Multiple award-winning author Jon Scieszka grew up in Flint, Michigan, the second oldest and the nicest of six boys. Jon went to school at Culver Military Academy in Indiana where he was a Lieutenant; Albion College in Michigan where he studied to be a doctor; and Columbia University in New York, where he received an M.F.A. in fiction. He taught elementary school in New York for ten years in a variety of positions. He is the author of many books for children including the New York Times Best Illustrated Book The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales (illustrated by Lane Smith), the Caldecott Honor book The True Story of the Three Little Pigs (illustrated by Lane Smith), and Math Curse (also illustrated by Lane Smith). In addition to his work as an author, Jon also runs a web-based literacy program called Guys Read that is designed to encourage boys, particularly reluctant readers, to get involved with books. In 2008, Jon was named the country’s first National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, a joint effort of the Library of Congress and the Children’s Book Council. During his two-year role as Ambassador, he acted as a spokesperson for children’s literature, speaking to groups of parents, teachers, and children to encourage the importance of reading.
Jon lives in Brooklyn with his wife Jeri. They have two children: a daughter, Casey, and a son, Jake.
I read everything – comic books, newspapers, cereal boxes, poems – anything with writing on it. My favorite things to read are fairy tales, myths, and legends. When I'm not reading, I listen to music, watch cartoons, and sit in my chair and just think about stuff. I've always thought about being an author. One of the first books I read was Green Eggs and Ham, by Dr. Seuss. It made me realize that books could be goofy. It's the book that made The Stinky Cheese Man possible!
My ideas come from all different things: my kids, kids I've taught, kids I've learned from, watching movies, playing with my cat, talking to my wife, staring out the window, and about a million other places. But what turns the ideas into stories and books is sitting down and writing and re-writing and throwing away writing and writing some more. That's the hard part . . . I write books because I love to make kids laugh.