Sharon Creech

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Sharon Creech
picture of Sharon Creech giving a talk at a school
Creech in 2009
Born (1945-07-29) July 29, 1945 (age 77)
South Euclid, Ohio, U.S.
GenreChildren's novels, low fantasy, magic realism; poetry
Notable worksWalk Two Moons
Ruby Holler
Notable awardsNewbery Medal
Carnegie Medal

Sharon Creech (born July 29, 1945) is an American writer of children's novels. She was the first American winner of the Carnegie Medal for British children's books and the first person to win both the American Newbery Medal and the British Carnegie.[1][a]


Sharon Creech was born in South Euclid, Ohio, a suburb of Cleveland, where she grew up with her parents (Ann and Arvel), one sister (Sandy), and three brothers (Dennis, Doug and Tom).[2] She often used to visit her cousins in Quincy, Lewis County, Kentucky, which has found its way into many of her books as fictional Bybanks, Kentucky. Bybanks appears in Walk Two Moons, Chasing Redbird, and Bloomability and there is an allusion to Bybanks in The Wanderer.[2]

At college in the U.S. she became intrigued by story-telling after taking literature and writing courses, and she later became a teacher of secondary school English and Writing in England and Switzerland.[2] Her first children's novel Absolutely Normal Chaos was published only in the U.K., by Macmillan Children's Books in 1990. Called "comedy about contemporary teen life" by Kirkus Reviews, it featured a 13-year-old girl's "complete and unabridged journal for English class".[3] Her first book published in the U.S. was Walk Two Moons (1994), which won the American Newbery Medal in 1995. Later that year, Absolutely Normal Chaos was first published in the U.S. by HarperCollins —set in her hometown Euclid, Ohio.[3]

Creech returned to the U.S. in 1998 after 18 years abroad.[4] She is married to Lyle Rigg, a headmaster in New Jersey, and has two grown children, Rob and Karin.[2]


She has written both novels and picture books. She often embeds serious topics into her stories, including such themes as independence, trust, childhood, adulthood, and death, often using humour to soften them.

Books such as Love That Dog and Heartbeat were written in verse, whereas other books like Ruby Holler and Walk Two Moons are in a narrative style.

Bloomability (1998) features an American girl at a boarding school in Switzerland. The setting was inspired by The American School In Switzerland, where Creech taught English.

She returned to the fictional school exercise in Love That Dog (Harper Collins and Bloomsbury, 2001), the blank verse diary of "Jack, a reluctant student, [who] resists poetry assignments from his teacher, Miss Stretchberry."[4] It was a commended runner-up for the British Carnegie Medal.[1][5][b]


In 1995, Walk Two Moons won the Newbery Medal from the American Library Association, recognizing the year's best children's book by an American author. In the U.K., it won the annual Children's Book Award for long novels, voted by children, and the Reading Association Award. In 1997, it also won the Literaturhaus Award, Austria, and the Young Adult Sequoyah Award, Oklahoma, USA .[6]

Bloomability won the IRA/CBC Children's Choices award in 1999.[7]

The Wanderer won the Parents' Choice Award, USA, in 2000, and it was a runner-up for the Newbery Medal.[8] It was one of eight books on the Carnegie Medal shortlist in the U.K.[1]

Creech and Love That Dog were a commended runner-up for the 2001 Carnegie Medal[9] and she won the 2002 Medal from the British librarians, recognizing Ruby Holler as the year's best children's book published in the U.K.[1][10][11]



  1. ^ CILIP inherited the (British) Library Association children's book awards when it was created by merger of the library and information professionals in 2001. Around that time, the Carnegie Medal restriction to British publishers and British authors (British subjects) was relaxed to permit nomination of all new books published in Britain originally or nearly so (three months as of 2012). The Newbery Medal is still restricted to American citizen or resident authors.
    Neil Gaiman later won both Medals for The Graveyard Book (2009). He is an English expatriate in the U.S. since 1992.
  2. ^ Since 1995 there are usually eight books on the Carnegie shortlist. According to CCSU, there were about 160 commendations of two kinds in 49 years from 1954 to 2002, including Creech and Geraldine McCaughrean (highly commended) for 2001. In effect, Creech and Love That Dog were second runner-up for that year.


  1. ^ a b c d "Sharon Creech wins CILIP Carnegie Medal" Archived 2013-07-20 at the Wayback Machine. Press release July 11, 2003. CILIP. Retrieved 2012-08-23.
  2. ^ a b c d "Sharon Creech Biography". Archived from the original on June 3, 2010. Retrieved September 13, 2010.
  3. ^ a b "Absolutely Normal Chaos". Kirkus Reviews, September 1, 1995. Online reprint 2010. Retrieved 2012-08-22.
  4. ^ a b "Families: A writer who's 13 at Heart". Andrea Sachs. Time, August 27, 2001. Retrieved 2012-08-22.
  5. ^ "Carnegie Medal Award". 2007(?). Curriculum Lab. Elihu Burritt Library. Central Connecticut State University (CCSU). Retrieved 2012-08-22.
  6. ^ "Sharon Creech Novels". Archived from the original on October 12, 2010. Retrieved September 13, 2010.
  7. ^ "Sharon Creech Novels". Archived from the original on February 17, 2011. Retrieved September 13, 2010.
  8. ^ "Sharon Creech Novels". Archived from the original on February 17, 2011. Retrieved September 13, 2010.
  9. ^ Press Desk (directory). CILIP. Retrieved 2012-09-23. Quote: "media releases relating to the CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Children's Book Awards in date order." (2002 to 2006 releases concern 2001 to 2005 awards.)
  10. ^ (Carnegie Winner 2002) Archived 2013-01-29 at the Wayback Machine. Living Archive: Celebrating the Carnegie and Greenaway Winners. CILIP. Retrieved 2012-08-18.
  11. ^ "Sharon Creech Novels". Archived from the original on September 20, 2010. Retrieved September 13, 2010.
  12. ^ a b c Sharon Creech: Selected Bibliography Archived 2015-01-17 at the Wayback Machine at Ohio reading Road Trip

External links