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Jane Yolen

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Jane Yolen

Jane Yolen born February 11, 1939 in New York City. Born as the first child to her parents Isabel Berlin Yolen and Will Hyatt Yolen. Her brother Steve Hyatt Yolen was born three and a half years later. Jane at an early age discovered her love for writing and arts. In high school she was the News Editor of the school paper. After high school she went to Smith College where she won all the poetry-writing awards.

To date Jane has written over three hundred books. Take a look at the works of Jane Yolen.

| Non-fiction about women pirates, including Anne Bonney and Mary Read (see Ballad of the Pirate Queens), this was my very first book. But it wasn’t the first time I’d written about women pirates. In fact I’d included two of them (Bonney and Read) in a little book I wrote in 7th grade. The greatest pirate in the world was a woman, Madame Ching, who lived at the beginning of the nineteenth century and commanded 2,000 boats and 70,000 men. |

An original fairy tale set in Thailand and based on a line in my kite research, which said that the king had kite mandarins who flew his kite at night to keep his soul above the terrors of the night. The story, written during my Quaker phase, is about speaking truth to power no matter what the cost. ("Speaking truth to power" is a Quaker phrase.) Young’s artwork here is dark and strong, more allegorical than straightforward illustration. The book was a Junior Literary Guild selection.

An original fairy tale, this story is about a girl whose overprotective father tries to keep her from all things wicked, unhappy, trying, or real. At last the wind blows in over the garden wall and woos her, taking her into the ever-changing world. A fifth grader at the Smith College Campus School pointed out to me that this was autobiographical since my father was overprotective and my husband and I met when he came in through the window of my apartment in Greenwich Village during a wild party my roommates and I were throwing. (Wild, that is, for the 1960s.) The story begins “Once to the East” and Ed Young wanted to know where I meant it to be set. I wrote back: “To the East of me is Boston, but you can set it wherever you wish.” So he decided on Persia and did miniatures, an exquisite choice. The book won several art awards. There is a Brazilian edition, which I have never seen, and an Afrikaans called “Die Meisie wat vir die Wind lief.”
Received the 1973 Lewis Carroll Shelf Award (“Reserved for Distinguished books entitled to sit on the shelf with Alice In Wonderland.” Gold Cheshire Cat Seal) and was a 1973 Children’s Book Showcase Selection.

The list of books goes on and on and make for a very interesting read. Please go to her website for more details.

Yolen, J. (2003). A Short Biography. (J. Norton, Producer) Retrieved February 14, 2014, from Jane Yolen:

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