Finalist for 2019 Kraken Book Prize for Middle-Grade Fiction
Brenda Ferber got her first diary when she was ten years old, and she quickly realized that writing helped her figure out who she was and what she thought of the world around her. It was only natural that she should grow up to become an author. But first she sold French fries, then she sold ice cream, and then she attended the University of Michigan, where she graduated with honors and distinction. Brenda married her college sweetheart and worked in advertising until she had three kids in nineteen months. (Yes, there’s a set of twins in there.)
As a stay-at-home mom, Brenda began writing once again to figure out the world, this time seeing it through the eyes of her children. She soon sold stories to Ladybug Magazine. Her first novel for young readers, Julia’s Kitchen, was published by FSG. It was critically acclaimed and won the Sydney Taylor Book Award, among other honors. FSG also published her second novel, Jemma Hartman, Camper Extraordinaire, and Kirkus said of it, “For all the tweens who believe in BFF but find out, to their great disappointment, that it isn’t for everyone, this is the book for them.” Brenda’s picture book, The Yuckiest, Stinkiest Best Valentine Ever, illustrated by the great Tedd Arnold, was published by Dial, and The New York Times called it, “a boisterous, just sweet-enough comic caper.”
The inspiration for Brenda’s next novel for young readers came from her nieces, two girls she’s madly in love with. One niece earned the nickname Sunshine, for her joyful disposition, and the other has a quirky sense of humor, heart of gold, and some demanding special needs. When Brenda’s sister called one morning to tell her a story about her daughters that brought tears to her eyes, Brenda knew she had to write about it in order to figure out what it all meant. The story expanded and became Sing Something True, a book about a girl learning to assert herself in a sticky social situation while navigating the challenges, blessings, heartbreak, and humor that an older sister with special needs brings to her life.
Though a Chicago girl at heart, Brenda now splits her time between South Florida and New York City. When she isn’t writing, she volunteers as a counselor for Crisis Text Line, plays tennis, bakes cakes and cookies, sees as much live theater as possible, and travels the world with that fabulous college sweetheart of hers.