Lorie Ann Grover is a young adult novelist and board book author. She has received starred reviews from Kirkus and Booklist and was a 2003 Washington State Book Award Finalist. Her works have been further honored by VOYA, Bank Street College, the New York Public Library, Parents Magazine, and Girls Life magazine.
Lorie Ann is also the co-founder of the literacy social media project, readergirlz, the recipient of the National Book Foundation’s Innovations in Reading, as well as readertotz, a blog in celebration of board books.
In 2004, my daughter’s best friend was walking to school before dawn, and she was struck in the crosswalk. Her urgent brain surgery left her family and friends spinning through the long dark wait of her operation and recovery. Inspired by her accident, I wrote my contemporary young adult novel, Hit. In the story, Sarah is hit by the very teacher she is crushing on. I wanted to explore how in one moment dreams, hopes, and goals can be shattered. Yet, within the most difficult trial are sweet, red seeds. There they glisten, but we may need to look hard to catch the faintest glint. That one tragic moment might also afford the opportunity to stop, assess our pursuits, and help us realize we actually want to take another road.
As I researched for Hit, I bumped against #redthumbreminder. Steve Babcock’s simple, yet innovative solution to text safety is awesome. Embraced across the country, men and women are painting one thumbnail red to remind themselves not to text while driving. It worked for Steve, and he was able to break the habit. It can certainly work for you and me. Hit takes place in two and a half days. I hope you enjoy the fast-paced read, and you are left pondering your life choices, loves, and the sweetness possibly buried in your own current trial.
Where does a firstborn girl fit in a world dominated by men? When Tiadone was born, her parents had two choices: leave their daughter outside the community to die in the wilds, or raise her as male and force her to suppress all feminine traits. Now, as the first female living as male in her village, Tiadone must prove her father didn't make a mistake by letting her live. As her male initiation approaches, Tiadone knows every eye on the community is on her, and desperately wishes to belong and finally be accepted.---But at every step, traditional feminine gifts and traits emerge, and the bird she's been twined with is seen as a sign of evil. Worse, as Tiadone completes her rites, she finds she is drawn to her male best friend in ways that are very much in line with the female gender. Confused and desperate, Tiadone tries to become what she must be while dealing with what she indeed has become: a young woman who may be able to stand up to her despotic rulers and uncover her real purpose in life.
The impetus for Firstborn was an article I read on gendercide. Appalled that the atrocity continues today, I funneled my anger into writing this novel. My hope is that through the power of story, awareness and action against gendercide will increase. The United Nations estimates that there are 200 million girls missing today. You can read more about gendercide and take action at www.allgirlsallowed.org or www.ggaap.com.
I based the Firstborn setting on our nearby high deserts, east of the Cascades, while Perimeter is modeled after the military training camps for young Spartan boys. My own small town is at the base of Mt. Rainier where there are many red-tailed hawks, the inspiration for the rapion.
The manuscript was initially written in verse, like my first three novels, but I found I needed more room to create my first fantasy novel. For a visual take, pop over to my Firstborn Pinterest Board.
Nominated for the Kirkus Prize
Kirkus Starred Review
Girls' Life Magazine Book Club Recommend
For as long as she can remember, Clare and her family have had a dream: Someday Clare will be a dancer in City Ballet Company. For ten long years Clare has been taking ballet lessons, watching what she eats, giving up friends and a social life, and practicing until her feet bleed -- all for the sake of that dream. And now, with the audition for City Ballet Company right around the corner, the dream feels so close. But what if the dream doesn't come true? The competition for the sixteen spots in the company is fierce, and many won't make it. Talent, dedication, body shape, size -- everything will influence the outcome. Clare's grandfather says she is already a great dancer, but does she really have what it takes to make it into the company? And if not, then what? Told through passionate and affecting poems in Clare's own voice, On Pointe soars with emotion as it explores what it means to reach for a dream -- and the way that dreams can change as quickly and suddenly as do our lives.
on pointe insight
On Pointe: This novel sprang from my experience as a member of the Miami Ballet Company. After ten years of study I grew too tall to pursue the art further, so I aimed to share a story of a girl who comes to dance for the joy of dance itself, no matter her body shape or ability. I wanted to rewrite the end of my own experience and dance vicariously through the written word.
My grandfather makes a strong appearance in this work. He always affirmed that “I felt the music,” and his belief in me was a great inspiration.
On Pointe is set in my current town of Sumner, Washington, although it is not named. I transplanted the Miami Conservatory to Main Street. You can see a few visuals on my On Pointe Pinterest Board.
on pointe awards
Girls' Life Top Ten Summer Read
Dorothy Canfield Fisher Award Nominee
Bank Street College Best Children's Book of the Year
"I'm leaving." Dad's words come as a complete shock to Essie. How can he just walk out on her and the family, especially when Mom is pregnant? Essie keeps her dad's leaving a secret. Then Essie's classmate, Chris Crow, disappears, and everyone finds out he's been kidnapped. Is Chris okay? Is Dad ever coming back? Essie is left to wonder if people really have any control over what happens in their lives. Finally, after a startling incident with a family friend, Essie finds the strength to hold on tight to all that she has left -- and in the process realizes that the bonds of love and family do hold a person together. Inspired by true events, Hold Me Tight is a moving and powerful novel. An author's note provides further information about kidnapping and the Amber Alert programs that are in use today to help communities find abducted children.
hold me tight insight
The same year my father left our family, the boy who sat in front of me in my fifth grade class was kidnapped. I wrote Hold Me Tight to explore one man leaving a child, while another man stole a child.
Chris Carrier’s abduction (Chris Crow in my fictional work) was nationally reported. Years later, as an adult, he appeared on talk shows when his kidnapper confessed on his deathbed, and Chris had the grace to forgive the man. See Article
After the publication of the novel, a reporter connected me to Chris. His then ten year old daughter was able to read the fictionalized account of her father. I was blessed to connect with someone I missed knowing well, over thirty years prior.
Placed in South Florida, I hope the setting breathes and resonates as its own character. Its intensity and unique quality deserve it. For a visual, stop by my Hold Me Tight Pinterest Board.
hold me tight awards
VOYA Top Poetry Pick
Kansas State Reading Circle Middle School Title
Seventh grader Kay Garber's happy home is made up of four generations of women: Great Gran Eula; Grandma Margie; Kay's mother, Karine; and Kay. But on the evening Grandma Margie tells her family she has a lump in her breast, Kay's world is changed forever. Struggling with issues of popularity in junior high school, trying to understand her too-perfect mother, dealing with her feelings about friends, and coming to terms with Grandma Margie's cancer diagnosis and illness, Kay is awhirl with questions that have no easy answers. But Kay is a survivor, and as she journeys through these difficult months she comes to a new understanding of the complexities and importance of faith and family. Told through forthright and perceptive poems in Kay's own voice, Loose Threads reverberates with emotion and depth and will leave no reader untouched.
loose threads insight
My first novel was born from my own family’s experience of my grandmother’s breast cancer. I intensified the situation by removing the men from the tale and placing four generations of women under one roof. The work is set in my hometown of Miami, Florida.
Believing all occurrences are providential, I wrote the work to dismiss the notion that someone can lose their fight with cancer. Rather, I believe all has an appointed time. My aim stands to show, “There’s hope. Look.” I had no idea that five years later, I would develop thyroid cancer, undergo surgery, and successful radioactive iodide treatment. See my Loose Threads Pinterest Board for further reflection.
loose threads awards
Booklist Starred Review
Booklist Top 10 Youth First Novel
New York Public Library Book for the Teen Age
Bank Street College Best Children's Book of the Year
Washington State Book Award Finalist
Rhode Island Teen Book Award Nominee
Hurricane Voices Breast Cancer Foundation Feature
I write and illustrate for young adults. Upcoming novels and board books are in various points of the publication process. Check back soon for news on new releases for 2015.
As a co-founder of readergirlz, I aim to champion teen literacy and corresponding social service. Through readertotz, I have co-created a board book blog dedicated to raising the profile of infant/toddler books. Whether writing or reading, I strive to live the readergirlz motto and "Read, Reflect, and Reach Out."
Elizabeth Harding, Vice President, Curtis Brown, Ltd.
Curtis Brown, Ltd. is among the most venerable and prominent literary agencies in the world, representing a wide variety of established and emerging writers from all genres.
Located in New York, New York.