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Amy Hest

As a child

Amy secretly aspired to be a writer from an early age, but, she says, “I never thought my life was exciting enough for a writer. I didn’t have any fantastic adventures. I didn’t run away from home. I actually got along with my parents. I was such a goody two-shoes that I couldn’t help but wonder what other kid would want to read anything I wrote.” But her passion for books must have been apparent to all who knew her. Born in New York City and raised on Long Island, she worked in a library as a page from the age of sixteen. “I wanted the job so badly that I went to the director’s office every single day after school to tell him so,” she says. “Finally one day he called me to say that he had moved my application to the top of the pile and would keep it there if that meant I wouldn’t come by to bother him the next day.”

As an adult

Amy worked as a children’s librarian in the New York Public Library system in the early 1970s, and then for years in children’s book publishing. She wrote all during this time, still not sharing her ambition with the world, not even with her publishing co-workers! Today, Amy is the highly versatile author of more than thirty books for young readers, many of which affectionately address family and intergenerational themes.

As an artist

Most of Amy’s books take place close to home, in New York, where she and her husband live. “One of the things I love about working at home is the proximity to the refrigerator,” she says. “If you are going to be a writer, you need to have a lot of ice cream. When I have a bad writer’s day--and that happens a lot--a spoonful of ice cream perks me up. And when you have a good writer’s day, you need a reward.”


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