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Kathryn Lasky

As a child

As a child growing up in Indianapolis, Kathryn Lasky was designated a reluctant reader. “The truth was I didn’t like the kind of books they had you reading in school. So I made a voluntary withdrawal from reading books in school,” Kathryn explains. “But I loved the books my mom was reading to me – books like Peter Pan and The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.” Kathryn first realized she could be a writer when she was about ten years old, and her family was driving at night in their car with the top down. “The sky looked so interesting. You couldn’t see the stars because of these woolly clouds. And I said it looked like a sheepback sky. My mom turned around and said ‘Kathryn, you should be a writer.’”

As an adult

Kathryn says, “I think I have a great life as a writer. I am enjoying adulthood much more than childhood. I get to wear anything I want to work. I can go in my pyjamas if I want. My study is in my house. I set my own hours. What could be better.” She lives with her husband, filmmaker and photographer Christopher G. Knight, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA.

As an artist

A Newbery Award winning author, Kathryn writes both fiction and non-fiction, and has written more than forty books. “I am equally attracted to both types of writing because for me the most important thing is if a story is real. Real stories can be either fiction or non-fiction.” Kathryn’s non-fiction books for young readers are certainly diverse in subject, ranging from wildlife photography to weaving, maple syrup, and paleoanthropology. She has also written biographies, including A Voice of Her Own: The Story of Phillis Wheatley, Slave Poet and picture books, which include Love That Baby! “I am sure a lot of folks must think I’m rather scattered doing all these different books,” Kathryn admits. “"But to me, the whole part of being an artist is to get up every morning and reinvent the world.”

Things you didn't know about Kathryn Lasky

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