Dan Gutman was born in a log cabin in Illinois, and used to write by candlelight with a piece of chalk on a shovel. Wait a minute—that was Abraham Lincoln. Actually, Dan grew up in New Jersey and now lives in New York City with his wife, Nina.
As a boy, Dan didn't like reading, but loved sports. So naturally, he grew up to write sports books for reluctant readers.
In 1994, Dan cooked up a novel about a boy who finds the most valuable baseball card in the world, and discovers he has the power to travel through time using a baseball card like a time machine. The result was Honus & Me. Rejected by ten publishers over two years, the book was finally published in 1997 by HarperCollins Children's Books.
Honus & Me was nominated for eleven state book awards, made into a play and a TV movie, and established Dan Gutman as an emerging name in middle grade fiction. Most importantly, it allowed Dan to avoid getting a real job.
The success of Honus & Me jumpstarted the twelve-book Baseball Card Adventures series, which has sold more than 1.5 million copies around the world.
In his insatiable quest for world domination, Dan turned toward younger kids with the My Weird School series. Aimed at beginning readers, the My Weird School books describe a school in which the kids are normal but the teachers are all insane. Each book focuses on a different adult and titles include Miss Daisy Is Crazy!, Mr. Klutz Is Nuts!, Mrs. Cooney Is Loony!, Miss Lazar Is Bizarre!, Ms. Todd Is Odd!, Mr. Macky Is Wacky!, Ms. Coco Is Loco!, and Mr. Louie Is Screwy! (The titles rhyme, you see).
There are now over fifty titles in the My Weird School juggernaut, across four series arcs, five after-school specials, and one hilarious writing guide. My Weird School, My Weird School Daze, and My Weirder School have been cracking up kids for more than ten years and have sold more than 9.5 million copies—and there's no doubt that they are the best early reader books in the history of the world. My Weird School is now getting even weirder with the newest story arc, My Weirdest School. Book #5 in this arc, Miss Daisy Is Still Crazy!, features the teacher from the very first My Weird School book!
In the midst of all this weirdness, Dan was hit with a burst of genius, which soon developed into a new action-packed series called The Genius Files, featuring thirteen-year-old boy and girl twins named Coke and Pepsi McDonald, who take an adventure-filled road trip across the United States. The five-book series concludes with a bang in The Genius Files: License to Thrill.
Most recently, Dan has returned to his Illinois roots and penned a middle grade series where fascinating real history meets a hilarious adventure called Flashback Four, about four kids selected by a mysterious billionaire to travel through time to photograph history's most important real life events. Their journey begins in Flashback Four #1: The Lincoln Project at the site of the Gettysburg Address in 1863.
Meet the Men Behind the Pictures: Dan’s Illustrators!
Sure, Dan can write weird and wonderful stories…but what about those awesome illustrations? Read Dan’s interviews with art-smart guys Jim Paillot, illustrator of the My Weird School series, and Steve Chorney, illustrator of the Baseball Card Adventures series.
World of Dan Gutman | Meet Dan Gutman
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