All About Adolescent Literacy

All about adolescent literacy. Resources for parents and educators of kids in grades 4-12.
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A video interview with

Margaret Peterson Haddix

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Margaret Peterson Haddix grew up on a farm in a small town in Ohio, in a family of farmers and bookworms, and she read widely: classic fiction, but also the newspaper and Time magazine. She also found time to participate in activities that she later drew on as material for her books: school plays; playing flute and piccolo in the marching, pep and symphonic bands; singing in the school choir; working on the school newspaper; running track; and volunteering with her 4-H club. At Miami University (Ohio), she worked on the school paper and double majored in Creative Writing and Journalism.

After college, Haddix worked for a while as a newspaper reporter, but longed to write stories from her imagination. She eventually took the leap to writing fiction and experienced her share of rejection, before having a book accepted. With young children, Haddix had to write those earlier stories around the children's nap times.

Her kids are now teenagers, so Haddix has more time to write, including the Shadow Children series, the Missing series, Dexter the Tough, and an installment of the wildly successful The 39 Clues series.

Margaret Peterson Haddix and her family live in Columbus, Ohio.

Selected Books

from Margaret Peterson Haddix


Age Level: 9-12

In the first book of The Missing series, 13-year-olds friends Jonah and Chip land in the middle of mystery involving the FBI, smugglers, and people who vanish at will. Opposing forces are struggling over Jonah and Chip's lives and they may not have any choice in the matter.

Buy Found

Claim to Fame

Age Level: 14-16

Teen TV star Lindsay Scott has a nervous breakdown and disappears from the public eye. Is her Dad holding her captive, or is something ever weirder going on?

Buy Claim to Fame

Running Out of Time

Age Level: 12-14

When a diphtheria epidemic hits her 1840 village, 13-year-old Jessie discovers it is actually a 1995 tourist site under unseen observation by heartless scientists, and it's up to Jessie to escape the village and save the lives of the dying children.

Buy Running Out of Time

Just Ella

Age Level: 14-16

In this companion book to Palace of Mirrors, 15-year-old Ella finds that accepting Prince Charming's proposal ensnares her in a suffocating tangle of palace rules and royal etiquette, so she plots to escape.

Buy Just Ella

Takeoffs and Landings

Age Level: 12-14

After their father's sudden death eight years ago, Chuck and Lori's mother left them with their grandparents while she traveled for work. Now she's try to reconnect with them and it's not going great. Can the walls built up over the years come down and what happens when all the secrets are revealed?

Buy Takeoffs and Landings

Among the Hidden

Age Level: 9-12

In the first book of the Shadow Children series about a futuristic dystopia where only two children per family are allowed, readers meet Luke, a third child forbidden by the Population Police.

Buy Among the Hidden

Dexter the Tough

Age Level: 9-12

It's the first day of school for Dexter and he's already mad at everyone in the building. When his teacher tells the class to write a story, Dexter writes about how tough he is — and how he's already gotten into a fight. Is any of Dexter's story true?

Buy Dexter the Tough


Age Level: 14-16

Bella, just arrived from Italy, and Yetta from Russia gets a job at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory where they work long hours under terrible conditions. Wealthy Jane learns of the plight of the workers and becomes involved in their cause. All three are at the Triangle factory on March 26, 1911, when a spark ignites some cloth and the building is engulfed in fire. Can any of them survive?

Buy Uprising

39 Clues: Book 10: Into the Gauntlet

Age Level: 9-12

Amy and Dan continue their search for the 39 Clues, uncovering amazing mysteries and secrets along the way.

Buy  39 Clues: Book 10: Into the Gauntlet