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        Jerry Spinelli

        Jerry Spinelli still remembers the Sunday night when he was awakened by a phone call. His novel, Maniac Magee, had just won the 1991 Newbery Medal. Jerry and his wife, Eileen, were so excited that they stayed up all night and went out to a local diner to celebrate. "Life hasn't been the same since," Spinelli recalls. Indeed, for decades Jerry Spinelli had sacrificed financial stability in pursuit of his dream to become an author. While raising six children, Jerry and Eileen were forced to make tough decisions when money was tight. "Nobody ever told me how impossibly hard that was going to be," Spinelli says. "It's one thing to write a book. It's another to get it published. It's yet another to sell enough to make enough money to pay a few bills." Watch the interview, view the interview transcript, read a short biography on Jerry Spinelli, or see a selected list of his books.

        http://www.adlit.org/authors/Spinelli/3608

        A Quick Biography

        Jerry Spinelli reflects on the wide variety of books he’s written, including his most recent books 'Stargirl,' 'Milkweed,' and 'Eggs.' The author also reflects on the significant accomplishment of just completing a book, even if it never gets published.

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        Jingle Jangle Dreams

        Jerry Spinelli shares his childhood dreams of how he wanted to be a cowboy, then a major league baseball player, and then a writer.

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        The Football Poem

        Find out how one exciting football game may have turned this athlete into a writer.

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        Cough Syrup or Milk?

        Jerry Spinelli describes how making a full time career of writing was more difficult than he had imagined, needing to write the book, publish the book, and then actually sell copies. He gives an example of how money was tight in the early years, often requiring difficult decisions such as whether to buy milk or cough syrup for his family.

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        Stargirl Societies

        Inspired by Jerry Spinelli’s book, high school girls have joined together in groups to do Stargirl-like things such as tossing loose change onto the sidewalk or putting anonymous complimentary notes into classmates' lockers.

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        Eileen Spinelli

        Jerry Spinelli's wife, also a children’s book author, is his first editor.

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        Bats & Books

        Jerry Spinelli tells kids that sports and books are not mutually exclusive. He encourages kids to emulate Maniac Magee and read books as much as possible.

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        Advice for Young Writers

        Jerrry Spinelli distills all of his writing advice into this one golden rule, "write what you care about."

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