A Q & A Visit with Donna Jo Napoli.
Donna Jo Napoli teaches linguistics at Swarthmore College and is the author of around seventy books for young readers, from historical to fantasy to gothic horror to contemporary humor. She lives outside of Philadelphia with her husband. She has five children and two grandchildren, and one of her sons is a wonderful cook who lives in Lancaster – Nick Furrow, so go eat his food. She dreams of moving to the woods to become a naturalist, and loves to garden and bake bread.
Her books have won national awards, including the Sydney Taylor Award, the Parents' Choice Gold Award (and two Silver awards), the Golden Kite Award (and an honor book), the Anne Izard's Storytellers' Choice Award, the Frances and Wesley Bock Book Award, the Sons of Italy National Book Club selection, as well as numerous American Library Association best book awards. Her books have won state awards, including New Jersey’s M. Jerry Weiss Book Award, the Kentucky Bluegrass Award, the Nevada Young Readers' Award, California’s Eureka! Silver honor, and Pennsylvania’s Carolyn W. Field honor award many times. Her books have been translated into over a dozen languages.
Her novel "Beast" was translated into Persian and she was a guest of the Iranian government for a 10-day trip to several cities in Iran in 2005. At that time, she visited Bam, where an earthquake had struck, and then wrote the picture book "The Earth Shook" (the proceedings of which go to a day care center in Bam). The research for both books involved reading Persian literature, which led to her finding the classical poem that spawned" A Single Pearl," a picture book coming out in 2013.
She is working on "A Treasury of Egyptian Mythology," to appear in 2013, and a contemporary young adult novel with the working title "Skin." And she has begun research on a sequel to her novel "Hush: An Irish Princess Tale."