Dreyer, Ellen

views updated

Dreyer, Ellen

Personal

Married Jim Yanda (a musician and business owner); children: Aaron. Education: University of Michigan, B.A. (literature and writing); University of London, M.A. (English), 1990.

Addresses

Home and office—Maplewood, NJ. E-mail—[email protected]

Career

Young-adult and children's author. Worked variously as a doctor's receptionist, children's book editor, freelance writer, and teacher.

Member

Authors Guild, Authors League.

Writings

Speechless in New York, Four Corners (New York, NY), 2000.

Grow, Tree, Grow!, illustrated by Maggie Swanson, Scholastic (New York, NY), 2003.

The Glow Stone (young adult novel), Peachtree (Atlanta, GA), 2006.

Also author of dozens of books for educational publishers.

Sidelights

Ellen Dreyer began her publishing career as a children's book editor, working on children's educational titles for a variety of trade publishing houses. Her shift to freelance editing eventually expanded to freelance writing and the authorship of numorous books for children as well as the young-adult novel The Glow Stone. As Dreyer explained to an interviewer for the New Jersey Jewish News online, she is a "fan of books where girls do unusual, empowering things." She creates a character after her own heart in Phoebe, the protagonist of The Glow Stone.

According to School Library Journal reviewer Laurie Slagenwhite, The Glow Stone presents a "realistic portrait of a family's grief" that readers will easily identify with. Phoebe is a fifteen year old who is struggling with both the recent death of her favorite uncle and her mother's depression. She finds her strength and faith put to the test when she goes spelunking—cave exploring—with her aunt and becomes lost within the cave's dark labyrinth. As Kliatt reviewer Claire Rosser noted, Dreyer's novel is "filled with thoughtful details and surprising depths." The author commented in an interviewer for the Newark, New Jersey Star-Ledger that she hopes her readers will "take away a sense of their own inner strength, that they can handle whatever challenges … they may face."

A dedicated writer, Dreyer noted on her home page that she views her works in progress as a "writer's garden," adding that she "will keep tending and growing these and new ‘sprouts’ till they are ready for the harvest." The process of writing continues to be important to her because, as she explained, it "has always been a means of knowing myself, of discovering what really matters to me."

Biographical and Critical Sources

PERIODICALS

Atlanta Parent, November, 2006, "Fifty Must-Read Books for Kids."

ForeWord, July-August, 2006, KaaVonia Houghton, review of The Glow Stone.

Kliatt, May, 2006, Claire Rosser, review of The Glow Stone, p. 8.

School Library Journal, March, 2000, Piper L. Nyman, review of Speechless in New York, p. 233; July, 2006, Laurie Slagenwhite, review of The Glow Stone, p. 100.

Star-Ledger (Newark, NJ), May 18, 2006, "Lost in Cave, Girl Finds Herself," p. 3.

ONLINE

Bookslut Online,http://www.bookslut.com/ (August, 2006), Coleen Mondor, review of The Glow Stone.

Ellen Dreyer Home Page,http://www.ellendreyer.com (February 14, 2007).

New Jersey Jewish News Web site,http://www.njjewishnews.com/ (February 14, 2007), "A ‘Gem’ of a Novel: A NJ Author Draws on Her Upbringing to Write ‘Cathartic’ Book for Teens."

About this article

Dreyer, Ellen

Updated About encyclopedia.com content Print Article