Dean, Carolee 1962-
DEAN, Carolee 1962-
Born April 7, 1962, in Bellflower, CA; daughter of Darryl (a preacher and business manager) and Sherry (a homemaker; maiden name, Carroll) Jochens; married Thomas Leigh Dean (a real estate appraiser), January 5, 1985; children: Kristen, Jon, Tommye Leigh. Ethnicity: "Anglo." Education: West Texas State University, B.M. T., 1985; University of New Mexico, M.S., 1996. Politics: Republican. Religion: Episcopalian. Hobbies and other interests: Classical guitar, swimming, hiking, movies, "hanging out at coffee houses while listening to poetry and music."
Contract speech and language pathologist for middle school and high school students with communication disorders, Albuquerque, NM. Gives dramatic readings from her works. Also works with adults and young children in an early intervention program.
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators.
Notable Book citation, International Reading Association, and Best Young Adult Book of the Year, Texas Institute of Letters, both 2003, for Comfort.
Comfort (young adult novel), Houghton Mifflin (Boston, MA), 2002.
Work in Progress
Jasmine, a story "about an alcoholic mother who abandons her two children in a rundown Amarillo apartment during a drinking blackout"; The Merchant Chief of Copan, an adventure fantasy set during the time of the ancient Maya in Copan, Honduras.
Carolee Dean told SATA: "After spending most of my early years in southern California, I moved to Lubbock, Texas, with my family when I was a high-school sophomore. When I turned seventeen, we moved to a tiny little farming town in west Texas called Happy (population 614). There were twenty-three students in my graduating class, but by the end of the year only sixteen made it through the final ceremony because seven girls got pregnant and dropped out.
"At the beginning of my senior year, out of desperation, boredom, and a yearning to write, I joined the school newspaper. My teacher, Ilona Smith, required all of her journalism students to participate in the University Interscholastic League (UIL). I competed in news writing and editorial writing and became a state alternate in poetry interpretation. As a result, I was awarded a four-year scholarship and was the first person in my family to receive a college education.
"When I wrote Comfort, a story about a boy from a small Texas town, I drew heavily upon my experiences with small towns, poetry competitions, and the UIL. Like the protagonist, Kenny Willson, I have often turned to poetry in times of crisis. Through poetry, Kenny finds his voice. In much the same way, through Comfort, I was able to find mine."
Biographical and Critical Sources
Kliatt, March, 2002, C. Rosser, review of Comfort.
New Advocate, summer, 2002, review of Comfort, p. 241.
School Library Journal, March, 2002, Lynn Bryant, review of Comfort, p. 230.
Voice of Youth Advocates, April, 2002, Sherry York, review of Comfort, p. 41.
Carolee Dean Home Page, http://www.caroleedean.com/ (January 1, 2004).