Gordon Korman

Gordon Korman, writer (born at Montréal, 23 Oct 1963). Raised in Montréal until 1970 when his family moved to Thornhill, Ont, Gordon Korman moved to the United States to attend New York University and received a BA in Dramatic and Visual Writing with a minor in Motion Picture and Television in 1985. Unlike most writing students who were likely still honing their craft during their college years, Korman had already written and published 5 books before completing high school. His first book, This Can't Be Happening at Macdonald Hall (1978), was published when he was only 14 years old. With a career that has now spanned 5 decades, Korman has published numerous young adult novels (seeCHILDREN'S LITERATURE) that still captivate readers across the country.

In 1976, when he was 12 years old and in the 7th grade, Korman's English class writing assignment became the manuscript for his first novel, This Can't Be Happening at Macdonald Hall. After completing the assignment, Korman mailed his manuscript to Scholastic, which accepted it. Macdonald Hall became the first novel in a series of books about the story's two main characters Bruno and Boots, young troublemakers who share a room at Macdonald Hall boarding school and play pranks on their fellow students, the school's faculty, and students at the girls' boarding school across the street. Korman later went on to write 6 more books in the Bruno and Boots series, his most well-known series to date, including Go Jump in the Pool (1979), Beware the Fish! (1980) and The War with Mr. Wizzle (1982).

In the first half of his career Korman primarily wrote comedic novels, but in 2000 he made the leap to action-adventure stories with Shipwreck, the first book in the 3-part Island series, about 6 troubled children who are removed from society and forced to cope with hardship and problem-solving aboard a ship headed for Guam. Regardless of whether he is writing funny or suspenseful stories, Korman sticks to the same formula when crafting his novels: "It's a combination between real life and pure imagination," he says in an interview with his publisher, Scholastic. "I always start off with something real, but then I unleash my imagination to make it more exciting, funnier, or a better story. To be honest, by the time a book is done, you can't recognize much of the real-life part. It's been changed too much. But I never could have gotten there without it." Most recently, Korman has penned 3 books in the popular 39 Clues series of adventure books which combine reading, online gaming and card collecting: One False Note (2008), The Emperor's Code (2010) and The Medusa Plot (2011).

To date, Korman has written more than 75 books, which have sold more than 7 million copies worldwide. His numerous awards and accolades include winning the Air Canada Award for promising authors in Canada at the age of 17, and making the American Library Association's Best Books for Young Adults list several times, including for Son of the Mob (2002), Jake Reinvented (2003), and Son of the Mob: Hollywood Hustle (2006). Korman has also gained success on television: his 6-book series Monday Night Football Club, about 3 children who find themselves switching places with famous NFL stars, was adapted into the Disney Channel TV series The Jersey, which aired for 3 seasons from 1999 to 2003.