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Author Profile: Sharon Draper

Each month, we research our authors so that you can learn more about their background and how their stories came to life.



Where she comes from & where she is now: Draper was born in Cleveland, OH and now lives with her family in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Where she studied: Draper studied at Pepperdine University and has since been recognized with their Distinguished Alumnus Award.

You might know her from: Draper is the author of an incredible number of books, ranging from stand-alone novels to series to nonfiction to poetry.  She’s also been recognized for her achievements in literature and education many times over.  She is the five time winner of the Coretta Scott King Award, awarded for books about the African-American experience that are written for a youth audience (high school or elementary).  She was also the recipient of the Margaret A. Edwards award in 2015, which recognizes one author and their particular body of work for having a significant and lasting contribution to young adult literature, citing six of Draper’s novels.

When’s she’s not writing: Draper is also an educator.  She was the 1997 national teacher of the year and has won a number of additional education awards.

Draper on writing: “I love to write; words flow easily from my fingertips, and my heart beats rapidly with excitement as an idea becomes a reality on the paper in front of me. I smile often, laugh easily, and I weep at pain and cruelty. I’m a learner and a seeker of knowledge, and I try to take my readers along on my journey. I am passionate about what I do.” –Draper

There’s so much more to know: Draper is maybe the most highly awarded author I’ve ever encountered.  While the highlights are above, if you’re interested in knowing more, check out her website.