Ellen Wittlinger

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Ellen Wittlinger
Born (1948-10-21)21 October 1948
Belleville, Illinois, U.S.
Occupation Novelist, young adult fiction writer
Genre Young Adult
Notable works Hard Love, ZigZag, others

Ellen Wittlinger (born in Belleville, Illinois on October 21, 1948) is an author for young adults, including Gracie's Girl and the Printz Honor book Hard Love.[1]


Ellen Wittlinger went to college at Millikin University in Decatur, Illinois. She received her MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop at the University of Iowa and lives in western Massachusetts.[2] She published a book of poetry, Breakers, in 1979. Wittlinger had two fellowship years in Provincetown at the Fine Arts Work Center and worked for a local newspaper, The Provincetown Advocate. One of Wittlinger's plays won the author's prize at the annual Eastern Massachusetts Association of Community Theaters competition. Her first novel for young adults, Lombardo's Law, was published in 1993.

Selected bibliography[edit]

  • Lombardo's Law (1993)
  • Noticing Paradise (1995)
  • Hard Love (1999), Michael L. Printz Award Honor book.[3] This book also won the Lambda Literary Award.[4]
  • What's In a Name (2000), Massachusetts Book Award
  • Gracie's Girl (2000)
  • Razzle (2001)
  • The Long Night of Leo and Bree (2002) - "Although the characters sometimes slip into preaching about women’s rights and men’s feelings, this slim volume packs a punch. Wittlinger (Razzle, 2001, etc.)—always tops at hard-hitting, realistic fiction—delivers another story of teenagers’ self-discovery in a difficult world."[5]
  • ZigZag (2003) - "Disappointingly conventional fare from the author of Hard Love; still, touched with Wittlinger’s trademark class-consciousness, well-written, and emotionally powerful."[6]
  • Heart on My Sleeve (2004) - "This modern epistolary tale (emails and IMs joining handwritten letters and postcards) is voyeuristically enjoyable. A successful use of multiple viewpoints and an interesting exploration of the implied intimacy of various forms of non-verbal communication."[7]
  • Sandpiper (2005)
  • Blind Faith (2006) - "An issue-driven story overtly strives for a message and debate on how to define God. But the presentation is often heavy-handed; the subtleties come toward the end—again at the behest of Liz. Lots of grief, little humor and a character who is so stable that readers might be surprised to realize she’s a character who defines for a new age the concept of “hero.”"[8]
  • Parrotfish (2007) - Lambda Literary Award Nominee.[9] - "Artistically bland, but direct and respectful. Given the rarity of transgender characters, a vital and necessary purchase for any YA collection."[10]
  • Love & Lies: Marisol's Story (2008) - "A rich and solid representation of a girl on the cusp of maturity."[11]
  • This Means War! (2010) - "The characters are solid and believable, while the dialogue is fresh, poignant and funny. Will appeal to fans of Phyllis Reynolds Naylor’s The Boys Start the War (1993) and The Girls Get Even (1994). "[12]
  • "Local Girl Swept Away" (2016)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Ellen Wittlinger". WorldCat.org. Retrieved 3 April 2010. 
  2. ^ "Ellen Wittlinger:biography". Simon & Schuster. Retrieved 3 April 2010. 
  3. ^ "Michael L. Printz Winners and Honor Books". www.ala.org. American Library Association. Retrieved 8 July 2015. 
  4. ^ "Lambda Literary Award". Lambda Literary Awards. Lambda Literary. Retrieved 30 July 2016. 
  5. ^ "The Long Night of Leo and Bree". www.kirkusreviews.com. Kirkus Media LLC. 15 January 2002. Retrieved 8 July 2015. 
  6. ^ "Zigzag". www.kirkusreviews.com. Kirkus Media LLC. 1 July 2003. Retrieved 8 July 2015. 
  7. ^ "Heart On My Sleeve". www.kirkusreviews.com. Kirkus Media LLC. 15 June 2004. Retrieved 8 July 2015. 
  8. ^ "Blind Faith". www.kirkusreviews.com. Kirkus Media LLC. 1 July 2006. Retrieved 8 July 2015. 
  9. ^ "Lambda Literary Award". Lambda Literary Awards. Lambda Literary. Retrieved 28 July 2016. 
  10. ^ "Parrotfish". www.kirkusreviews.com. Retrieved 3 August 2015. 
  11. ^ "Love & Lies". www.kirkusreviews.com. Kirkus Media LLC. 1 June 2008. Retrieved 8 July 2015. 
  12. ^ "This Means War!". www.kirkusreviews.com. Kirkus Media LLC. 15 March 2010. Retrieved 8 July 2015. 

External links[edit]