Jacqueline Laks Gorman Biography (1955-)
Jacqueline Laks Gorman worked in the publishing business for more than ten years, including several years on the editorial staff of Macmillan Publishing Company, where she principally worked on the yearbooks and reference materials that accompanied Collier's Encyclopedia. She is the author of three book series, two for early readers and the other for older children.
The "People in My Community" series is designed for early readers. Each page spread includes a large photograph and one or two brief sentences in a large, easy-to-read typeface. Despite the limited amount of text, the books in this series provide basic information about six professions that can be found in almost any typical community. A wide cast of characters are used in the books, which depict ethnic and racial variety and females in what used to be traditionally male roles. The books are also published in bilingual English-Spanish versions.
In the "X Science" series, Gorman presents older children with explorations of unexplained mysteries. Like the "People in My Community" series, the books are compact and heavily illustrated with photographs and drawings, yet they provide, as Ann G. Brouse commented in her School Library Journal review of several books in the series, "more than might be expected." After a brief introduction to a subject such as the Loch Ness monster, Gorman discusses some of the research that has been conducted on the topic, along with any evidence that has been discovered and some of the theories that might explain the mystery. Her content is developed with the upper-elementary-grade reader in mind and is, therefore, somewhat abbreviated, but in each volume, Gorman provides a list of additional resources for the reader who wants to learn more.
Gorman told SATA: "Writing nonfiction is quite different from writing fiction. With fiction you are creating characters, situations, worlds. With nonfiction you are working with people and things that are or were. It's like putting a puzzle together. You have to find the pieces and see how they mesh. You might uncover some surprises, but you have to turn the pieces into a cohesive—hopefully entertaining and illuminating—whole."
Biographical and Critical Sources
School Library Journal, February, 2003, Ann G. Brouse, review of The Bermuda Triangle, Bigfoot, and The Loch Ness Monster, p. 130, and Helen Foster James, review of Dentist, Doctor, and Librarian, p. 131.
Brief BiographiesBiographies: E(mily) R. Frank (1967-) Biography - Personal to Martha Graham (1893–1991) BiographyJacqueline Laks Gorman (1955-) Biography - Personal, Addresses, Career, Writings, Sidelights