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Bruce Brooks

Biography

Bruce Brooks

Bruce Brooks, one of today's most acclaimed writers of young adult fiction, was born in Washington, DC on September 23, 1950, but spent most of his childhood in North Carolina. The child of divorced parents, he was constantly adapting to two different lifestyles, urban and rural southern. Frequently changing schools in the middle of the school year made him overcome his shyness because he had to make friends quickly. His childhood provided him with rich material for his young adult fiction.

Brooks graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1972 and from the University of Iowa Writer's Workshop in 1980. His work as a reporter for magazines and newspapers as well as numerous hobbies and interests --- such as music, nature study, sports, and reading --- all show up in his stories.

Bruce Brooks's first novel, THE MOVES MAKE THE MAN, started the author's long-term commitment to young adult writing that crosses over into adult enjoyment. Jerome Foxworthy, "The Jayfox," is an intelligent narrator who tells the story of Bix Braxton Rivers the Third with accuracy. He examines his friendship with the unlikely white boy and tries to help him. However, he finds that all his efforts cannot solve Bix's problems.

In the chilling VANISHING, Alice is willing herself to die --- refusing to eat, getting thinner and more transparent, sometimes floating away from her body. Her hospital roommate, Rex, The Prince of Remission, gives her advice. "Take any life you can. Doesn't matter. Because...just between us, tell you: Dying sucks." Will she be able to follow his advice and take charge of her life?

Again Brooks explores the human mind in ASYLUM FOR NIGHTFACE. Fourteen-year-old Zimmerman has a comfortable relationship with God. However, his wealthy parents don't understand Zimmerman's quiet God who looks like an Arab, especially after they join a cult and proclaim Zimmerman a boy saint. The path Zimmerman chooses to find asylum will surprise everyone.

MIDNIGHT HOUR ENCORES is a sensitive and factual look at a teenage cello prodigy, Sibilance T. Spooner. If you're a musician, especially a cellist, you'll love the accuracy. If you're into '60s and '70s music, you'll rejoice with Sibilance T. Spooner's father, Taxi, who buys a van in which to drive cross-country to California because "it has a great soul." The surprise ending is worth waiting for.

Bruce Brooks started writing in the fifth grade, and his first books were comics. As the drawings got smaller and the text predominated, he decided that maybe his talents lay more in writing than in drawing. Brooks says that he writes stories about families --- and features young heroes and heroines. "Teenage people usually know and understand a great deal more of the truth in any situation than the adults around them can assess."

Brooks has the unique ability to be able to plan his plots and the interactions of his characters before he sits down to write a first draft. Thus, the book is about half-finished in his head by the time he starts writing.

He has won many awards, among them being Best Book of 1984 and 1986 by School Library Journal, Notable book of the year New York Times (1984), the Horn Book Fanfare Honor List book (1987), and a Newbery Honor from ALA (1985).

Other books by Bruce Brooks are: NO KIDDING, EVERYWHERE, WHAT HEARTS, BOYS WILL BE, EACH A PIECE, and THROWING SMOKE.

Bruce Brooks