Sharon Creech

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Last Updated on May 7, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 445

Sharon Creech was born July 29, 1945, in Cleveland, Ohio. She grew up as part of a "big, noisy family... with hordes of relatives telling stories around the kitchen table," she explained in the Seventh Book of Junior Authors & Illustrators. She was an enthusiastic writer all through her school years and loved paper, pencils, and pens. A voracious reader, she was particularly interested in American Indian myths, Greek myths, and the King Arthur legends.

Creech earned a bachelor's degree from Hiram College, a master's from George Mason University in Washington, D.C., then worked at the Federal Theater Project Archives, and as an editor at the Congressional Quarterly. In 1979, as a divorced mother of two children, she accepted a teaching position in Thorpe, England, at the TASIS England American School. There she met Lyle D. Rigg, head master, and three years later they married.

Creech lived in Europe for twenty-plus years but maintained her American citizenship and a summer home at Chautauqua Lake, New York. She and her husband recently returned to the United States and live near Princeton, New Jersey. Most of that time she has taught at the international school in England and its sister school in Switzerland. Experiences from that period prompted her to write about the effect those schools and places had on her and her family and all the students she has met over the years. Bloomability was the result.

In "A Guide to Teaching Sharon Creech's Walk Two Moons, Chasing Redbird, and Bloomability," Creech makes these statements about herself. "I have a tremendous affection for the people I grew up with and the places I've lived. My rowdy and noisy family was definitely the model for the. . . Taylors in Chasing Redbird. I have three brothers and one sister. When I was growing up LOADS of relatives and friends were always roaming through the house."

Creech says that much of her inspiration comes from her time spent at school:

Some of my material comes from my experiences with students. Seeing students here at our school going through such angst brings back vivid memories of that tumbling time! As a teenager, I always thought that everyone else knew something that I didn't; that there must be a manual out there that I didn't have access to! I still feel that way some days.

For Walk Two Moons I leaned heavily on two things from my own childhood: one was an early love of Native American mythology and the second was a trip my family took from Ohio to Idaho in 1957. Sal's trek across the U.S. was a way for me to write about parents and children, and about my home country.

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