James Cross Giblin was born on July 8, 1933, in Cleveland, Ohio, the son of Edward Kelley Giblin, a lawyer, and Anna Giblin, a teacher. He grew up in nearby Painesville. A shy child, he led a rather introverted life in his early school years. In junior high he began to conquer his shyness by working on the school paper. The paper was started by his ninth-grade English teacher, who encouraged him to come out of his isolation and work with his classmates.
In his high school years, Giblin became interested in theater after getting a part in the play Outward Bound. He went on to play several roles in Harvey High School's drama productions, and he was cast in the small but funny role of the Lost Private in a professional production of the comedy At War with the Army at Rabbit Run.
Once out of high school Giblin studied drama for a semester at Northwestern University and then transferred to Western Reserve University (now Case Western Reserve University) near his parents' home. There he starred in a number of stage productions. He later earned an M.F.A. in playwriting from Columbia University in New York.
Giblin worked for a time as a special order clerk at the British Book Centre, then joined the staff of Criterion Books in 1959, first as a publicity director and later as an editor. Giblin found that he especially enjoyed editing children's books, and he moved to Lothrop, Lee, and Shepard in 1962. At Lothrup, having edited J. J. McCoy's career book The World of the Veterinarian , Giblin decided to write his own works for children. Though his first attempts were unsuccessful, Giblin's articles on children's books were being accepted by...
(The entire section is 410 words.)