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Sharlee Glenn Biography - Personal, Addresses, Career, Member, Writings, Sidelights

roo keeping children author

(Sharlee Mullins Glenn)

Personal

Born in Vernal, UT; Education: Brigham Young University, B.A., M.A. (English and art history). Hobbies and other interests: Reading, hiking, listening to classical music, playing racquetball, jumping on the trampoline.

Addresses

Agent—c/o Author Mail, G. P. Putnam, 375 Hudson St., New York, NY 10014.

Career

Educator and author. Brigham Young University, Provo, UT, former instructor; freelance writer.

Member

Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators.

Writings

(As Sharlee Mullins Glenn) Circle Dance (novel), Bookcraft (Salt Lake City, UT), 1998.

(As Sharlee Mullins Glenn) One in a Billion, Horizon Publishers, 2002.

Keeping up with Roo, illustrated by Dan Andreasen, G. P. Putnam (New York, NY), 2004.

Just What Mama Needs, G. P. Putnam (New York, NY), 2006.

Contributor to periodicals, including Cricket, Ladybug, and Friend.

Sidelights

Utah-born author Sharlee Glenn graduated from Brigham Young University, where she later taught English and art history for several years before leaving to become a full-time author. Her experiences growing up in a large extended family have translated themselves into her books for young readers, which include the picture book Just What Mama Needs, about an imaginative puppy that adopts a new identity for every day of the week, as well as the novels Circle Dance and Keeping up with Roo.

Keeping up with Roo introduces readers to a girl named Gracie, who has grown close to her mentally challenged, childlike Aunt Roo throughout her childhood. However, when Gracie goes away to school and interacts with other adults, she quickly realized how different her aunt actually is. At first ashamed of her aunt's condition, by bringing school friend Sarah home with her one day and introducing the girl to her home and family, Gracie suddenly realizes how important Roo has been in her life and introduces Sarah to her aunt with pride. A Kirkus Reviews critic wrote that Glenn's novel has "an interesting premise," while Julie Roach, writing in School Library Journal, commented that "children may glean something positive from this honest depiction of Gracie's acceptance of her aunt." Ilene Cooper noted in a Booklist review of Keeping up with Roo that readers whose families include "older developmentally challenged relative[s] will know the odd sensation of growing mentally beyond someone who is chronologically older," adding that the author "does a good job" illustrating Gracie's mixed-up emotions.

In an interview for the Utah Children Writers & Illustrators Web site Glenn had some advice for budding writers: "If you want to write for children, you have to love (and understand) children, you have to love (and understand) children's books, and you have to know the business. Join SCBWI [the Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators], do your homework, read, read, read, and interact with kids, then get out there and WRITE."

Biographical and Critical Sources

PERIODICALS

Booklist, January 1, 2004, Ilene Cooper, review of Keeping up with Roo, p. 876.

Kirkus Reviews, February 1, 2004, review of Keeping up with Roo, p. 133.

School Library Journal, March, 2004, Julie Roach, review of Keeping up with Roo, p. 169.

ONLINE

Sharlee Glenn Web site, http://www.sharleeglenn.com (February 27, 2005).

Utah Childrens Writers & Illustrators Web site, http://ucwi.org/ (February 27, 2005), interview with Glenn.*

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