Prolific is the word that comes to mind when the name Marion Dane Bauer comes up. The author, who writes for both children and young adults, has a list of publishing credits a mile long (well, maybe half a mile) with everything from young adult novels to picture books to fiction and nonfiction chapter books. Her topics are equally diverse. Her characters grapple with family illness, death, complicated family relationships in her young adult novels, while she’s equally apt to take on pressing questions such as the reason kittens purr and what makes moms so special in her picture books.
And Bauer isn’t just passionate about writing, she also wants to pass on her accumulated literary wisdom. Her advice to young writers: “If you treat your writing as a hobby, that is all it is ever apt to be.” Bauer suggests that to make it as a writer you have to act like one, setting aside time. And she clearly follows her own advice. “I stumbled onto the contemporary novel for young people and knew I had found what I truly wanted to do. I sat down to try to write one.” The rest is, as they say, history.
Bauer’s titles are too many to name, but you can work your way backwards starting with her forthcoming early reader books on the Grand Canyon and Niagara Falls due this August.