Literature Author: Jon Scieszka

Jon went to Culver Military Academy for high school. He had some spectacular teachers there, and became Lieutenant Scieszka.

Jon thought about being a doctor and studied both Science and English at Albion College in Albion, Michigan. He graduated in 1976, lived in Detroit, then moved to Brooklyn, NY to write instead. He earned his MFA in Fiction from Columbia University in New York in 1980, then painted apartments.

Not knowing what he was getting into, Jon applied for a teaching job at an elementary school called The Day School in New York City. He started as a 1st grade Assistant Teacher, graduated to teaching 2nd grade, taught 3rd and 4th grade Math, 5th grade History, and then some 6th, 7th and 8th grade.

Teaching school, Jon re-discovered how smart kids are, and found the best audience for the weird and funny stories he had always liked to read and write. He took a year off from teaching to write stories for kids. He sent these stories around to many publishers, and got rejected by all of them. He kept painting apartments and writing stories.

Through his wife Jeri, who was working in NY as a magazine art director, he met a funny guy named Lane Smith. Lane was painting illustrations for magazine articles, and working on his first children’s book. Jon gave Lane his story— A. Wolf’s Tale. Lane loved it. Lane drew a few illustrations for the story and took it to show many publishers. He got rejected by all of them. “Too dark,” they said. “Too sophisticated,” they said. “Don’t ever come back here, okay?” they said.

Jon and Lane liked A. Wolf’s Tale. They kept showing it around. They kept getting rejected. Finally, Regina Hayes, an editor at Viking Books said she thought the story and the illustrations were funny. She said she would publish the book. And she did, in 1989, with the title changed to: The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs!.

3 Pigs! has now sold over 3 million copies and been translated into 14 different languages. Including, nicely, Polish.

Since 1989, Jon has written too many books for him to count. His books have won a whole mess of awards. Some have been turned into TV shows. Working on a movie. And they have sold over 11 million copies all around the world.

In 2008, Jon was named the first National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature by The Library of Congress. He got a nice medal from President George and First Lady Laura Bush. He traveled the world promoting young people’s literature. And now he is pretty sure he has diplomatic immunity. For anything.

No one knows exactly where Ambassador Scieszka lives. But we do know he lives with his wife Jeri. And that they have two children: a daughter Casey, and son Jake.


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by Jon Scieszka

“So now it’s up to you to figure a way out. You can: a) Burn less fossil fuels or b) Find another planet with air and water and plants and animals, just like Me.”

by Jon Scieszka

“That’s it, Homo Sapiens—the hard and inescapable truth. I am your Perfect Planet. I will take care of you. But you have to take care of me”

by Jon Scieszka

“Even though the Water Planet did not turn out to be a good Goldilocks Planet, it did turn out to be a good lesson on how to take care of a planet.”