ICYMI: September 2015 Author of the Month Bruce Hale

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We all know summer and fun go together, but we’re also aware of the not-so-fun summer reading gap. So why not suggest some books from Bruce Hale that will bring summer, fun, and reading all together?

We were thrilled to have a chance to meet Bruce in person last August when he was gracious enough to visit our offices for an author of the month interview. Be sure to look for our review of his new book, The Curse of the Were-Hyena, in the August-September issue of School Library Connection. Subscribers can see reviews of Bruce’s books and our complete archive of reviews on reVIEWS+.

bruce hale“If it’s not fun, why read it?” That’s children’s author and illustrator Bruce Hale’s motto. And fun is a word that definitely describes Hale and his books.

Hale considers himself to be a very lucky man; it’s not everyone who gets to make a living doing something they love to do. He hasn’t, however, always been an author. Hale has worked as a magazine editor, actor, gardener, and surveyor, just to name a few of the careers he has pursued. He won a Fulbright grant to teach storytelling and study folklore in Thailand, and his energetic storytelling comes in handy for his school visits. Despite this rich and varied background, the idea of becoming an author was never far from his mind.

Eventually, Hale took the leap and turned his focus to writing children’s books. Hale has written and/or illustrated over thirty books for kids, from picture books to novels and graphic novels. Many of his titles speak to an affinity for lizards and detectives, which often are one and the same in his stories.

There’s his popular Chet Gecko Mysteries series, the suspenseful School for S.P.I.E.S. series, Big Bad Detective Agency, Legend of the Laughing Gecko and other books starring Moki the Gecko, and more. Other titles not involving either lizards or detectives include the Underwhere series, Big Bad Baby, Snoring Beauty (actually a lizard of sorts if you consider a dragon to be just a big lizard that can fly and breath fire), and his Clark the Shark series.

At the heart of his desire to make reading fun is his “passion for inspiring reluctant readers to read” and this is where he finds a strong connection to school librarians and all that they do in this endeavor. Librarians, he believes, can be an influential force in attracting young readers and keeping them interested in reading.

Currently, Hale lives in Santa Barbara with his wife and his dog. He says he was born outside of Los Angeles and raised by wolves but those wolves just might be his imagination at work. He enjoys hiking, bicycling, singing with a Latin jazz band, and visiting schools to share his love of fun.  His website, www.brucehale.com includes “fun stuff” for the kids, biographical information, and contact information so you can bring him to your school and join in the fun!

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