Janet Taylor Lisle
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Lisle was born in Texas, grew up in rural Farmington, Connecticut, and spent her summers in Rhode Island. Growing up with four younger brothers, Janet and the rest of her siblings were all passionate readers. She was educated at local schools until age fifteen when she entered the Ethel Walker School, a girl's boarding school in Simsbury, Connecticut.
Higher education, career, and life
Janet attended Smith College and graduated in 1969 with a degree in English Literature. After college, she got married and joined VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) in Atlanta, Georgia. During this time, Lisle had seen many people overcome with challenges so she went back to college at Georgia State University to take journalism classes. She wanted to write about what she has seen while working with VISTA to make the public more aware of poverty. She worked as a reporter for the next ten years.
With a new marriage and the birth of her daughter in 1977, Lisle changed her career path and began to write children’s books at home. Her first book, The Dancing Cats of Applesap, was inspired by her own childhood memories. Following this book, Lisle continued writing for a diverse audience and produced over ten more novels.
Lisle resides on the Rhode Island coast with her husband, Richard Lisle, and their daughter Elizabeth and grandchildren Joplin and Timminy
Lisle is a true believer of the unknown and this way of thinking has made her book’s plots complex and mysterious. All of her books incorporate elves, fairies or some kind of unusual creature. Whether these characters are real within the story, or simply imaginative shells of her characters, the story line is often left unresolved.
- The Dancing Cats of Applesap, illustrated by Joelle Shefts, Bradbury Press (Scarsdale, NY), 1984.
- Sirens and Spies, Bradbury Press (Scarsdale, NY), 1985.
- The Great Dimpole Oak, illustrated by Stephen Gammell, Orchard Books (New York, NY), 1987.
- Afternoon of the Elves, Orchard Books (New York, NY), 1989.
- The Lampfish of Twill, illustrated by Wendy Anderson Halperin, Orchard Books (New York, NY), 1991.
- Forest, Orchard Books (New York, NY), 1993.
- The Gold Dust Letters, Orchard Books (New York, NY), 1994.
- Looking for Juliette, Orchard Books (New York, NY), 1994.
- A Message from the Match Girl, Orchard Books (New York, NY), 1995.
- Angela's Aliens, Orchard Books (New York, NY), 1996.
- The Lost Flower Children, Philomel Books (New York, NY), 1999.
- The Art of Keeping Cool, Atheneum (New York, NY), 2000.
- How I Became a Writer and Oggie Learned to Drive, Philomel Books (New York, NY), 2002.
- The Crying Rocks, Atheneum (New York, NY), 2003
- Black Duck, Penguin Group (New York, NY), 2007
- Highway Cats, Penguin Group (New York, NY), 2008
- Quicksand Pond, Atheneum Books for Young Readers (May 16, 2017)