Beam, Matt 1970–
Beam, Matt 1970–
Born January 11, 1970, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada; son of an income tax professor and an English professor. Education: Attended Dalhousie University, B.A. (history), 1993; University of Western Sydney, degree (education), 1997; studied photography at Ryerson University. Hobbies and other interests: Tennis, hockey, curling, Scrabble, snowshoeing, reading the New Yorker, eating eggs Benedict.
Home and office—Toronto, Ontario, Canada. E-mail—[email protected]
Author, journalist, and photographer. Taught primary school in Guatemala; English as a Second Language instructor in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, c. 1995; Papatoetoe Intermediate School, Auckland, New Zealand, teacher of grade eight, 1998. Exhibitions: Photographs exhibited in galleries in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, beginning 2001.
Our Choice Selection, Canadian Children's Book Centre, 2006, for Getting to First Base with Danalda Chase.
Getting to First Base with Danalda Chase, HarperTrophy Canada (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 2005, Dutton Children's Books (New York, NY), 2007.
Can You Spell Revolution?, HarperTrophyCanada (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 2006, Dutton Children's Books (New York, NY), 2008.
Earth to Nathan Blue, Puffin Canada (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 2006.
In his working life, Matt Beam has worn many hats: from school teacher, he has moved to photographer, journalist, and author. Of all the careers Beam has pursued, however, he has found his greatest contentment in writing. As he explained in an interview for Canadian Review of Materials: "At the end of the day, you have to choose your battle, and mine is with the keyboard."
Beam's tussles with the keyboard have resulted in several novels for teens, among them the coming-of-age story Getting to First Base with Danalda Chase. Discussing this novel, which mixes first loves and baseball, a Kirkus Reviews contributor called the book "fresh, funny and appealing," while in Booklist Debbie Carton wrote that Beam "captures seventh-grade male angst with humor and compassion." Emily Springer, appraising the novel for Resource Links, noted that Getting to First Base with Danalda Chase "is quite original due to the baseball analogy and realistic outcomes of Darcy's problems."
Before becoming a young-adult author, the Canadian-born Beam worked as a teacher at a school in New Zealand. He realized that he wanted to become a writer when he assigned his students to edit a short story he had written. In his interview, Beam also recalled his first serious attempt at writing short fiction. Before that time, he had always planned on writing, but could never get himself to settle down. But, he said, "That experience was really it for me. I had finally ‘sat down,’ and I didn't want to stop." Embarking on a writing career is challenging, and as Beam told an online interviewer for Blog Critics, he believed he could overcome the potential disappointment by "believing in myself. I just looked around one day and thought, ‘What am I waiting for?’"
Biographical and Critical Sources
Booklist, March 1, 2007, Debbie Carton, review of Getting to First Base with Danalda Chase, p. 82.
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, February, 2007, Elizabeth Bush, review of Getting to First Base with Danalda Chase, p. 243.
Canadian Review Annual, 2005, Dave Jenkinson, review of Getting to First Base with Danalda Chase, p. 470.
Kirkus Reviews, December 15, 2006, review of Getting to First Base with Danalda Chase, p. 1264.
Kliatt, January, 2007, Paula Rohrlick, review of Getting to First Base with Danalda Chase, p. 8.
School Library Journal, February, 2007, Marilyn Taniguchi, review of Getting to First Base with Danalda Chase, p. 115.
Voice of Youth Advocates, February, 2007, Mary Ann Harlan, review of Getting to First Base with Danalda Chase, p. 520.
Resource Links, April, 2006, Emily Springer, review of Getting to First Base with Danalda Chase, p. 43.
Blog Critics Online,http://blogcritics.org/ (December 7, 2006), interview with Beam.
Canadian Review of Materials Online,http://umanitoba.ca/ (April 24, 2006), interview with Beam.
Conversations with Writers Web site,http://conversationswithwriters.blogspot.com/ (May 30, 2007), interview with Beam.
Matt Beam Home Page,http://www.mattbeam.com (December 22, 2007).
Transatlantic Literary Agency Web site,http://www.tla1.com/ (December 22, 2007), "Matt Beam."