views updated

Roy, Jennifer Rozines 1967–

(Jennifer Roy)

PERSONAL:

Born May 26, 1967, in Albany, NY; daughter of Samuel and Robin Rozines; married Gregory Roy (a transportation engineer), May 15, 1999; children: Adam. Education: State University of New York at Albany, B.A.; College of Saint Rose, M.S. Hobbies and other interests: Reading, drawing, playing piano, "scrapbooking."

ADDRESSES:

Home—Saratoga Springs, NY. Agent—Alyssa Eisner Henkin, Trimedia Group, 41 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10010. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

Writer, public speaker, and education consultant. Special education teacher, 1990-92, and teacher of the gifted and talented, 1992-94, both in New York State.

MEMBER:

Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, Children's Literature Connection.

AWARDS, HONORS:

Boston Globe/Horn Book Honor Book Award, and New York Public Library "100 Titles for Reading and Sharing" selection, both 2006, "Notable Children's Book" selection, American Library Association, and Sydney Taylor Book Awards Honor Book, both 2007, all for Yellow Star.

WRITINGS:

YOUNG ADULT

Romantic Breakup: It's Not the End of the World, Enslow Publishers (Berkeley Heights, NJ), 2000.

(Under name Jennifer Roy) Saratoga: The Family Place to Be, Nicholas K. Burns Publishing (Utica, NY), 2001.

Difficult People: Dealing with Almost Anyone, Enslow Publishers (Berkeley Heights, NJ), 2001.

Jacob Lawrence: Painter of African-American Life, Enslow Publishers (Berkeley Heights, NJ), 2002.

Norman Rockwell: The Life of an Artist, Enslow Publishers (Berkeley Heights, NJ), 2002.

Israel: Discovering Cultures, Benchmark Books (New York, NY), 2004.

(With husband, Gregory Roy) Jamaica: Discovering Cultures, Benchmark Books (New York, NY), 2005.

Depression: Understanding Diseases, Benchmark Books (New York, NY), 2005.

(Under name Jennifer Roy) Yellow Star (historical novel), Marshall Cavendish (New York, NY), 2006.

"YOU CAN WRITE" SERIES

You Can Write a Story or Narrative, Enslow Publishers (Berkeley Heights, NJ), 2003.

You Can Write a Report, Enslow Publishers (Berkeley Heights, NJ), 2003.

You Can Write a Business Letter, Enslow Publishers (Berkeley Heights, NJ), 2003.

(With Johannah Haney) You Can Write Speeches and Debates, Enslow Publishers (Berkeley Heights, NJ), 2003.

(With Johannah Haney) You Can Write an Essay, Enslow Publishers (Berkeley Heights, NJ), 2004.

You Can Write Using Good Grammar, Enslow Publishers (Berkeley Heights, NJ), 2004.

"MATH ALL AROUND" SERIES; WITH GREGORY ROY

Subtraction at School, Marshall Cavendish (New York, NY), 2006.

Sorting at the Sea, Marshall Cavendish (New York, NY), 2006.

Addition in the Forest, Marshall Cavendish (New York, NY), 2006.

Patterns in Nature, Marshall Cavendish (New York, NY), 2006.

Numbers on the Street, Marshall Cavendish (New York, NY), 2006.

Holiday Fractions, Marshall Cavendish (New York, NY), 2006.

Shapes in Transportation, Marshall Cavendish (New York, NY), 2007.

Multiplication on the Farm, Marshall Cavendish (New York, NY), 2007.

Measuring at Home, Marshall Cavendish (New York, NY), 2007.

Graphing in the Desert, Marshall Cavendish (New York, NY), 2007.

Money at the Store, Marshall Cavendish (New York, NY), 2007.

Division with Toys, Marshall Cavendish (New York, NY), 2007.

Also author of workbooks for McGraw-Hill and Hayes Publishing. Contributor to periodicals, including Small Publishers Association News, Once upon a Time, and Real Estate Online.

ADAPTATIONS:

Yellow Star was adapted as an audio book by Recorded Books.

SIDELIGHTS:

Jennifer Rozines Roy is the author of nonfiction works for children and young adults, as well as World War II novel Yellow Star. Told in free verse and published under the name Jennifer Roy, Yellow Star chronicles the experiences of Roy's aunt, Syvia Perlmutter, in the Lodz Ghetto.

A former teacher of gifted and talented students, Roy made her literary debut in 2000 with Romantic Breakup: It's Not the End of the World. In the work, she examines healthy and unhealthy ways to end a relationship and addresses issues such as sexuality, date abuse, and depression. Jane Halsall, writing in School Library Journal, called Romantic Breakup "a small but potent book on an important teen topic." Roy also explored emotional health issues in Difficult People: Dealing with Almost Anyone and Depression: Understanding Diseases.

Roy also published several titles in the "You Can Write" series for middle-grade and high school students. In You Can Write a Report, Roy describes "the writing process, the organization, and the final presentation of a paper or project," observed Kim Donius in School Library Journal. Roy later teamed with her husband, Gregory, on the "Math All Around" series for beginning readers. School Library Journal contributor Doris Losey, reviewing Subtraction at School and other works in the series, praised the "clear, concise language" employed in the texts.

Roy's debut novel, Yellow Star, received a Boston Globe/Horn Book Honor Book award, among other prizes. Based on a true story, the fictionalized work recounts the efforts of young Syvia and her family to survive horrific conditions in the Lodz Ghetto during the Nazi occupation of Poland. During the winter of 1940, German soldiers evicted more than 250,000 Jews from their homes and forced them to move into Lodz. When the Russians liberated the ghetto in 1945, only 800 people were left alive, including Syvia and eleven other children. Roy began working on Yellow Star after her sister learned of Syvia's past and suggested she write a book about their aunt. Despite Syvia's insistence that she could not recall very much information, Roy began a series of telephone interviews with her. "Over the next year, she remembered virtually every little thing!" the author stated in an interview on the Miss Erin Web blog. "And what a story. I recorded the calls, took notes on index cards, and by the end of the year, I had a stack of cards organized chronologically. I had to research the Lodz Ghetto. I didn't even know the difference between a ghetto and a concentration camp prior to my aunt's disclosure (after fifty years!)."

Yellow Star garnered strong reviews, and several critics praised the author's stylistic decisions. "I wrote it in first person, free verse—poetry with little or no rhyme and rhythm that flows like regular speech," Roy commented in Scholastic. "I hoped this lyrical style would allow young readers to walk in young Syvia's shoes, to feel her emotions and the love of her family, and to understand what her life was like as a Jewish child in the ghetto." According to Loretta Gaffney, writing in the Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, "the poems can either be read as snapshots of life in Lodz or as one continuous lyrical narrative that nevertheless clips along at a brisk pace." A Publishers Weekly reviewer also complimented "the lyricism of the narrative, and Syvia's credible childlike voice, maturing with each chapter, as she gains further understanding of the events around her." In the words of School Library Journal critic Susan Scheps, Yellow Star "is a standout in the genre of Holocaust literature."

Roy told CA: "I am thrilled and grateful to be an author. I love going into schools and visiting students, also! My background in teaching, my love of books and reading, and the joy of sharing my creativity have combined to give me this career. Interestingly, my identical twin sister, Julia DeVillers, is also a successful published author! We are presently collaborating on our first novel together.

"A wonderful bonus of being an author is getting to meet people of all ages—including authors I worship—who are book lovers. I have so many authors to thank. Reading inspires me to write, and if I can inspire others to read … it comes full circle."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, May, 2006, Loretta Gaffney, review of Yellow Star, p. 420.

Kirkus Reviews, March 15, 2006, review of Yellow Star, p. 299.

Publishers Weekly, March 20, 2006, review of Yellow Star, p. 56.

Scholastic, March-April, 2007, Jennifer Roy, "Holocaust Remembrance Day, April 25."

School Library Journal, December, 2000, Jane Halsall, review of Romantic Breakup: It's Not the End of the World, p. 165; January, 2004, Kim Donius, review of You Can Write a Report, p. 156; March, 2006, Doris Losey, review of Patterns in Nature, p. 214; July, 2006, Susan Scheps, review of Yellow Star, p. 112.

Voice of Youth Advocates, June, 2006, review of Yellow Star.

ONLINE

Jennifer Roy Home Page,http://www.jenniferroy.com (February 20, 2008).

Miss Erin Web log,http://misserinmarie.blogspot.com/ (February 21, 2007), "Interview: Jennifer Roy."

Roy, Jennifer Rozines 1967–

Updated About encyclopedia.com content Print Article Share Article