Grover, Lorie Ann

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Grover, Lorie Ann

PERSONAL: Daughter of John and Karine; married, husband's name David; children: Emily, Ellen.

ADDRESSES: Home—Sumner, WA. Agent—c/o Author Mail, Simon and Schuster, 1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020. E-mail[email protected]; [email protected].

CAREER: Writer and illustrator.



Loose Threads, Margaret K. McElderry Books (New York, NY), 2002.

On Pointe, Margaret K. McElderry Books (New York, NY), 2004.

Hold Me Tight, Margaret K. McElderry Books (New York, NY), 2005.


Mary Palenick Colborn, Rainy Day Slug, Sasquatch Books (Seattle, WA), 2000.

When Daddy Comes Home: A Lift-the-Flap Book, Little Simon (New York, NY), 2005.

SIDELIGHTS: Lori Ann Grover is an illustrator and author of juvenile fiction whose work focuses on emotional issues and crises faced by children, from family illnesses to molestation. As a writer, Grover uses poems and free verse to tell her stories. Her first book as an author, Loose Threads, uses poems to tell the story of Kay, a seventh-grader whose grandmother has breast cancer. Kay lives with her grandmother, as well as her mother and great-grandmother. The family crisis leads Kay to reflect on her own problems and try to put them in perspective. In a review in the Denver Post, Claire Martin wrote that Loose Threads "will resonate with anyone confronting death and dying." A Kirkus Reviews contributor suggested, "This compelling debut may offend some with its frankness, but many others will take it to heart for its many strengths." Sharon Korbeck, writing in the School Library Journal, felt that "the somewhat stilted lines and poetic format take away from the story's immediacy" but also called the poems "honest."

On Pointe tells the story of Clare, a sixteen year old who has studied for ten years to accomplish her dream of becoming a ballet dancer. Clare's classes are demanding and she struggles, along with her classmates, with the dedication it takes to become a ballet dancer. She and her fellow classmates discuss such things as bulimia and being fat, all part of their obsessiveness about their bodies. Unfortunately for Clare, she becomes too tall for a career in ballet, a fact that seems to disappoint her mother more than her. A subplot in the story involves Clare's grandfather, whom she is living with for the summer to be close to ballet school. When he suffers a stroke, a caretaker helps Clare learn that she can still love dancing even if she never is a performer. A Publishers Weekly contributor noted that the author "brings an air of authenticity to this well-wrought free-verse novel," while in School Library Journal Carol Schene commented, "This finely written novel touches on contemporary themes such as body image leading to bulimia, overly ambitious parents, and aging grandparents."

In Hold Me Tight Grover uses a series of brief poems to explore the crises that occur in the life of twelve-year-old Essie and her family. Essie learns on Thanks-giving Day that her father is leaving them. Her mother is pregnant and unable to work, placing a financial burden on the family. Furthermore, a family friend tries to molest her. Essie's fear of the changing world around her grows greater after one of her classmate's disappears. However, Essie and her family, with the help of friends and others in the community, cope with their changing lives and go on to establish a new foundation for the future.

A Kirkus Reviews writer opined, "Essie's first-person, present-tense narration offers readers an intimate, if narrow, view of events," but added that "the narrative isn't always convincing." Writing in Kliatt, Claire Rosser suggested that "some readers may question the pile-on of Essie's problems," but noted that "the main strengths of this story are the immediacy of the poetry and the power of Essie as a narrator." School Library Journal contributor Susan Riley praised Hold Me Tight, writing: "Told in evocative prose poetry, this powerful story is sure to touch the hearts of many readers."

Grover is also the illustrator of When Daddy Comes Home: A Lift-the-Flap Book and of Mary Palenick Colborn's Rainy Day Slug, about a slug exploring the world. Reviewing Rainy Day Slug in School Library Journal, Jody McCoy assessed that Grover's "bold, vibrant, cartoon illustrations celebrate northwestern banana slugs with an enthusiasm sure to delight young readers."



Booklist, November 15, 2002, Gillian Engberg, review of Loose Threads, p. 594; July, 2004, Jennifer Mattson, review of On Pointe, p. 1844.

Denver Post, October 20, 2002, Claire Martin, review of Loose Threads, p. EE02.

Kirkus Reviews, July 1, 2002, review of Loose Threads, p. 955; May 15, 2004, review of On Pointe, p. 491; March 15, 2005, review of Hold Me Tight, p. 352.

Kliatt, March, 2005, Claire Rosser, review of Hold Me Tight, p. 12.

Publishers Weekly, September 2, 2002, review of Loose Threads, p. 76; July 12, 2004, review of On Pointe, p. 64.

School Library Journal, August, 2000, Jody McCoy, review of Rainy Day Slug, p. 146; October, 2002, Sharon Korbeck, review of Loose Threads, p. 183; June, 2004, Carol Schene, review of On Pointe, p. 138; March, 2005, Susan Riley, review of Hold Me Tight, p. 212.


Lorie Ann Grover Home Page, (March 24, 2005).