Children's LiteratureBorn in upstate New York in 1950, Bruce Coville knew at age seventeen that he wanted to be a author. His first book, The Foolish Giant, was published in1978. The Master's Ring, published in 1982 and popular both with critics and the public, introduced Mr. Elive's magic shop and became the first book in his "Magic Shop" series. In 1989 he published his first book about a visitor from another planetMy Teacher is an Alien. It sold more than a million copies and solidified Coville's place in children's publishing. Other science fiction books in the series include My Teacher Fried My Brains (1991) and My Teacher Flunked the Planet (1992). In addition to his popular fantasy and science fiction, Coville developed a series of storybooks in 1992 to retell Shakespeare for young readers. An accomplished actor in his own right, Coville also has written and directed plays. Coville collaborated with renowned author Jane Yolen on a book, Armageddon Summer, published in 1998 that explores the influence of cults and the use of organized religion to fan people's fears about the end of the world. The final chapter in this biography focuses on censorship; it uses Colville's own memories of censorship involving his high school graduation speech as a springboard to a discussion of censorship more broadly. Books often face challenges for their use of offensive language, supernatural themes, or sexual content. A list of Coville's awards, as well as summaries of his most popular books and characters, are included. Other biographies in the "Who Wrote That" series include Judy Blume and Philip Pullman. 2006, Chelsea House Publishers, Ages 9 to 14.
Valerie O. Patterson