Vicki Grove lives in a 100-year-old farmhouse on a few acres of land outside of Ionia, Missouri (pop. 118). Her son and daughter, Michael and J.D., attend college, and her husband Mike is a music teacher and directs a bell choir. They have lots of cats and a goldfish pond teeming with bossy, headstrong goldfish. Sharing the pond with that rambunctious crew is one gentle red-eared turtle, Yertle. Behind the house grow three cherry trees, three apple trees, a corn patch, grape vines, and, on a good year, enough strawberries for Vicki to make a dozen jars of jam.
Vicki has written for magazines ranging from Twilight Zone
to Reader’s Digest
. She received the 1996 SCBWI Magazine Merit Award for a story in American Girl.
Altogether, she’s published about 300 articles and short stories. “Because it’s not such a huge time and energy commitment, writing a short story is kind of like eating popcorn,” she says. “Writing a book, on the other hand, is a big deal, sort of like Thanksgiving dinner. You’d get tired of snacking or feasting if you did it all the time, so I alternate!”
Eight of Vicki’s eleven books are middle grade or young adult novels for Putnam. Her most recent are Rimwalkers, Crystal Garden, Reaching Dustin, The Starplace,
. Reaching Dustin
and The Starplace
were School Library Journal
Best Books of 1998 and 1999.
Vicki writes every day in a tiny white office her dad built in her hayfield. He modeled it on her childhood playhouse, and it has its own birdhouse (where a tree frog named Joop is living). A purple clematis vine snakes up the side of the office, and beneath it grows a white peony bush Vicki transplanted from her grandmother’s farmhouse in Illinois, the setting for Rimwalkers.
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