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Happy Birthday, Jack Gantos!

Gantos was born on July 2, 1951 in Mount Pleasant, Pennsylvania. His family moved around a lot during his childhood, and Gantos struggled to adjust to different school environments. In spite of this, Gantos developed an early love of reading and writing. By junior high, he was an avid observer of his classmates and neighbors, collecting stories about them in his notebook.

In college, Gantos teamed up with illustrator friend Nicole Rubel to work on picture books. Together they published their first book, Rotten Ralph, in 1976. The book launched Gantos’ career as a writer. He continues to write humorous and accessible books for kids of all ages, in addition to teaching courses on children’s literature.

rotten ralph cover

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