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About Alexis O'Neill
Alexis O'Neill is the author of picture books that deal with friendships and people in both fiction and nonfiction. Her book, THE RECESS QUEEN (Scholastic) has been nominated for eleven state readers' choice awards and has won in two states. This book about a playground bully has also been translated into Chinese (how do you say, "lollapaloosh" in Chinese?), Korean (how do you say, "kitz and kajammer" in Korean?) and French (oo-la-la!).
In addition to earning starred reviews, her first picture book, LOUD EMILY (Simon & Schuster) was included on the list of "Yankee Magazine 100 Classic New England Children's Books."This honor was especially meaningful to her as she was born in Boston & raised in Wakefield, Massachusetts. Now that she lives in California, she is excited that her book, ESTELA'S SWAP (Lee & Low), about an intergenerational friendship at a California swap meet, has struck a chord with dedicated readers.
Fueled by a love of history, she also has three picture books for older readers books about important figures in history: THE KITE THAT BRIDGED TWO NATIONS: HOMAN WALSH AND THE FIRST NIAGARA SUSPENSION BRIDGE (Calkins Creek/Boyds Mills Press) is based on the dramatic, true story of how a boy, using his kite, laid the first line for the first suspension bridge over the Niagara River in 1848; JACOB RIIS'S CAMERA: BRINGING LIGHT TO TENEMENT CHILDREN (Calkins Creek/Boyds Mills & Kane) about a Danish immigrant in 19th century who used flash photography to change untenable living conditions for families in NYC tenements; and THE EFFICIENT, INVENTIVE (OFTEN ANNOYING MELVIL DEWEY) (Calkins Creek/Boyds Mills & Kane)about the creator of the Dewey Decimal Classification System that revolutionized libraries all over the world.
Alexis has also written for a variety of magazines including Cricket, Spider, Cobblestone, Calliope, Faces, and Writer's Digest. She teaches at the UCLA Extension Writers' Program and has been a leader in SCBWI in Central/Coastal California. She has a B.S. from Skidmore College, an M.S and Ph.D. from Syracuse University and was sent to the University of London on a Rotary International Fellowship. Among her adventures, she was named Miss Kitchen of Swiftcurrent Inn at Glacier National Park, won a spot in the last Girl Scout Roundup in Idaho, and has led multiple theater trips to Ireland. She loves photography, swimming, theater, the Erie Canal, American history, cats, and her husband, David.
An expert presenter, Alexis l-o-v-e-s meeting kids all over the country through school visits, showing them how to read and write with their whole body.