Dan Gutman

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Dan Gutman
Gutman speaking at a school in 2011
Gutman speaking at a school in 2011
Born (1955-10-19) October 19, 1955 (age 67)
New York City, New York, U.S.
GenreChildren's historical fiction, historical fantasy, humor
SubjectVideo games, baseball history, sports biography

Dan Gutman (born October 19, 1955)[1] is an American writer, primarily of children's fiction.

His works include the Baseball Card Adventures children's book series that began with Honus & Me, and the My Weird School series.

Early life and education[edit]

Gutman was born in New York City, moving with his family a year later to Newark, New Jersey, where on June 1, 1968, his father abandoned the family.[1] His homemaker mother Adeline became a secretary and cared for Dan and his older sister, Lucy.[2] After Vailsburg High School in Newark, Gutman graduated from Rutgers University with a degree in psychology in 1977. He began a graduate program in psychology, but dropped out and moved to New York City in 1980 to pursue a writing career.[1][2]


After moving to New York City, Gutman worked as a magazine editor and columnist. He became the first employee of Video Game Player (later Computer Games) in 1982.[3] He said, "I started a magazine about video games and suddenly I was an expert in video games. I started writing about them and computers. All for grownups. It took me a long time to realize that writing for grownups was not my thing. It took me a long time to realize that what I was good at was writing for kids."[4] His column appeared regularly in various computer-related magazines, such as Genie Livewire.


Gutman has written over 70 books in the My Weird School series[5] illustrated by Jim Paillot, plus related series including My Weird School Daze and My Weirder School. He has also written the Million Dollar series, featuring children who get a chance to win a million dollars in various sporting events; the Genius Files series; Tales from the Sandlot, a series of fantasy sports stories; and the Funny Boy series about an alien boy exiled to Earth. There have also been two about Judson Moon, who became President of the United States at 12; two about Qwerty Stevens and his time machine; and two about children who use a machine to do their homework. His standalone novels include They Came from Center Field, about extraterrestrials who want to learn baseball, Johnny Hangtime, about a young movie stuntman, and Race for the Sky, a historical novel in diary form about the Wright brothers.[6]

Gutman's Baseball Card Adventures series, illustrated by Steve Chorney, revolves around a child named Joe Stoshack who travels back in time to meet baseball legends. The first work is based on the premise of his finding a Honus Wagner T206 baseball card in the attic of his neighbor. Further books in the series feature Jackie Robinson, Babe Ruth, Shoeless Joe Jackson, Dorothy Maguire, Abner Doubleday, Satchel Paige, Jim Thorpe, Ray Chapman, Roberto Clemente, Ted Williams, and Willie Mays. The original story, Honus & Me, was made into the Turner Network Television TV-movie The Winning Season, starring Matthew Modine and Kristin Davis.[7]

Gutman's 1996 novel The Kid Who Ran for President was compared to the Donald Trump's 2016 presidential campaign by comedian John Oliver during an August 2016 segment of the show Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. As a result, the book jumped in sales.[8]

Gutman wrote The Genius Files series. The 5-book series followed twins Coke and Pepsi (Pep) McDonald on a cross-country road trip to their aunt's wedding in Washington D.C. In book 3, You Only Die Twice, the family's RV explodes and for the remainder of the series the family drives in a Ferrari.

Personal life[edit]

Gutman met his future wife, Nina Wallace,[2] an illustrator, when she did freelance work for Computer Games. They married in 1983.[1] They have lived in Haddonfield, New Jersey,[9] and New York City,[1] and have two children, Sam and Emma.[9]

Selected bibliography[edit]

Flashback Four series (2016-2019)

  • "The Lincoln Project" (2016)
  • "The Titanic Mission" (2017)
  • "The Pompeii Disaster" (2018)
  • "The Hamilton-Burr Duel" (2019)

The Kid (1996-1999)

  • The Kid Who Ran for President (1996)
  • The Kid Who Became President (1999)

Baseball Card Adventures (1997–2015)

Million Dollar (1997-2006)

My Weird School (2001-2008)

My Weird School Daze (2008-2011)

My Weirder School (2011-2014)

My Weird School Special (2013–present)

My Weirdest School (2015-2018)

My Weird School: I Can Read (2016-2018)

My Weird School Fast Facts (2016-2019)

My Weirder-est School (2019–present)

Qwerty Stevens books (2002-2005)

  • The Edison Mystery (2002)
  • Stuck in Time with Benjamin Franklin (2005)

The Genius Files (2011-2015)

  • The Genius Files: Mission Unstoppable
  • The Genius Files: Never Say Genius
  • The Genius Files: You Only Die Twice
  • The Genius Files: From Texas with Love
  • The Genius Files: License to Thrill


  1. ^ a b c d e "About Dan". Dan Gutman official site. Archived from the original on February 9, 2016. Retrieved January 24, 2017.
  2. ^ a b c Nussbaum, Debra (September 14, 2003). "In Person; His Inner Child Comes Out to Play". The New York Times. Archived from the original on January 21, 2010. Retrieved January 24, 2017.
  3. ^ Gutman, Dan (December 1987). "The Fall And Rise Of Computer Games". Compute!'s Apple Applications. Vol. 5, no. 6. pp. 64–65. Retrieved August 18, 2014.
  4. ^ "Live Online Interview with Dan Gutman". Scholastic Corporation. Archived from the original on October 20, 2013. Retrieved January 15, 2013.
  5. ^ LaGorce, Tammy (July 13, 2008). "Neighborhood Storytelling". The New York Times. Archived from the original on April 24, 2012. Retrieved July 29, 2008.
  6. ^ Wands, Dave (ed.). "Dan Gutman". Fantastic Fiction. Archived from the original on January 24, 2017. Retrieved January 24, 2017. Additional WebCitation archive on January 24, 2017.
  7. ^ "The Winning Season". Turner Network Television. Archived from the original on June 14, 2006. Retrieved February 2, 2012.
  8. ^ Schneider, Michael (August 22, 2016). "'Last Week Tonight': John Oliver Turned a 20-Year-Old Kids' Book with 'Startling Parallels' to Trump into a Bestseller". Indiewire.com. Archived from the original on October 25, 2016. Retrieved August 24, 2016.
  9. ^ a b "Dan Gutman". Scholastic Corporation. n.d. Archived from the original on January 24, 2017. Retrieved January 24, 2017.

External links[edit]