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Holly Webb: Biography, Facts & Books

Instructor: Christina Boggs

Chrissy has taught secondary English and history and writes online curriculum. She has an M.S.Ed. in Social Studies Education.

Holly Webb is a popular children's book author, but how exactly did she get her start? In this lesson, you will learn about Webb's early life, how she became a writer, and some of her popular works.

Growing Up

Holly Webb was born in 1976 in London, England. Although she grew up primarily in the southeast part of the city, she spent a lot of time on England's east coast in a place called Suffolk. Webb's house was very pet-friendly--her family owned several dogs and cats, and even a bunch of gerbils. One of her family's dogs, an English bull terrier named Rosie, was especially grouchy. If you have any pets of your own, you probably know that they have very distinct personalities! Having such a love for animals is one of Webb's most significant inspirations as a writer.

College and Early Career

As a kid, Webb loved reading and was fascinated by Greek mythology. Stories about Greek gods and their crazy escapades captured her attention and eventually led her to study Greek at Cambridge University. Along with Greek, she also studied Latin and the Classics, or texts written by Ancient Greeks and Romans. Her first job out of college was at Scholastic Children's Books. It was a familiar place for her--when she was 15 years old, she spent time at Scholastic as part of a work-study program and loved the experience. As a child, her dream was not to be an editor or a writer, but she did consider becoming a librarian or an archaeologist.

As an editor, Webb was responsible for reading the work of different authors. Working like an editor is very similar to when you proofread a paper for a classmate: she read each text or story and gave feedback on how to make it better. As part of her job, she and other editors sometimes came up with ideas for books that they could then give to their authors to write. At one of these brainstorming sessions, Webb came up with the idea for a series about identical girl triplets, but her imagination did not stop there. Before she knew it, she had already come up with names and personalities for each of the sisters. At that point, she knew that she would much rather write the Triplets series than let someone else expand upon her ideas. Webb wrote the first Triplets book called Becky's Terrible Term when she was 28. Most of her writing happened while she was commuting to and from work. Can you imagine writing papers for school in a crowded train car?

The Write Life

Shortly after the first Triplets book, Webb became a mother and decided to leave editing so she could be with her family. But this was not the end of her career in children's literature. She began writing children's books from the perspective of animals and their owners. This unique take on the human-animal bond proved to very engaging for young readers, especially because her books explain what the animals are thinking and feeling. Who wouldn't want to hear what a cute puppy or kitten has to say? Some of Webb's most popular animal books include Buttons the Runaway Puppy and Lost in the Snow. She's also written two popular series called Animalmagic and My Naughty Puppy. The My Naughty Puppy series follows a simple formula: each book has a problem or obstacle the characters have to overcome and the solution to their problem helps teach readers about the responsibility and joy of owning a pet.

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