Robin Friedman (1968–) Biography
Personal, Addresses, Career, Writings, Sidelights
Born 1968, in Israel; Education: Rutgers University, M.A. (education); attended Temple University School of Law.
Agent—c/o Author Mail, Houghton Mifflin, 222 Berkeley St., Boston, MA 02116-3764.
Author and editor. Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ, former copy editor; Walker and Company, New York, NY, former children's book editor; Hyperion Press, New York, NY, former editor. part-time advertising copywriter.
How I Survived My Summer Vacation: And Lived to Write the Story, Front Street/Cricket Books (Chicago, IL), 2000.
The Silent Witness, Houghton Mifflin (Boston, MA), 2005.
Contributor of articles to newspapers, including New Jersey Star-Ledger, New Jersey Monthly, and Daily Record.
Growing up, Robin Friedman loved to write, but it was not until after she had worked as an editor in New York City and attended a year of law school that she finally decided to pursue a career as a children's book author. Beginning her writing career in 2000, Friedman is the author of How I Survived My Summer Vacation: And Lived to Write the Story and The Silent Witness.
How I Survived My Summer Vacation follows thirteen-year-old Jackie as he prepares to hunker down and spend the summer before starting high school writing the next "great American novel." While Jackie has high expectations, he cannot seem to conquer a persistent case of writer's block. As if that were not enough to stand in the way of his ambitious undertaking, Jackie's summer is dotted with a succession of distracting events that constantly interrupt his noble attempt to become a famous author: a budding love affair, swim team meets, and adventures with his less-literary-minded friends. According to Timothy Capehart, writing in School Library Journal, "all the characters and situations" in Friedman's first novel are "realistic," while Booklist contributor Linda Perkins also enjoyed the book, stating that while Jackie's "sophisticated commentary occasionally stretches credibility, … the exaggerated characters and broad humor have a cinematic quality."
In The Silent Witness: A True Story of the Civil War Friedman presents young readers with a picture book set during the mid-nineteenth-century battle between the North and South. By 1861 narrator Lula McLean's family home in Manassas, Virginia has become General Beauregard's headquarters. As she and her family endure the war going on around them, Lula bears witness to the proceedings, and is present when Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrenders at the McLean's second home in Appomattox Court House in 1865. "Friedman expertly weaves the major facts of the Civil War into her narrative, always returning to Lula's experiences as a touchstone" commented a critic in Kirkus Reviews.
Biographical and Critical Sources
Booklist, August, 2000, Linda Perkins, review of How I Survived My Summer Vacation: And Lived to Write the Story, p. 2131.
Horn Book, May-June, 2005, Betty Carter, review of The Silent Witness: A True Story of the Civil War, p. 349.
Kirkus Reviews, May 1, 2005, review of The Silent Witness, p. 538.
School Library Journal, June, 2000, Timothy Capehart, review of How I Survived My Summer Vacation, p. 146.
Robin Friedman Home Page, http://www.robinfriedman.com (June 11, 2005).
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