You know how people talk about whether athletes are GOAT (Greatest Of All Time)? I wonder if this can apply to authors. Authors like Beverly Cleary, who delighted readers for decades with over 91 million copies sold around the world. She’s well known for stories like the Ramona series and The Mouse and the Motorcycle . Beverly Cleary often talked about how she got her story inspiration “From my own experience and from the world around me.” Beverly Cleary died at the end of March at the age of 104.
With more authors writing stories about their own experiences, as Beverly Cleary did, I thought it would be fun to anticipate authors that have the potential to fall in that GOAT category. I asked the Youth Department team to list some of their favorites.
Last Stop on Market Street took the world by storm when it surprisingly won the Newbery Award for best writing in 2016. He’s got a new book out called Milo Imagines the World that is getting a lot of award buzz.
Grace Lin has written everything from board books to picture books, and it’s all fabulous. We recommend A Big Mooncake for Little Star and Where the Mountain Meets the Moon. Grace Lin is an important advocate for #ownvoices stories and an increase in diverse stories.
With stories like Ghost, Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You, and Long Way Down, Jason Reynolds is an award-winning author that speaks to kids.
If you have graphic novel fans at home, you’ve probably seen a few Rania books. She’s got books like Guts, which is an #ownvoices story about anxiety, and popular remakes of The Baby-Sitters Club.
Jaqueline Woodson is another author who has everything from board books to adult fiction titles. Brown Girl Dreaming is one of my favorite memoirs.
Gary Paulsen is well known for adventure stories like Hatchet. He says: “I liked writing Hatchet because it felt real to me, everything that happened to Brian, in some form or another, had happened to me and I think that made Brian’s experience seem as if the readers were alongside him as they were reading.”
These authors have the potential to be “legendary” authors in a few decades because their stories resonate with children and adults alike. We highly recommend you explore these authors!