Hi! I’m Shelley, the author of forty children’s books (twenty-five fiction and fifteen non-fiction). I’m published by Capstone, Macmillan, Marshall Cavendish, Random House and Simon & Schuster.
My chapter books are published in both the US and the UK. Many of my easy readers and chapter books have been translated into French and Spanish.
One of my non-fiction books, The Humane Societies: a Voice for the Animals, was an International Literacy Association Children’s Choices book.
I moved often as a child, between the American states of Minnesota, Oregon and Texas and the Canadian provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan. I was always the new girl, adjusting to different schools, peers and neighborhoods. Books were a constant, comforting presence in my life.
My favorites were Pippi Longstocking, Charlotte’s Web, Harriet the Spy and A Wrinkle in Time. I also read every Encyclopedia Brown and Charlie Brown book I could find, plus every Nancy Drew mystery in the library. At times, I’d annoy the librarian, asking for more! Reading has been my ever-present passion.
I attended Augsburg University in Minneapolis, MN, USA, where I majored in English Literature. A few years after graduation, I returned to Augsburg and earned a kindergarten-sixth grade teaching certificate.
I’ve applied skills from both majors in my work as a children’s non-fiction book editor (Dillon/Macmillan) and as a freelance writer for numerous educational publishers.
For five years, I worked at a children’s bookstore (Red Balloon Bookshop in Saint Paul, MN, USA). My duties there included Backlist Book Buyer and leading story hours.
For four years, I worked as a teachers’ aide in an elementary school. My duties included leading small-group literacy lessons (grades 3-6). And I planned “book clubs” as part of the literacy program; I led the daily, small-group discussions about young adult novels (grade 6).
I’ve also taught summertime writing workshops at a library (for preteens) and week-long writing classes at young-author conferences (grades 3-8).
I live in Minnesota with my husband, a high school social studies teacher. We have two grown sons. Erik lives in Chicago, IL, and Anders lives in Minneapolis, MN.
(Note: the color photocopies taped to the wall in my study, in the photo below, are a story I had published in Highlights for Children called “I Don’t Like Tomatoes!” I wrote it after my husband, Roald, planted seventeen tomato plants in our yard one summer!)