Sharon Mills Draper,
born in Cleveland, Ohio, has
been writing and teaching for over twenty years. She has always
encouraged in her students a love of learning through literature
and a respect for excellence in writing.
Her literary recognition began when, as a challenge from one of
her students, she entered and won first prize in the 1991
Ebony Magazine Literary Contest, for which she was awarded
$5,000 and the publication of her short story "One Small Torch."
Since that time, she has had numerous poems and stories published,
and is also the author of the Ziggy and the Black Dinosaurs series
of books for middle readers. Her previous novel for Atheneum,
Tears of a Tiger, was critically acclaimed and the
recipient of the first Coretta Scott King Genesis Award.
Active in numerous literary and educational organizations, she
currently serves on the board of directors of the National Board
for Professional Teaching Standards, was one of the first teachers
in the nation to achieve National Board Certification, and was
recently honored at the White House for these accomplishments.
Sharon Draper often addresses educational and literary groups
with entertaining readings of her poetry and novels, as well as
with enlightening instructional presentations. She currently chairs
the English department at Walnut Hills High School in Cincinnati,
where she still works at teaching students to write.