Children's book writer, Jackie French Koller, was born of noble lineage in a Native American longhouse in the woods of New England. As she grew she lived, among other places, in a great castle on England, in an orphanage, in a covered wagon heading west, in outer space, and in the jungles of Africa, where she was exuberantly courted by Tarzan.
These are all lies of course, but they are also all true, because, as a child, Jackie French Koller lived as vividly inside her own imagination as she did inside the four walls of the various houses that she shared with her mother, father, and three brothers and sisters. She didn't know at that time that she wanted to be a writer when she grew up. No one told her that she could. There were really only two career choices for girls in those days. She could be a nurse, or a teacher. Neither option really caught her fancy, so off she went, rather unenthusiastically, to college, where she leap-frogged from major to major, never really finding her niche. She finally graduated with a double major in child development and interior design, and promptly went to work in the insurance industry. There she stayed until her first child was born.
That event opened her eyes, not only to the joys of motherhood, but also to the joys of children's books. In sharing books with her daughter, Jackie's long dormant imagination began to be reborn. Soon she found herself scribbling down stories of her own. After two more children and many, many more stories, she knew beyond a doubt what she wanted to be "when she grew up." An author.
The road to publication would prove long and arduous, but once started on the path she never wavered. Finally, in 1989, sixteen years after she had written that very first story for her daughter, IMPY FOR ALWAYS was published. Since then, over two dozen books have followed with many more in the works.
Now, Jackie French Koller lives, from time to time, in a longhouse in the woods of New England, in a tenement flat in the bowels of New York, in a tiny house under the roots of an ancient oak, in a spooky old house that she shares with a monster, in a tiny cottage on the coast of Maine in the dead of winter, with a dragon in distant, alien world, and, oh yes, with her family on a mountain in Western Massachusetts.
You can find out more about Jackie's books, or support your club by ordering online by clicking on the title!
In The Falcon, Seventeen-year-old Luke has been having more and more accidents lately, and getting into more and more trouble. Luke can't understand why all this is happening. Is the answer to be found in the here and now, or deep in the buried thoughts of another accident long ago? Atheneum Books - Ages 12 up
A Place to Call Home: Anna, a fatherless, biracial fifteen-year-old, is intent on keeping her mother's disappearance a secret from authorities so that she and her younger brother and sister won't be separated. Her hard-fought struggle is admirable, but the romance that develops between Anna and a handsome classmate seems a little too convenient, and the present-tense first person narrative is somewhat awkward. -- Copyright (c) 1996 The Horn Book, Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the school edition of this title.
A Dragon in the Family: By befriending the baby dragon Zantor, Darek, anxious to win his father's respect, has discovered that people have nothing to fear from dragons; unfortunately, many villagers are not eager to give up fighting their traditional enemies.
Last Voyage of the Misty Day: After her father dies, fourteen-year-old Denny Townsend and her mother move to a remote island off the coast of Maine. Filled with resentment and loneliness, Denny decides to explore the Misty Day, a boat that has been shrouded in mystery for thirty years. When Denny befriends the old man living on the boat, she discovers important things about herself. -- Copyright (c) 1992 The Horn Book, Inc. All rights reserved.
You can also check out Jackie's wonderful website at Jackie's Bookshelf
Thanks to Jackie. K, from Massachusetts for writing this article and sharing who she is with girls, and to Angela O., 6th grade, CA, for editing this article.
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