Tanya Lee Stone writes a little bit of everything — science, history, biography, poetry, and fiction — for kids and teens. She's written middle grades biographies of pioneering women in the NASA space program, Amelia Earhart, and Ella Fitzgerald; picture books about suffragettes and artist Alexander Calder; and a series of books about animal camouflage. She throws herself into her research to provide context for the facts and to make her stories come alive. As Stone herself says, "A book isn't the end of information on a topic, a book is the beginning of a conversation."
You can watch the interview below, view the interview transcript, read a short biography on Tanya Lee Stone, or see a selected list of her children's books. (This video is also available on YouTube and iTunes.)
Tanya Lee Stone began making up stories when she was a kid. She studied English at Oberlin College and after graduation became a children's book editor in New York City. When Stone moved to Vermont and got her chance to write her first book, she re-discovered her love of stories.
Stone has written nearly 100 books about animals, nature, science, history, and biography. She also writes poetry and fiction. Some of her most popular books are Abraham Lincoln, P is for Passover, A Bad Boy Can Be Good for a Girl, Elizabeth Leads the Way, and Sandy's Circus. Her latest book, Almost Astronauts: 13 Women Who Dared to Dream has won many awards, including the 2010 Robert F. Sibert Medal for the most distinguished informational book of the year. Many of the stories she writes now deal with themes of strong women and empowering girls.
Stone serves on a number of literature-related committees and makes appearances around the country at book festivals, schools, and libraries. She is the co-director of Kindling Words, an annual retreat for published children's book authors and illustrators. She also writes articles and reviews and has been published in VOYA, School Library Journal, and the New York Times.