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Alexander, Sue 1933-2008 (Sue Lynn Ratner)

Alexander, Sue 1933-2008 (Sue Lynn Ratner)


See index for SATA sketch: Born August 20, 1933, in Tucson, AZ; died July 3, 2008, in West Hills, CA. Children's author and educator. Alexander devoted her entire career to encouraging children to become lifelong readers. She accomplished this primarily through the many children's books that she wrote between 1973 and 2001. Alexander covered a wide range of subject matter—from fantasy, as in the "Witch, Goblin, and Ghost" series (1976-85) to fact, as in Behold the Trees (2001), a story of Israel—from the streets of her Chicago childhood, as in Sara's City (1996) to the sandy deserts of Nadia the Willful (1983). The common theme in all of her books, she once wrote, is the importance of feelings, and she was credited with a special gift for exploring the feelings of childhood. Alexander published more than two dozen books, featuring "world-famous Muriel," "Marc the magnificent," and other characters that piqued the curiosity of children over the years. She also worked diligently to encourage other writers in their quest for success. Alexander was a founding member of the professional organization now known as the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), which created the Sue Alexander Most Promising New Work Award in her honor at the Los Angeles chapter in 1996. She taught classes for aspiring picture-book writers at the University of California in Los Angeles, and she was an enthusiastic contributor to the Los Angeles Times "Kids' Reading Page" as recently as 2007. Alexander received many awards and other recognitions during her lifetime, including the Dorothy C. McKenzie Award of the Southern California Council of Literature for Children and Young People and the Golden Kite Award from her organizational alma mater, SCBWI. One of her most celebrated books was Lila on the Landing (1987), the story of an urban childhood and a young girl who triumphs over the loneliness and rejection that too often afflict young people who do not quite fit into their peer group. Alexander also wrote One More Time, Mama (1999), about the lasting bond between mother and child.



Chicago Tribune, July 20, 2008, sec. 4, p. 5.

Los Angeles Times, July 14, 2008, p. B7.

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