Laurie Morrison taught middle school for ten years and now writes middle grade novels. Laurie is the coauthor of Every Shiny Thing and the author of Up for Air, Saint Ivy, and Coming Up Short. Her next book, Keeping Pace, is forthcoming in April 2024 from Amulet Books. Laurie’s books have received starred reviews and been chosen as Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selections and finalists for state award lists. She holds an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts, and she lives with her family in Philadelphia.
I’ve always loved stories: reading them, listening to them, and telling them. In fact, my youngest brother’s earliest memory turns out to be a far-fetched tale I once made up, in which someone dropped him down our basement stairs and I, his heroic big sister, stopped bouncing around on my blue Hop-66 ball and rushed over to catch him, thereby saving his life. (I seem to have understood at an early age that compelling stories require vivid and specific details!)
Despite my love of stories and my propensity for making things up, it didn’t occur to me that I might try to write fiction until after my first year of teaching middle school English. As I got to know my students, I reconnected with my middle school self, who read Judy Blume’s Just as Long as We’re Together and Irene Berg’s Up a Road Slowly over and over and yearned both to experience the world through other people’s eyes and to know other people felt some of the same secret things I did.
The summer after my first year of teaching, I started working on a novel of my own, and the summer after my ninth year of teaching, I got my first book deal for the fourth novel I’d written. During all the years in between, I did a whole lot of writing, reading, and learning, and I’m still writing, reading, and learning today.
I write contemporary realistic novels about complicated emotions and flawed, loving, lovable characters who mess up, bounce back, and grow in messy, beautiful ways. I’m passionate about crafting upper middle grade books for 10-14-year-old readers like the students I used to teach.
When I’m not reading or writing, you can usually find me spending time outside, cooking or baking, or playing with my young kids. I love iced coffee, sports, just-out-of-the-oven pastries, and the ocean.
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