IntroductionJim Murphy has written over thirty well-received books for young adults. His work has a historical focus, and he specializes in both fiction and nonfiction. Murphy started out as an adventurous boy with no interest in writing...until a teacher mentioned that he was forbidden to read Ernest Hemingway’s A Farewell to Arms. He, of course, read it and soon grew to love books of all kinds. After studying at Rutgers University and Radcliffe College, Murphy went to work in juvenile publishing, first as an editorial secretary and eventually as a managing editor. He left to publish his first book, Weird and Wacky Inventions, in 1978. Murphy’s writing has since won numerous awards: two ALA Newbery Honor Book Awards, The Washington Post Children’s Book Guild Award for Distinguished Nonfiction, and the Boston Globe Horn Book Award.
- In elementary school, he began writing and illustrating his own comic books, but as an adult he lost confidence in his abilities. After eight years of working as an editor, he tried his hand at writing again and found success.
- Murphy has described himself as a loud child who loved sports.
- Murphy is married to Alison Blank, a children’s television producer and author of her own children’s books.
- Murphy enjoys researching his books more than he likes actually writing them. It often takes him several years before a work is ready to be edited.
- Murphy has two sons and several pets, including an African water frog.
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