Photo by Ronni Diamondstein

 Roni Schotter is the award-winning author of 30 books for children, including picture books and story picture books for middle readers, as well as middle-grade and young adult novels. Her books are concerned with imagination and its power, the extraordinary courage of children who think for themselves and “dare to reach out to the larger world.”

 Born in New York City, Roni Schotter lived for a time in Brooklyn, New York, then moved to the state that had the smallest piece on her jig-saw puzzle map--Rhode Island.  There she learned to love johnny cakes and the sea.

She says, “I never knew I would grow up to be a writer, but I knew that I loved words—their mystery, meaning and power. I was shy and spent a good amount of time watching and listening to the world, using my imagination to make sense of what I saw and heard. Now that I’m a grown-up and an author, I still do the same thing. Like a detective, I listen, look and sniff the world, then I write about whatever excites or puzzles me—in my notebooks. I daydream . . . a lot . . . and use my imagination to create my many stories.”

Ms. Schotter’s books have won various awards, including the Parents Choice Award (for The Boy Who Loved Words and Captain Snap and the Children of Vinegar Lane), the Hungry Mind Review Award (for A Fruit and Vegetable Man), and the Washington Irving Children’s Choice Award (for F is for Freedom and Nothing Ever Happens on 90th Street.) Dreamland and A Fruit and Vegetable Man were cited as Washington Irving Honor Book Awards.  In 1991 Ms. Schotter received the National Jewish Book Award for Hanukkah!  Passover Magic was cited by the National Council of Teachers of Social Studies as a “Notable Children’s Trade Book in the Field of Social Studies.”  Nothing Ever Happens on 90th Street was cited by the National Council of Teachers of English as a “Notable Children’s Trade Book in Language Arts.”  Her first book, the young-adult novel, A Matter of Time, was made into an ABC After School Special and won an Emmy Award.  Several other books have been adapted for the stage by Stages Theatre Company--Hopkins, Minn.

       Many of her books have received starred reviews in School Library Journal, including The Boy Who Loved Words, Mama, I’ll Give You the World, and Captain Snap and the Children of Vinegar Lane and Dreamland (also cited by the Child Study Assoc. and named as an Honor Book for the Irma Simonton Black Award by Bank Street College of Education).  About Nothing Ever Happens on 90th Street,  SLJ said, “Schotter offers blocked young writers some savvy advice . . .[in a] fluently told tale.” About The Boy Who Loved Words, SLJ said, “Schotter blends magical realism with a tongue-tingling narrative to create an ode to the power and purpose of language.  An inspiring choice for wordsmiths and anyone who cherishes the variety and vitality of language,”

        In the past, Ms. Schotter worked as a children’s book editor for various publishers.  She has also taught writing at Queens College, C.U.N.Y., at Manhattanville College, and privately.  She has been a guest speaker at Vassar College’s Summer Institute in Children’s Publishing, and at annual conferences of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.

        These days, she does a good deal of speaking in schools to children--fellow writers--about the art and craft of writing and the importance and pleasure of using their imagination to tell their own stories.

        Roni Schotter was born in New York City and grew up in Pawtucket, Rhode Island.  She attended Carnegie Mellon University and graduated from New York University with a B.A. in English.  She lives in a small village north of New York City with her husband, a playwright/lyricist and professor. She has one grown-up son, Jesse, a novelist and professor, who loves writing and reading as much as she and her husband do.