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

Marilyn Singer

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Marilyn Singer was born in New York City and raised on Long Island. She studied English at City University of New York and Communications at New York University.

In 1974, after teaching English in New York City high schools for several years, Singer began writing teacher's guides and film strips. Then, one day, when she was sitting in the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, she wrote a story featuring talking insect characters she'd made up when she was eight. Encouraged by the responses she got, she wrote more stories, and in 1976, her first book, The Dog Who Insisted He Wasn't, was published.

Since then, Marilyn has published over eighty books for children and young adults. Her genres are many and varied, including realistic novels, fantasies, non-fiction, fairy tales, picture books, mysteries, and poetry. She likes writing different kinds of books because it's challenging and it keeps her from getting bored. She has won many awards for her writing: Eggs and First Food Fight This Fall, Chicago Public Library's Best of the Best, 2009; Venom, Orbis Pictus Honor Book, 2008; New York Public Library's One Hundred Best Titles for Reading and Sharing, 2007; City Lullaby, Time Magazine's Top Ten Children's Books, 2007; What Stinks?, NSTA-CBC Outstanding Science Trade Book, 2007; Science Books & Film Best Trade Books, 2006; Central Heating, ALSC Notable Book, 2005; Creature Carnival, Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award Honor Book, 2005; Tough Beginnings: How Baby Animals Survive, NSTA-CBA Outstanding Science Trade Book, 2002; Society of School Librarians International Best Book for Science, 2001; Believe in Water: Twelve Brushes with Religion, New York Public Library's "Best Books for the Teen Age," 2001.

Singer lives in Brooklyn, NY, with her husband Steve and lots of animals: their standard poodle, a cat, two collared doves, and a starling named Darling. She enjoys ballroom/Latin dancing, dog training, reading, hiking, bird-watching, gardening, playing computer adventure games, and going to the movies and the theatre. She's also a major Star Trek fan.

(Adapted from material on Singer's website.)

Selected Books

from Marilyn Singer

Face Relations: Eleven Stories About Seeing Beyond Color

Age Level: Teen

Eleven short stories written by well-known young adult authors explore issues of self-identity and race relations. Young adults will recognize their own worlds in these thought-provoking stories that range from heartrending to cheerful.

Buy Face Relations: Eleven Stories About Seeing Beyond Color

Monster Museum

Age Level: 9-12

A class takes a field trip to a museum that houses facsimiles of monsters like Count Dracula, Bigfoot, poltergeists, Medusa, mummies, zombies, werewolves, and The Blob. As their tour continues, one does wonder if the creatures are really replicas or are in fact quite real. Black-lined illustrations add detail, a bit of monster background and comedy.

Buy Monster Museum


Age Level: 9-12

Some animals use toxins for defense or protection. Many of these are clearly presented by habitat and species illustrated with dynamic, full-color photographs. Additional information and resources for further research are included in the sidebars.

Buy Venom