Donna Jo Napoli

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Donna Jo Napoli
Born (1948-02-28) February 28, 1948 (age 70)
Miami, Florida, US
OccupationLinguist, fiction writer
Period1993–present (fiction)
GenreFantasy[1] for young people, children's books, picture books

Donna Jo Napoli (born February 28, 1948) is an American writer of children's and young adult fiction, as well as a prominent linguist.

She has worked in syntax, phonetics, phonology, morphology, historical and comparative linguistics, Romance studies, structure of Japanese, structure of American Sign Language, poetics, writing for ESL students, and mathematical and linguistic analysis of folk dance. She has taught linguistics at Smith College, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Georgetown University, the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, the University of Pennsylvania, and is currently a professor of linguistics at Swarthmore College.

Born the youngest of four children in Miami, February 28, 1948, Napoli received both her B.A. (mathematics, 1970) and PhD (Romance Languages – the Linguistics Plan A, 1973) from Harvard, before a postdoctoral fellowship in linguistics at M.I.T. Napoli has dual citizenship in the U.S. and Italy.

Her children's books, listed below, have been translated into Chinese, Danish, Dutch, German, Greek, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Persian, Portuguese, Spanish, and will be in Thai and Polish. Many of her children's books are re-tellings of fairy tales, including The Magic Circle, Crazy Jack, Spinners, Zel, Breath, Bound, Beast, and The Wager for older children, and The Prince of the Pond, Ugly, and Mogo the Third Warthog for younger children. Other children's stories are historical fiction based in Italy, including Daughter of Venice, For the Love of Venice, and The Smile. Napoli has won numerous awards for her work, including the Golden Kite Award given by the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (for Stones in Water, and honor book Breath), the Sydney Taylor Award given by the Association of Jewish Libraries (for Stones in Water, and, honor book, The King of Mulberry Street and the Parents' Choice Gold Award (for Alligator Bayou and Silver awards for North and The King of Mulberry Street).

Her publications in linguistics include Syntactic argumentation (with Emily Rando). (Washington, DC: Georgetown Univ. Press, 1979), Syntax: Theory and Problems (Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press, 1993), Linguistics: Theory and Problems (Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press, 1996), Humour in sign languages: The linguistic underpinnings (with Rachel Sutton-Spence) (Dublin: Trinity Press, 2009), with dozens of articles in the scholarly journals. She is a former member of the editorial board of the premiere journal Language.


Young Adult novels[edit]

Elementary- and middle-school novels[edit]

The Angelwings Series[edit]

Published by Simon & Schuster 1999-2001

  • Friends Everywhere
  • Little Creatures
  • On Her Own
  • One Leap Forward
  • Give and Take
  • No Fair!
  • April Flowers
  • Playing Games
  • Lies and Lemons
  • Running Away
  • Know-It-All
  • New Voices
  • Left Out
  • Happy Holidays
  • Partners
  • Hang In There

Picture books and early readers[edit]

Recently Announced eBooks[edit]

  • Hang In There, 2015
  • Left Out, 2015
  • Partners, 2015
  • Happy Holidays, 2015
  • Know-It-All, 2015
  • No Fair!, 2015
  • Playing Games, 2015
  • April Flowers, 2015
  • One Leap Forward, 2015
  • Give And Take, 2015
  • On Her Own, 2015
  • Song Of The Magdalene,2015
  • Friends Everywhere, 2015
  • Little Creatures, 2015

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Donna Jo Napoli at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database (ISFDB). Retrieved 2014-02-20.

External links[edit]