Sharon Creech: Biography, Books & Poems

Instructor: Dori Starnes

Dori has taught college and high school English courses, and has Masters degrees in both literature and education.

Sharon Creech is an American author of Young Adult books. She is best known for the 1995 Newbury Medal book, 'Walk Two Moons.' Creech writes books and poetry based off experiences she's had in her own life. This lesson will cover the biography, books, and poems of Sharon Creech.

Sharon Creech is best known for her Newbery Award winning novel, Walk Two Moons. This lesson will cover the biography, books, and poetry of Sharon Creech.

Sharon Creech in 2009
Sharon Creech in 2009

Creech's Childhood and Inspiration

Sharon Creech was born on July 29, 1945 in South Euclid, Ohio. She describes her family as 'noisy and rowdy' and bases the characters in her book, Absolutely Normal Chaos, on them. She has one sister and three brothers, and growing up, her house was full of friends and relatives.

As a child, Creech often traveled to Quincy, Kentucky to visit cousins. Here, the Creeches stayed at a farm, with many things she didn't have in the suburban South Euclid. This town appears as the fictional Bybanks, Kentucky in her books, Walk Two Moons, Chasing Redbird, and Bloomability.

Much of Creech's work is based on things that happened to her in her life. For example, as a child of 12, she took a 5-day road trip across the country with her family. They ended up in Idaho. She recreates that trip through the eyes of Sal in Walk Two Moons.

While Sharon was working as a high school teacher in England and Switzerland, she started writing. Her first two novels, The Recital and Nickel Malley were published in England for adults. After that, she decided to write for a younger audience. Her first young adult novel was Absolutely Normal Chaos. With her novel Walk Two Moons, Creech made the jump to publishing in America. When it was awarded the Newbury Medal, Creech says no one was more surprised than she was.

Creech lived abroad for 18 years before returning to America. She is married to Lyle Rigg, and they have two grown children, Rob and Karin. Creech and her husband live in Maine.

Creech's Young Adult Novels

Absolutely Normal Chaos is Mary Lou Finney's school project, a summer journal. Mary Lou's summer turns out to be anything but boring, and she records it all. Absolutely Normal Chaos was Creech's first young adult novel and is based on experiences she had with her own family. It was named one of New York Public Library's '100 Titles for Reading and Sharing.'

Walk Two Moons is the story of Salamanca Tree Hiddle. Sal is travelling across the country with her grandparents, and to pass the time, she tells them the story of her friend, Phoebe Winterbottom, and reveals her own story. Among the awards Walk Two Moons has won are the 1995 Newbury Medal and the Parents' Choice Gold Award.

The Wanderer is the story of Sophie and her journey across the ocean on a sailboat with her uncle and cousins. The Wanderer was a Newbery Honor book in 2000, a New York Times bestseller, and an ALA Best Book for Young Adults.

Chasing Redbird is the story of 13-year-old Zinny. Zinny discovers a trail in the woods behind her family's house and makes it her summer project. Uncovering the trail, she uncovers lessons about herself. Chasing Redbird was an ALA Best Book for Young Adults and a Parents' Choice Silver Honor book.

Bloomability is the story of an American girl who is sent to boarding school in Switzerland by her aunt and uncle. Creech based this story on her experience teaching at the American School in Switzerland. Bloomability won the Parenting Magazine Reading Magic Award and the Chicago Public Library Best Book.

Picture Books

Creech has written three picture books:

A Fine, Fine School is illustrated by Harry Bliss. It is the story of a principal who loves his school so much, he wants to have school all the time - Saturdays, Sundays, summer. A Fine, Fine School was a New York Times Bestseller.

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