- Mob Princess:3 Count Your Blessings
- is that a dead dog in your locker
- Night time
- Blood On My Hands
- If I grow up
- How I Changed My Life
- How I Created My Perfect Prom Date
- How I Spent My Last Night On Earth