Kerry Madden has written plays, screenplays, journalism (for publications like the Los Angeles Times, Salon, and Sierra Club Magazine), and six books including Offsides, a New York Library Pick for 1997, and Writing Smarts, a guide to creative writing published by the American Girl Company. In 2005 she turned her hand to children’s literature with Gentle's Holler, the first installment in what became the award-winning Maggie Valley Trilogy. It earned starred reviews in both Kirkus and Publisher’s Weekly, was named a “Pick” by both the New York and the Chicago Public Libraries, and was the featured children’s book of North Carolina at the National Book Festival. “It is the genuine article,” wrote Rosemary Wells. “Its heroine is as bone-real and endearing as Opal in Because of Winn Dixie.” The next book in the trilogy, Louisiana’s Song (2007) was equally well received, being named a Bank Street College Book of the Year and a finalist for several other awards. The third installment, Jessie’s Mountain, was published in 2008 to strong reviews. Most recently Madden completed a biography of To Kill a Mockingbird author Harper Lee, which was named one of the top ten biographies for youth by Booklist. Madden received the B.A. and M.F.A. degrees from the University of Tennessee and has been honored as a Tennessee Williams Scholar and a Walter E. Dakin Fellow at the Sewanee Writers’ Conference. Currently professor of English and Creative Writing at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, she has also taught at the University of Tennessee, UCLA, and has visited schools across the country as a guest author. Visit www.kerrymadden.com to learn more about Madden and her work.