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 Juvenile Books Author of the Month
Bruce Coville
Bruce Coville
16 May 1950 -- ???

Bruce Coville was born on May 16, 1950 in Syracuse, New York to Arthur J. and Jean (Chase) Coville.

Coville grew up around the corner from his grandparents' dairy farm, which was just outside the small town of Phoenix, New York. "I still have fond memories of the huge barns with their mows and lofts, mysterious relics, and jostling cattle ... It was a wonderful place for a child to grow up. In addition to the farm there was a swamp behind my house, and a rambling wood beyond that, both of which were conducive to all kinds of imaginative games," said Coville once of his childhood. [8]

Coville spent a great deal of his time reading. He considered himself a "bookaholic" "As a child, I loved Mary Poppins (P.L. Travers) and Dr. Doolittle (Hugh Lofting), and I can remember getting up ahead of everyone else in the family so I could huddling in a chair and read The Voyage of Dr. Doolittle. I also read lots of things that people consider junk, such as Nancy Drew (Carolyn Keene), the Hardy Boys (Franklin W. Dixon), Tow Swift (Victor Appleton), and zillions of comic books. My only regret is the time I spent watching television, when I could have been reading instead. "[1]

Coville believes that his love of reading is due to his father, who was a traveling salesman. One night after dinner, Coville's father invited him into the living room, sat him in his lap, and opened a thick, ugly brown book and read. The book was called Tom Swift in the City of Gold. The book opened up a whole new world to Coville.

His love of reading expanded into an interest in writing in the sixth grade. His teacher that year, Mrs. Crandall, gave the class an expanded period of time to write. He had spent most of the year steadfastly failing to respond to the many creative devices Mrs. Crandall had used to stimulate writing in her stories. One day, she just let them write. Coville found that that was what he had been waiting for all along. He continued to write for fun, but he did not begin to write with the hopes of getting published until he was 17 years old.

When Coville was nineteen, his mother-in-law-to-be gave him a copy of Winnie the Pooh to read. It was that gift that inspired him to write for children. He decided then to give other children the joy he had gotten from reading books when he was young.

Like most aspiring writers, Coville did not find success right away. He had many other jobs along the way to becoming a writer such as being a toy maker, a gravedigger, a cookware salesman, and an assembly line worker. Eventually, he became a an elementary school teacher and worked with second and fourth graders.

Coville received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the State University of New York at Oswego in 1974. He had also taken courses for his degree at Duke University and the State University of New York at Birmingham.

On October 11, 1969, Bruce Coville married Katherine Dietz, an illustrator who lived around the corner from him. Katherine and Coville have had three children together: a son named Orion, who was born in 1970; a daughter named Cara, who was born in 1975; and another son named Adam, who was born in 1981. Besides their children, the Covilles share their home in Syracuse, New York with a Norwegian Elk Hound named Thor and four cats called Babette, Cleo, Princess Ozma Fuzzybutt, and Dickens.

Besides working together on their marriage, the Covilles also have a professional relationship. They had started working together when Coville was a freshman in college. he would write the stories, and she would create the pictures to go along with them. They created a book together called The Foolish Giant, published in 1977. They also published to other books together: Sarah's Unicorn, The Monster's Ring, Goblins in the Castle, Aliens Ate My Homework, and The World's Worse Fairy Godmother.

Today, Coville is the best selling author of almost 70 books. he has helped make readers out of millions of children with a number of science fiction and fantasy titles. His remarkable range of interests and his prolific ability as a writer have lead him to the retelling of some of Shakespeare's plays in picture book form, including A Midsummer Night's Dream and MacBeth.

"I try, with greater or lesser success, to make my stories the kinds of things that I would have enjoyed myself when I was young; to write the books I wanted to read, but never found. My writing works best when I remember that bookish child who adored reading and rear the work toward him. It falters when I forget him." [8]

When Coville has some spare time, he likes to get involved with theater. He loves every aspect of it from acting to writing to directing. He is particularly fond of musical theater. He has written three musical for young people that are performed fairly often in the Syracuse area. He is also working on his first adult show, a musical about teaching.

Information for this biography was taken from:
1) Author Bio: Bruce Coville; http://www.alexlibris.com/bio_coville.asp.
2) "Authors Online Biography: Bruce Coville", Scholastic Books; http://teacher.scholastic.com/authorsand books/authors/coville/bio.htm.
3) "Authors Online Transcript: Bruce Coville", Scholastic Books; http://teacher.scholastic.com/authorsand books/authors/coville/tscript.htm.
4) Bruce Coville; http://www.geocities.com/~teddarnold/bruce.html.
5) "Bruce Coville", Kidsreads.com; http://kidsreads.com/authors/au-coville-bruce.asp.
6) Bruce Coville @ the read In!; http://www.readin.org/Authors/Coville/main.htm.
7) Bruce Coville's Homepage; http://www.brucecoville.com.
8) Anne Commire (ed.). Something About the Authors, #32; Gale Research Company: Detroit, Mich., 1983.
9) Writer Hero: Bruce Coville; http://www.myhero.com/hero.asp?hero=bcoville.

Fiction Titles
ABC-COV Sarah's Unicorn (1975) with Katherine Coville -- Although she tries to keep her friendship with Oakhorn secret, Sarah's wicked aunt finds out and is determined to rob the unicorn of his magic.

J-Coville Aliens Ate My Homework (1993) -- Rod is surprised when a miniature spaceship lands in his science project and reveals five tiny aliens, who ask his help in apprehending an interstellar criminal.

J-P-COV Bruce Coville's Book of Aliens: Tales to Warp Your Mind (1994) -- Coville presents ten scary stories--seven originals and three classics -- about the exciting adventures of aliens.

J-P-COV Bruce Coville's Book of Aliens II: More Tales to Warp Your Mind (1996) -- A second collection of out-of-this-world tales is filled with fearsome and friendly aliens and includes the stories of a boy whose life is permanently changed, an alien-summoning pay phone, and a band of breakfast aliens.

J-P-COV Bruce Coville's Book of Magic: Tales to Cast a Spell on You (1996) --A collection of spellbinding tales introduces readers to many unusual places where magic can be found.

J-P-COV Bruce Coville's Book of Magic II: More Tales to Cast a Spell on You (1997) -- A collection of spooky short fiction includes the stories of a pair of special dancing shoes that save the day, a boy and his dad who become custodians of a unicorn, and a family that tampers with powers it does not understand.

J-P-COV Bruce Coville's Book of Nightmares: Tales to Make You Scream (1995) -- A collection of spine-chilling and unexplainable adventures that truly qualify as nightmares.

J-P-COV Bruce Coville's Is Your Teacher an Alien (1997) -- Readers can work their way through puzzles, mazes, secret codes, , riddles, and clues to determine if their own teacher is an alien.

J-P-COV The Dinosaur That Followed Me Home (1990) -- Stuart looks forward to another adventurous summer at Camp Haunted Hills, but he gets more than he bargained for when he and his friends inadvertently travel back to the time of the dinosaurs.

J-Coville The Ghost in the Big Brass Bed (1991) -- When sixth grader Nina Tanleven starts working at an antiques shop, she never expects to stumble onto a mystery -- or into danger. But that's exactly what happens when she and her best friend, Chris, go to pick up an antique wardrobe at old Miss Watson's.

J-Coville/J-P-COV The Ghost in the Third Row (1987) -- It is thought that an actress who was murdered on the stage fifty years before has haunted the theater since. Sixth-grader Nina sees the ghost, and she and her best friend investigate.

J-Coville The Ghost Wore Gray (1988) -- Nina and her friend Chris jump at the chance to go with Nina's architect father to live in an old inn he's restoring. The first night, they see a ghost that was believed to have hid his fortune in jewels on the property before he died. It's up to Nina and Chris to find it before someone else does.

J-P-COV The Goblins in the Castle (1992) -- William has lived in the castle all his life, but it isn't until he's eleven that he discovers Igor, who lives under the castle. When William accidentally releases a hoard of goblins, he and Igor must go to great lengths to undo the damage.

J-P-COV I Left My Sneakers in Dimension X (1994) -- Rod Allbright once again teams with his buddies from the spaceship Ferkel, this time to defeat Smorkus Flinders.

J-P-COV Jennifer Murdley's Toad: A Magic Shop Book (1992) -- When an ordinary-looking fifth grader buys a talking toad, she embarks on a series of adventures.

J-P-COV Jeremy Thatcher, Dragon Hatcher: A Magic Shop Book (1991) -- Small for his age but artistically talented, twelve-year-old Jeremy Thatcher buys a dragon's egg.

J-P-COV My Teacher Flunked the Planet (1992) -- Continues the hilarious adventures of Peter Thompson, who finds himself touring the earth with a bunch of aliens in disguise, and discovering a secret that may save the planet -- or destroy it.

J-Coville/J-P-COV My Teacher Fried My Brains (1991) -- The first day of seventh grade was probably the worst day of Duncan Dougal's life. He knows that things are really bad when he finds an alien's hand in the dumpster and then gets plugged into an alien brain fryer.

J-Coville/J-P-COV My Teacher Glows in the Dark (1991) -- When Peter Thompson discovers that his teacher glows in the dark, he flies away from Earth on a spaceship filled with aliens.

J-Coville My Teacher Is an Alien (1989) -- Susan Simmons can tell that her new substitute teacher is an alien, but she doesn't know how weird until she catches him pulling off his face. That is when she realizes that "Mr. Smith" is really an alien.

J-P-COV Planet of the Dips (1995) -- Captain Blork and his bizarre crew land on a planet where benevolent but dimwitted natives challenge the captain to a Skwishifroot Battle to decide whether his drooling pet will become their leader.

J-P-COV The Wrath of Squat (1994) -- Space Brat Blork, Moomie Peevik, Appus Meko, and their pets are captured by the dreaded Squat and are taken to his planet, Snarf.

Non-Fiction Titles
J-573.3-COV Prehistoric People (1990) -- This book traces the development of humans from Australopithicus to Cro-Magnon, focusing on methods of hunting, farming, artistic endeavors, religious rituals, and technological advancements.

Author Bio: Bruce Coville (http://www.alexlibris.com/bio_coville.asp.) -- This site provides a brief biography of the author.

"Authors Online Biography: Bruce Coville", Scholastic Books (http://teacher.scholastic.com/authorsand books/authors/coville/bio.htm) -- This is a biography of author Bruce Coville produced by Scholastic Books.

"Authors Online Transcript: Bruce Coville", Scholastic Books (http://teacher.scholastic.com/authorsand books/authors/coville/tscript.htm) -- This is a transcript of an interview with Bruce Coville done by Scholastic Books.

Bruce Coville (http://www.geocities.com/~teddarnold/bruce.html) -- This site takes look at the books written by Bruce Coville.

"Bruce Coville", Kidsreads.com (http://kidsreads.com/authors/au-coville-bruce.asp) -- Bruce Coville tells the story of his life at this site.

Bruce Coville @ the read In! (http://www.readin.org/Authors/Coville/main.htm) -- The Read In! has produced this biography of Bruce Coville.

Bruce Coville's Homepage (http://www.brucecoville.com) -- This is the official website for the author.

Writer Hero: Bruce Coville (http://www.myhero.com/hero.asp?hero=bcoville) -- Ms. Sullivan's third grade class from the Walberta Park School in Syracuse, New York created this website to provide information about Bruce Coville.

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