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Strasser in Langenau, Germany,
in March 2006
May 5, 1950 |
New York City, New York, United States
|Pen name||Morton Rhue; T. S. Rue|
|Alma mater||Beloit College|
|Period||1979–present (as writer)|
|Genre||Children's and young adult fiction, novelizations, romans|
|Notable works||Fallout, The Wave, Give A Boy A Gun|
Todd Strasser (born May 5, 1950) is an American writer of more than 140 young-adult and middle grade novels and many short stories and works of non-fiction, some written under the pen names Morton Rhue and T.S. Rue.
Strasser was born in New York City. His first novel was Angel Dust Blues (1978). He is the father of two children, and an avid tennis player, skier, and surfer. In Germany, under the pen name Morton Rhue, he is the best-selling author of such novels as Die Welle, Dschihad Online, Ich Knall Euch Ab!, Boot Camp, No Place, No Home, Ghetto Kidz, Asphalt Tribe, and a number of other titles. In 2008, The Wave (the movie version of Die Welle) starring Jürgen Vogel, debuted at the Sundance Film Festival and went on to become a box office success in many European countries.
Strasser often writes about timely themes like nuclear war, Nazism, bullying at schools, homelessness, and school shootings. His novel The Wave, written under the pen name Morton Rhue, is a novelization of the teleplay by Johnny Dawkins for the 1981 television movie The Wave. Both the novel and the television movie are fictionalized accounts of the "Third Wave" teaching experiment by Ron Jones in a Cubberley High School history class in Palo Alto, California. The novel, now credited to Todd Strasser, has been translated into more than a dozen languages and is read in many schools around the world.
His 2014 novel, Fallout, is part memoir and part speculative fiction featuring nuclear war that results from the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. A review in The New York Times called it "Exciting, harrowing ... Superb entertainment ... It thrums along with finely wrought atmosphere and gripping suspense. 
Strasser's works have sometimes proved to be controversial. Recently, his novel American Terrorist was withdrawn from publication in the United States after an uproar about it caused by a brief description of the book which appeared on Goodreads. The novel has been published in Germany under the title Dschihad Online.
Strasser is the author of the Time Zone High trilogy, How I Changed My Life, How I Created My Perfect Prom Date, and How I Spent My Last Night on Earth. How I Created My Perfect Prom Date was adapted for the feature film Drive Me Crazy, starring Adrian Grenier and Melissa Joan Hart.
Other novels for young adults include The Accident, which became the television movie Over the Limit, as well as Angel Dust Blues, Friends Till the End, and A Very Touchy Subject. The latter also became a television movie, entitled Can a Guy Say No? Another novel, Workin' For Peanuts, was adapted to a television movie with the same title.
A trilogy of mystery thrillers for older young adult readers includes Wish You Were Dead, Blood on My Hands, and Kill You Last.
Strasser has also written a number of young adult series, including Impact Zone (about surfing), Drift X (about drift car competitions), and Here Comes Heavenly (about a punk nanny with magical powers).
His books for middle-graders include CON-fidence, The Diving Bell, and Abe Lincoln for Class President. His series for middle graders include the 17-book Help! I'm Trapped... collection, as well as the Don't Get Caught, Against the Odds, and Camp Run-A-Muck books. He wrote Is That a Dead Dog in Your Locker?, Is That a Sick Cat in Your Backpack?, Is That a Glow-In-The-Dark Bunny in Your Pillow Case?, Is That an Angry Penguin in Your Gym Bag?, and Is That an Unlucky Leprechaun In Your Lunch?
His Kids' Books series of E-books includes The Kids' Book of Gross Facts and Feats (two volumes), The Kids' Book of Weird Science, The Kids' Book of Stupendously Stupid Stunts, The Kids' Book of Really Dumb American Criminals, The Kids' Book of Amazing Sports Facts and Feats, The Kids' Book of Funny Animal Jokes, and others.
Awards and honors
- 2014 American Library Association Best Fiction for Young Adults 
- 2014 American Library Association Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers 
- 2014 National Council for the Social Studies Notable Tradebook for Young People 
- 2014 International Reading Association Young Adults' Choice 
- 2014 Bank Street Teacher's College Best Children's Books of the Year 
No Place (2014)
- 2015 National Council for the Social Studies Notable Tradebook for Young People 
If I Grow Up (2009)
- 2010 National Council for the Social Studies Notable Tradebook for Young People 
Boot Camp (2007)
- 2008 American Library Association Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers 
- 2015 American Library Association Popular Paperback for Young Adults 
Can't Get There From Here (2004)
- 2005 American Library Association Best Fiction for Young Adults 
- 2005 American Library Association Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers 
- 2006 International Reading Association Young Adults' Choice
- 2010 American Library Association Popular Paperback for Young Adults 
Give A Boy A Gun (2001)
- 2002 International Reading Association Young Adults' Choice 
- 2006 American Library Association Popular Paperback for Young Adults 
Wish You Were Dead (2009)
- 2011 American Library Association Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers 
- 2011 Tayshas (Texas Library Association): Summer Reading List
- 2012 New York Public Library: Books for the Teen Age.
- 2012 Illinois: Abraham Lincoln H.S. Book Award
- 2012 Voice of Youth Advocates Summer Reading List
- The Wave. New York: Dell, 1981; Laurel Leaf/Dell, 1985; Puffin Books 1988, ISBN 0-14-037188-5. Novelization of the 1981 ABC television show The Wave.
- Coming Attractions trilogy:
- Rock ’n Roll Nights / Turn It Up! (1985) / Wildlife (1987)
- "Young Adult Books: Stalking the Teen." Horn Book Magazine, vol. 62, no. 2 (1986, Mar.-Apr.), pp. 236–239.
- The Accident. New York: Delacorte, 1988. Adapted for television in the ABC Afterschool Special Over the Limit (1990).
- How I Created my Perfect Prom Date. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1996. Originally published as Girl Gives Birth to Own Prom Date (1996) and later adapted into the film Drive Me Crazy (1999).
- Give a Boy a Gun. New York: Simon and Schuster, 2000; Simon Pulse 2002, ISBN 0-689-84893-5
- Thief of Dreams, Putnam Juvenile 2003, ISBN 0-399-23135-8
- Can't Get There from Here, Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing, 2004, ISBN 0-689-84169-8
- Slide or Die. Simon Pulse 2006, ISBN 1-4169-0581-2 Drift X Series
- Battle Drift
- Sidewgayz Glory
- Wish You Were Dead
- Mob Princess:1 For Money and Love
- Mob Princess:2 Secrets, Lies, and Stolen kisses
- Mob Princess:3 Count Your Blessings
- Is That a Dead Dog in Your Locker?
- Night Time
- Blood On My Hands
- If I Grow Up
- How I Changed My Life
- How I Created My Perfect Prom Date
- How I Spent My Last Night On Earth (2000)
- Angel Dust Blues
- Friends Till the End
- "Todd Strasser". Scholastic. Retrieved 2015-02-26.
- "Todd Strasser". Toddstrasser.com. Retrieved 2015-02-26.
- "Todd Strasser". Fantasticfiction.co.uk. Retrieved 2015-02-26.
-  Archived April 26, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
- "Todd Strasser Discovers 'man Who Thinks of Idea for Dirty Fortune Cookies Will Clean Up' – Vol. 11 No. 15". People.com. 16 April 1979. Retrieved 25 August 2017.
- "Todd Strasser author of Fallout, The Beast of Cretacea, The Wave, and many YA and middle-grade books". Toddstrasser.com. Retrieved 2015-02-26.
- "Amazon.de: Morton Rhue: Bücher, Hörbücher, Bibliografie, Diskussionen". Amazon.de. Retrieved 25 August 2017.
- "Nuclear Families". The New York Times. 10 November 2013. Retrieved 25 August 2017.