Laurie Miller Hornik Biography
Personal, Addresses, Career, Member, Honors Awards, Writings, Sidelights
Born 0027;s name Rob; Hobbies and other interests: Reading, long walks, spending time with family.
Agent—c/o Author Mail, Clarion Books, 215 Park Ave., New York, NY 10003.
Middle-school English teacher in New York, NY; writer.
North Carolina Children's Book Award, 2001, for The Secrets of Ms. Snickle's Class.
The Secrets of Ms. Snickle's Class, illustrated by Debbie Tilley, Clarion Books (New York, NY), 2001.
Zoo School, illustrated by Debbie Tilley, Clarion Books (New York, NY), 2004.
Author's books have been translated into German.
Middle school English teacher Laurie Miller Hornik is the author of two books that, not surprisingly, focus on school: Zoo School and The Secrets of Ms. Snickle's Class. A humorous story about third graders and an unconventional teacher, The Secrets of Ms. Snickle's Class focuses on freedom and trust. Although class rules specifically state that secrets must not be revealed, one student, Lacey, is determined to rock the boat. Using the Internet, as well as more devious means, Lacey uncovers all her classmate's hidden truths, but when she delves into her teacher's life she learns that sometimes keeping things secret is for the best. Noting that Ms. Snickle is "a wacky combination of Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle and Ms. Frizzle," teacher character from other popular children's books, School Library Journal contributor Terrie Dorio called The Secrets of Ms. Snickle's Class "an amusing read."
In Zoo School Ursula, Drake, and three other single-minded students enroll in an eccentric new school where, instead of books and tests, they learn from zookeepers who help them study the animals around them. Besides, they're really not sure who is in charge, because the principal, Ms. Font, never seems to be around. While the five classmates, who were chosen for the new school due to their own personality quirks, at first miss the structure of a normal school, they reconsider when school inspectors visit the school one day, and then shut it down the next. Joining forces in an effort to get Zoo School reopened, the children learn a valuable lesson in the process. "Hornik's characters are amusingly eccentric, and children will enjoy the idea of a classroom filled with animals," commented Kay Weisman in Booklist, while Jean Gaffney wrote in School Library Journal that Zoo School is "humorous" and "evenly paced." Gaffney went on to note that Hornik's "characters are clearly developed" in a novel that is "evenly paced," while a Publishers Weekly reviewer dubbed the book a "silly caper."
Biographical and Critical Sources
Booklist, June 1, 2004, Kay Weisman, review of Zoo School, p. 1726.
Instructor, November-December, 2001, Judy Freeman, review of The Secrets of Ms. Snickle's Class, p. 15.
Kirkus Reviews, May 15, 2004, review of Zoo School, p. 492.
Publishers Weekly, May 24, 2004, review of Zoo School, p. 62.
School Library Journal, August, 2001, Terrie Dorio, review of The Secrets of Ms. Snickle's Class, p. 154; June, 2004, Jean Gaffney, review of Zoo School, p. 110.
Houghton Mifflin Web site, http://www.houghtonmifflinbooks.com/ (February 27, 2005).
Laurie Miller Hornik Web site, http://www.lauriemillerhornik.com (February 27, 2005).
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