Born March 23; married (divorced); married second husband, 2007; children: one daughter, one son. Education: Rutgers University, B.A., 1984; Beaver College, M.S.T.P.; Vermont College, M.F.A., 2006. Politics: Democrat. Religion: Jewish.
Home—Hanover, NH. E-mail—[email protected]
Children's author. Jewish Lights Publishing, Woodstock, VT, former sales representative; has worked as a school principal, aerobics instructor, and physical therapist.
Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, ALAN.
Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers selection, American Library Association, 2008, for Head Case.
(Adaptor) The Princess and the Pea: A Pop-up Book, illustrated by Chris Demarest, Little Simon (New York, NY), 2002.
Head Case, Roaring Brook Press (New Milford, CT), 2007.
After working variously as an aerobics instructor, physical therapist, and as principal of a religious school, Sarah Aronson turned to writing children's literature in 2000, earning a master's degree in the process. Her first published novel for young adults, Head Case, appeared on bookstore shelves in 2007. Head Case features the story of a young man named Frank Marder who is involved in a car accident after driving while intoxicated. In addition to becoming a quadriplegic as a result of the crash, Frank learns that his decision to drive drunk also resulted in the death of his girlfriend as well as the driver of an oncoming vehicle.
Through the character of Frank, Aronson follows the tragic consequences of teen drinking and driving. Many community residents look upon the seventeen year old as a murderer, believing he should be sent to prison. Others, such as the judge overseeing Frank's court sentencing, believe that the teen's new physical handicaps serve as punishment enough. Released to the care of his parents, Frank begins to examine his life prior to the accident and becomes depressed about his less-than-positive behaviors. The intervention of a physical therapist brightens the young man's hope for the future, however, while also forcing readers to "consider how we value individuals with disabilities," observed a Kirkus Reviews critic. Writing in Publishers Weekly, a
contributor thought that Aronson "adroitly tackles grim subject matter in this first novel about guilt, punishment and regret," while Booklist reviewer John Peters predicted that Head Case "will make a strong impression on readers with its raw emotion and bitter narrative tone."
Biographical and Critical Sources
Booklist, July 1, 2007, John Peters, review of Head Case, p. 49.
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, September, 2007, Deborah Stevenson, review of Head Case, p. 5.
Kirkus Reviews, August 15, 2007, review of Head Case.
Publishers Weekly, October 1, 2007, review of Head Case, p. 59.
School Library Journal, November, 2007, Geri Diorio, review of Head Case, p. 116.
Cynsations,http://cynthialeitichsmith.blogspot.com/ (December 17, 2008), Cynthia Leitich Smith, interview with Aronson.
Sarah Aronson Web log,http://saraharonson.livejournal.com (December 17, 2008).
Sarah Aronson Web site,http://www.saraharonson.com (December 17, 2008).