With its beautiful beaches, bustling boardwalks, rich history, and endless excitement, there’s plenty of inspiration for writing. It makes sense, then, that so many amazing writers have lived in the Garden State. Here’s just a few of the fantastic authors from New Jersey.
Born in Elizabeth, Blume is most famous for her children’s novels like Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing (and the entire Fudge series), Freckle Juice, and Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret. She is acclaimed for her ability to cover issues usually assumed to difficult for young people to process. We’re sure children will continue to love her outstanding books for years to come.
Known as one of the greatest American poets, Whitman moved from New York City to Camden for his final 18 years. The controversial Leaves of Grass remains his most famous work. He has also been called the father of free verse and wrote extensively about the Civil War and the common man.
George R. R. Martin
Born in Bayonne, New Jersey, George R. R. Martin’s most popular work is his series of fantasy books A Song of Ice and Fire. If that doesn’t ring a bell, you might be more familiar with the smash hit HBO series Game of Thrones, a show for which he serves as co-executive producer. Time magazine called him “the American Tolkien,” and he appeared on their 2011 list of the world’s most influential figures. Martin’s literary works have won various accolades such as the Hugo Award, Nebula Award, Bram Stoker Award, World Fantasy Award, Premio Ignotus, and Locus Award, while Game of Thrones won an Emmy in 2015. He engages frequently with his fans, who often criticize him for killing off their favorite characters.
Although she was born in Ohio, Creech lived near Princeton, new Jersey for 8 years. Her most famous work, Walk Two Moons, a novel for children, won the Newberry Medal. Her other popular works include Bloomability, Love That Dog, and Ruby Holler. She was the first American to win the Carnegie Medal and the first writer to have won both the Newberry Medal and the Carnegie Medal. Impressive!
Danziger grew up in Metuchen, New Jersey and knew since second grade that she wanted to be a writer. She may be most well known for writing the children and Young Adult series Amber Brown and Matthew Martin. A Montclair State alum, she taught at John Adams Middle School in Edison when she suffered an injury in a car accident that only enabled her to write backwards. She began her writing career after she learned to write normally again. She presented information about children’s literature on the BBC’s weekly Saturday morning show Going Live.
Born in New York City and raised in Newark, Dan Gutman is best known for his Baseball Card Adventures, in which the main character, Stosh, time travels to meet famous baseball players like Jackie Robinson, Babe Ruth, Jim Thorpe, and Roberto Clemente. Other popular books include The Kid Who Ran for President (and its sequel – The Kid Who Became President), They Came From Center Field, and the Million Dollar Series.
Best known for the Junie B. Jones series, Barbara Park was born in Mount Holly Township. She has written dozens of other novels for children, and her death in 2013 took over social media sites as millions of people read and loved her books.
Although he has written numerous books for children since, Clements is best known for his debut middle-grade novel Frindle. He was born in Camden.
Born in Millburn and living in Hoboken, New Jersey, Levithan is best known for writing books that include strong gay males, such as his debut novel Boy Meets Boy and Naomi and Ely’s No Kiss List. He is an editorial director at Scholastic Corporation and worked on The Babysitters Club series. He co-wrote Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, which was made into a movie in 2008. He wrote with John Green on Will Grayson, Will Grayson, published in 2010.
This Ventnor City-born radical feminist had an intriguing life story. She is best known for her SCUM Manifesto, which called for the elimination of all men, and for attempting to murder pop artist Andy Warhol.
NJ has produced an amazing variety of writing talent. Which of these authors from New Jersey do you remember from your early education? Which ones will you add to your reading list?