Jewell Parker Rhodes

Jewell Parker Rhodes has always loved reading and writing stories. Born and raised in Manchester, a largely African-American neighborhood on the North Side of Pittsburgh, she was a voracious reader as a child. She began college as a dance major, but when she discovered there were novels by African Americans, for African Americans, she knew she wanted to be an author. She wrote six novels for adults, two writing guides, and a memoir, but writing for children remained her dream.

Now Jewell has published five children’s books: the Louisiana Girls Trilogy (Ninth Ward, Sugar, and Bayou Magic), Towers Falling, and most recently the New York Timesbestseller and #1 Kids’ Indie Next Pick Ghost Boys.

Jewell has received numerous honors including: the American Book Award, the National Endowment of the Arts Award in Fiction, the Black Caucus of the American Library Award for Literary Excellence, the PEN Oakland/Josephine Miles Award for Outstanding Writing, and most recently the Walter Dean Myers Award for Younger Readers.

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