Jerry Spinelli

in Norristown, PA, The United States
February 01, 1941



When Jerry Spinelli was a kid, he wanted to grow up to be either a cowboy or a baseball player. Lucky for us he became a writer instead.

He grew up in rural Pennsylvania and went to college at Gettysburg College and Johns Hopkins University. He has published more than 25 books and has six children and 16 grandchildren.
Jerry Spinelli began writing when he was 16 — not much older than the hero of his book Maniac Magee. After his high school football team won a big game, his classmates ran cheering through the streets — all except Spinelli, who went home and wrote a poem about the victory. When his poem was published in the local paper, Spinelli decided to become a writer instead of a major-league shortstop.

In most of his books, Spinelli writes

Average rating: 3.8 · 581,519 ratings · 35,527 reviews · 67 distinct worksSimilar authors
Stargirl (Stargirl, #1)

3.76 avg rating — 307,761 ratings — published 2000 — 101 editions
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Maniac Magee

3.88 avg rating — 119,135 ratings — published 1990 — 53 editions
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Love, Stargirl (Stargirl, #2)

3.82 avg rating — 39,787 ratings — published 2007 — 36 editions
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4.01 avg rating — 25,959 ratings — published 2003 — 38 editions
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3.74 avg rating — 19,049 ratings — published 2002 — 35 editions
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3.64 avg rating — 13,855 ratings — published 1997 — 37 editions
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3.79 avg rating — 11,954 ratings — published 1996 — 32 editions
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3.61 avg rating — 9,918 ratings — published 2007 — 32 editions
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Jake and Lily

3.99 avg rating — 5,052 ratings — published 2012 — 16 editions
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Smiles to Go

3.76 avg rating — 4,939 ratings — published 2000 — 20 editions
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More books by Jerry Spinelli…
Stargirl Love, Stargirl
(2 books)
3.77 avg rating — 348,114 ratings

Report to the Principal's O... Do The Funky Pickle Who Ran My Underwear up the... Picklemania
(4 books)
3.68 avg rating — 2,026 ratings

Space Station Seventh Grade Jason and Marceline
(2 books)
3.81 avg rating — 1,035 ratings

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“She was elusive. She was today. She was tomorrow. She was the faintest scent of a cactus flower, the flitting shadow of an elf owl. We did not know what to make of her. In our minds we tried to pin her to a cork board like a butterfly, but the pin merely went through and away she flew.”
Jerry Spinelli, Stargirl

“Live today. Not yesterday. Not tomorrow. Just today. Inhabit your moments. Don’t rent them out to tomorrow. Do you know what you’re doing when you spend a moment wondering how things are going to turn out with Perry?

You’re cheating yourself out of today. Today is calling to you, trying to get your attention, but you’re stuck on tomorrow, and today trickles away like water down a drain. You wake up the next morning and that today you wasted is gone forever. It’s now yesterday. Some of those moments may have had wonderful things in store for you , but now you’ll never know.”
Jerry Spinelli, Love, Stargirl

“You’ll know her more by your questions than by her answers. Keep looking at her long enough. One day you might see someone you know.”
Jerry Spinelli, Stargirl


Look, I know most of you don't care, but which book should I read next?

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Topics Mentioning This Author

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Wild Things: YA G...: Fantastic Suggestions for Tweens (6th through 8th grade) 39 68 Jul 01, 2010 07:45AM  

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