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Monica Harris

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Monica Harris

Monica was born in Kalamazoo, Michigan around the time when playing outside was still cool and video games were non-existent. When she was in the fifth grade, she was a good student who often finished her work early. So what did she do to keep busy? She caused problems, of course! Her teacher began sending her to the school library where she was immediately put to work repairing book bindings and shelving books. It didn’t take long before she mastered these skills and was bored again. That’s when the librarian started recommending books for Monica to read. One of the suggestions was Roald Dahl’s James and the Giant Peach. It was upon completing that book that Monica vowed to one day write a book for children.

Naturally, her life took a number of curves before this happened. She attended Michigan Technological University where she earned a B.S. in medical technology. It was there that she met her husband and moved to his native country of Canada. After one year, they decided to return to MTU where Monica earned her M.S. in physiology education. With her teaching certificate in hand, she set out to inspire students in the areas of life science, biology, and chemistry.

It wasn’t until the birth of her two daughters that Monica remembered the promise she had made in fifth grade. Intimidated at the thought of a whole book project, she began writing articles for educational publications like Good Apple, Highlights, and Oasis. Then life took a fantastic curve. Fearon Teacher Aides published her first book, Dot-to-Dot Stories in 2000 based on an article she had written. Soon after, Heinemann Library published her five easy reader bug books (Walking Stick, Tarantula, Paper Wasp, Black Widow Spider, Tick). Immediately after, Publications International Ltd asked Monica to write a 127-page book for young animal lovers titled My First Book of Animals.

Although Monica was thrilled with her successes, she still yearned to create a picture book. Then one day, she found herself repeating a phrase to her children that her Grandmother use to say to her. That phrase was “you’re loud enough to wake the dead.” From that inspirational moment, Henry and his story came alive in her picture book, Wake the Dead.

Monica has lived in Canada, Germany, and Switzerland where she always tries to learn something new. Besides writing and teaching creative writing to students, she enjoys hiking, belly dancing, rollerblading, skiing, and eating chocolate. Monica currently lives back in Kalamazoo, Michigan where she writes picture books, young adult novels, and educational articles on sparking creative writing.

Speaking Engagements: Monica will speak at schools, libraries, book stores and conferences. Please contact her directly.

Wake the Dead

Wake the Dead
illustrated by Susan Estelle Kwas
Walker and Company, 2004
ISBN: 978-0-8027-8922-8

Henry is SO loud that his mother warns him he’ll wake the dead. Henry is SOO noisy that his father cautions him he’ll wake the dead. Henry is SOOO ear splittingly, piercingly deafening that even his sister tells him he’ll wake the dead. And wouldn’t you know it….he does!

The story that follows is a madcap, pun-filled romp, as the rudely awakened zombies wander through town in search of the noisemaker who disturbed their peaceful rest. If you guess that Henry’s going to have a big mess on his hands, you’d be dead right!

Quills Literary Awards Nominee

MyFirstBook of Animals

My First Book of Animals
Publications International, 2004
ISBN: 978-0-7853-8372-7

Can monkeys fly?Do flamingos sleep on one foot?This book answers those questions and many more.It is filled with tons of intriguing information.With colorful photos and fascinating facts, it will interest kids who want to know more about creatures furry, scaly, slippery, fluffy, and slimy.So captivate your child’s imagination by introducing them to this amazing world.

Tarantula

Heinemann First Library Bug Books (5 titles)
Heinemann Library, 2003

Tarantula 978-1-4034-0764-1
Paper Wasp 978-1-4034-0767-2
Walking Stick 978-1-4034-0766-5
BlackWidow Spider 978-1-4034-0762-7
Tick 978-1-4034-0765-8

Each book is a wonderful world of discovery where early readers learn about interesting animals. Simple text and fabulous photographs are accompanied with a scientific glossary.

Dot-to-Dot Stories Dot-to-Dot Stories
illustrated by Becky J. Radtke
Fearon Teacher Aids, 2000
ISBN: 978-0-7682-0311-0

Dot-to-Dot Stories is a unique way to introduce young children to the writing process.Just like with dot-to-dot drawings, children connect dots to create a picture.As they connect each dot, an age-appropriate word is introduced and children are invited to use that word in a sentence.The sentences are then linked together to create a delightful story.

Copyright 2002- Children's Literature Network.