Although Todd Strasser's name rarely appears on high school reading lists, he is one of the most productive and successful authors of young adult literature in the United States. He published his first novel at the age of twenty-nine and went on to write another thirteen books for teen-age readers in the following thirteen years. A great number of these novels have been honored by prestigious awards, including Best Books for Young Adults by the American Library Association for Friends Till the End and Rock 'n' Roll Nights. In addition to his fourteen books for young adult readers, Strasser has written one adult novel The Family Man, which was published in 1988.
Born on May 5, 1950, in New York City, Strasser represents the younger generation of young adult novelists. In the 1960s when the genre experienced a major shift towards a more realistic and truthful representation of adolescent life (for instance in the "problem" novel), Strasser was an adolescent himself.
After graduating from high school he earned his college degree at Beloit College in 1974. From 1974 to 1976 he worked as a reporter for the Middletown newspaper Times Herald Record and became a free-lance writer in 1975. Then he was employed as a copywriter by the Compton Advertising Company in New York for the next two years. In 1977 and 1978 he was a researcher for the magazine Esquire. Also in 1978, Strasser was the founding president of the New York City based fortune cookie company Toggle, Inc. Strasser married Pamela Older in 1981 and has one daughter. In his leisure time he likes to go fishing and skiing or to play tennis.
In order to keep up with his teen-age readers and their interests and problems he regularly accepts invitations to high schools all over the country and speaks at teachers' and librarians' conferences. He also likes to conduct writing workshops for adults and young adults.
Two of Strasser's novels have been adapted for television. Workin' for Peanuts was adapted as a Home Box Office "Family Showcase" presentation on cable television in 1985, and A Very Touchy Subject was broadcast as an "ABC After School Special" titled Can a Guy Say No? in 1986.
Strasser has contributed a number of short stories to periodicals, including the New York Times, Esquire, the New Yorker, and the Village Voice.
Todd Strasser was born May 5, 1950, in New York City. He says that he grew up rebelling against the "Establishment;" however, during high school, he tried most competitive sports and he attended Beloit College and graduated in 1974. Since then, he has had several jobs, including newspaper reporter (1974-1978), advertising copywriter (1976-1977), and researcher for Esquire magazine (1977-1978). In 1978, he founded a fortune-cookie company, and like Jeff Mead, the main character in Workin' for Peanuts, Strasser has also worked as a street vendor.
Strasser's first novel, Angel Dust Blues, was published in 1979 to mostly rave reviews. Since then, his books have won a variety of awards, including American Library Association Best Children's Trade Book in Social Studies selection for Friends Till the End. In 1981, Strasser married Pamela Older. Book selections for Friends Till the End and Rock n' Roll Nights, and a Notable Children's Trade Book in Social Studies selection for Friends Till the End. In 1981, Strasser married Pamela Older.
Todd Strasser was born in New York City on May 5, 1950. He recalls being a rebellious teenager. After graduating from Benoit College in 1974, he had a series of jobs which included street vendor, news reporter, and president of a fortune cookie manufacturer. He married Pamela Older in 1981. His first published novel for young adults, Angel Dust Blues, was well received by critics, and Strasser established himself during the 1980s as an extraordinarily productive and versatile writer of books for young people. He often visits high schools as part of his seemingly perpetual research into the interests, concerns, and activities of young adults.
Friends Till the End
(The entire section is 1,151 words.)