Riot Headline 10 Exciting Books to Read this Summer

5 Great Children’s Books About Writers

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Karina Glaser

Contributing Editor

Karina Yan Glaser is a full-time writer and illustrator with a varied career teaching and implementing literacy programs in family homeless shelters and recruiting healthcare professionals to volunteer in under-resourced areas around the world. Karina is the New York Times bestselling author of the middle grade books, The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street and The Vanderbeekers and the Hidden Garden. She lives in Harlem with her husband, two daughters, and an assortment of rescued animals. One of her proudest achievements is raising two kids who can't go anywhere without a book. Website:; Twitter: @KarinaYanGlaser; Instagram: @KarinaIsReadingAndWriting

This list of children’s books about writers was originally published in our kidlit newsletter, The Kids Are All Right. Sign up for it here to get children’s book news, reviews, deals, and more!

As an author myself, I absolutely love reading books about other writers! There are so many fabulous ones out there; here are just a handful of my favorites:

Exquisite: The Poetry and Life of Gwendolyn Brooks by Suzanne Slade and Cozbi A. Cabrera

This exquisite book is gorgeously illustrated by Cozbi A. Cabrera and recounts the life of Gwendolyn Brooks, the first Black person to win the Pulitzer Prize, receiving the award for poetry in 1950. Her poetry, about “real life,” included themes of love, loneliness, family, and poverty. This is a captivating picture book about a captivating writer.

A Most Clever Girl: How Jane Austen Discovered Her Voice by Jasmine A. Stirling and Vesper Stamper

Most people know Jane Austen as the witty writer of many books. As a young girl, she delighted in making her family laugh with tales that poked fun at the popular novels of her time, stories that featured fragile ladies and ridiculous plots. Before long, Jane was writing her own stories — uproariously funny ones, using all the details of her life in a country village as inspiration. Her books are now some of the most beloved around the world.

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson

This has got to be one of my favorite books about a writer…and it’s written by the writer herself! Jacqueline Woodson is my literary hero, and her early life is fascinating. Raised in South Carolina and New York, Woodson always felt halfway home in each place. In vivid poems, she shares what it was like to grow up as an African American in the 1960s and 1970s, living with the remnants of Jim Crow and her growing awareness of the Civil Rights movement. I particularly love those poems that touch on her early desires to be a writer. So powerful!

Jump at the Sun: The True Life Tale of the Unstoppable Storycatcher Zora Neale Hurston by Alicia D. Williams and Jacqueline Alcántara

As a young girl, Zora Neale Hurston wanted nothing more than to be surrounded by stories. Her mama always told her that if she wanted something, “to jump at de sun,” because even though you might not land quite that high, at least you’d get off the ground. So Zora jumped from place to place, from the porch of the general store where she listened to folktales to Howard University to Harlem. Her stories included tales about people that no one had paid attention to before, until she wrote them down.

Some Writer! The Story of E.B. White by Melissa Sweet

This incredible book follows the life of E.B. White, the legendary author of Charlotte’s Web and The Trumpet of the Swan (my personal favorite of his stories). Melissa Sweet does an incredible job distilling his life for young readers, and her illustrations are fantastic. Check this one out!