Hi! I write books about kids finding their place in the world. Even as a young girl, I was always trying to find my place. The right book is a way of doing that. I’ll never forget how I felt reading A Wrinkle in Time. I immediately felt a connection with Meg Murry and her thick glasses and mouth full of braces. Meg Murry was fiercely independent. She did not try to be like anyone else. Armed with her own smarts and imperfect love, she saved her father and she saved the world. It made me think, If Meg Murry could be so brave, then maybe…just maybe…
Growing up, my world was colored by my grandparents’ stories. My grandmother Irene’s experience of immigrating to a confusing and often prejudiced new world. And my grandmother, Miriam, who with my Aunt Hazel ran a farm and raised three girls all on their own.
Sometimes, we can’t know how brave we are until everything in our world is disrupted – a mom ends up in jail, a girl is plucked from her comfortable world and tossed into one where all the rules have changed. Sometimes we find ourselves alone and scared.
It is in these times that we are challenged: Give up or stand up.
So these are my stories. Stories of kids losing everything in the hopes of gaining everything. I hope that when you read them, maybe you will see a little of your own self in Ruby and Ahmed and Petra and Jožko, and you will realize how truly brave you are!
J ZULICK FERRUOLO
Her middle grade novel, Ruby in the Sky has won the SCBWI Work-in-progress Award in the Middle Grade Category (2016), the PEN-New England, Susan Bloom Discovery Award (2016), the Tassy Walden, New Voices in Children’s Literature Award (2015), and the Ruth Landers Glass Scholarship at the spring NE-SCBWI conference (2016). She is currently working on another middle grade novel, The Prisoner’s Daughter, set in communist Czechoslovakia in 1989.
A breast cancer survivor, Jeanne has been a public defender, taught English at the Gymnazium Parovska in Nitra, Slovakia, worked on Capitol Hill and waited tables at an all-night café/bookstore in Washington, D.C.
She is a member of SCBWI and has attended numerous writing conferences, most notably: Rutgers One-on-one Plus, namelos, Patricia Reilly Giff’s Writing Class, Whispering Pines and the Time to Write Retreat.
In both her writing and her work, giving a voice to the voiceless, remains her greatest priority.