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Battle of the Books

2013 Judge: Donna Jo Napoli

Donna Jo Napoli did not grow up wanting to be a writer.  She loved books and she loved writing, but she loved just about everything else, too.  School was a haven, particularly school libraries.  It was after a personal tragedy that she came to writing, almost as a kind of whacked-out therapy.  It worked; she got over her grief.  But she didn’t get over writing.  She has five children and two grandchildren (and she hopes to have a third by the time you read this).  She teaches linguistics, gardens, dances, does yoga, bakes bread, pots, and draws.  As of 2013 she has over 70 fiction books in print.

ASinglePearlDonna Jo NapoliZel


  1. Love Donna Jo’s books . . . and her great smile! Glad she’s judging!

  2. But the really GREAT thing about Donna Jo Napoli? She has a B.A. in math! (I thought I remembered that about her and looked it up, and sure enough!) Seriously, I’ve loved her books ever since I read The Prince of the Pond to my boys. Clearly, she’ll bring sound judgment to the judging process! 🙂

  3. Library Girl says

    How fitting! I just book talked Zel to all of the classes in my library today!

  4. I heard her give the most amazing keynote at SCBWI a couple of summers ago. She talked about why it was important for writers of children’s books to tackle hard subjects and important for young readers to read them. I wished every self-censoring librarian I know, and I know many, could have heard the speech.

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