Jenna McCarthy

Photo of Jenna McCarthy
Jenna McCarthy is a writer, former radio personality and the author of several books for adults, the Maggie Malone series for middle grade readers and some fun children's picture books.

She collects hats, speaks French, and is positive she'd be a tennis star if the net didn't keep getting in the way. Oh and she once gave a TED talk that some people didn't hate.

Author's Comment: With middle grade readers, it’s extremely important to get the voice right, and not to use “old lady” words or expressions. (Our kids proofread everything we write for that very reason; if they were reading this, I’m pretty sure they’d tell me not to use the phrase “old lady!”) Because Maggie appeals to a broad age range, there’s also an issue of vocabulary. As writers, we love big words and aren’t afraid to use them, so we always include a glossary in the back in case younger readers are being introduced to a word for the first time. Finally, it was and is extremely important to Carolyn and me that our books have not only strong female characters but also some sort of positive messaging. The trick with that is to do it in a way that readers don’t feel like they’re being lectured or patronized. Throughout the series, we have Maggie facing all sorts of challenges—from bullies to burglars—and no matter whose life she’s in, she never backs down and she always stays true to herself and who she is. Hopefully kids will absorb that messaging and use it in their own lives.

Nationality: American

Featured series by Jenna McCarthy

Maggie Malone (Ages 9 and up)