Sharon Draper

(Sharon Mills Draper)

Sharon Draper
Sharon Draper
  • Born: August 21, 1948
  • Nationality: American
  • Profession: Writer









Sharon Mills Draper is an American children's writer and a professional educator, the 1997 National Teacher of the Year. She is a five-time winner of the Coretta Scott King Award for books about the African-American experience. She may be known best for the Hazelwood and Jericho series and for her historical novel Copper Sun. Other books include Double Dutch, Out of My Mind and Romiette and Julio, and Stella by Starlight. Draper won the Margaret A. Edwards Award from American Library Association in 2015. The annual award recognizes one writer and a particular body of work for "significant and lasting contribution to young adult literature". The judges cited six novels that were published from 1994 to 2007: Tears of a Tiger, Forged by Fire, and Darkness Before Dawn (the Hazelwood trilogy); The Battle of Jericho, November Blues, and Copper Sun.

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A good book ought to bring out lots of different responses from those that read it - none of them pre-planned, and all of them very personal. Whatever they take away from the reading of the book is valuable.
Girls read a boy book, but boys don't necessarily want to read a girl book.
I believe I'm a better writer now than I was when I started. I'm grateful that I had good guidance because you don't make it in this business without good editors and a lot of support from your publishers. Business, Commerce & Finance
I do research for every single book, regardless. For 'Double Dutch,' I learned to jump and learned the scoring system. For 'November Blues,' I interviewed pregnant teens. I like to get up close and personal with the kids involved in the situations I write about.
I learned to dream through reading, learned to create dreams through writing, and learned to develop dreamers through teaching. I shall always be a dreamer. Come dream with me.
I start with an idea or a problem or a conflict, or even a situation that might be pertinent to the lives of young people, then the characters grow from that point. I try to make strong characters that change and develop and learn from their mistakes.
I try to give a voice to teens, who might be afraid to speak up about difficult issues, and a platform for parents and teachers to have frank, meaningful discussions with those young people.
I worked at Sears as a salesperson when I was in college. Makes me nicer to folks to have to stand all day and be nice to picky people.
I'd love to dance with grace and style, to move as easily as I write. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
Perfect happiness is a beautiful sunset, the giggle of a grandchild, the first snowfall. It's the little things that make happy moments, not the grand events. Joy comes in sips, not gulps. Happiness & Unhappiness
When students ask me today, 'What do you think we should learn from this book?' I tell them, 'Whatever you got out of it.'
With the 'Hazelwood High' trilogy, I wasn't sure I was writing a trilogy. I would just write one book, then another, and then another, because the young adults who wrote me told me that they wanted to read more.
Writing, for me, is a very fluid process. I sit down and wait for the words to come. They usually do - in buckets and waves. I look upon it as a blessing because the words come so easily.

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