Myracle at the 2012 LA Times Festival of Books
May 15, 1969 |
Brevard, North Carolina
|Education||University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (B.A.); Colorado State University (M.A.); Vermont College (MFA)|
|Genre||Young adult fiction|
Lauren Myracle (born May 15, 1969) is an American writer of young adult fiction. She has written many novels, including the three best-selling "IM" books, ttyl, ttfn and l8r, g8r. Her book Thirteen Plus One was released May 4, 2010. Myracle's younger sister, Susan Rebecca White, writes adult fiction, including Bound South (2009), A Soft Place to Land (2010), and A Place at the Table (2013).
She was born in Brevard, North Carolina, and is the oldest of three sisters and has three older brothers. She grew up in Atlanta, Georgia, where she attended Trinity School and The Westminster Schools. Myracle earned a BA in English and Psychology from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa.
After graduation, she worked for some time as a middle-school teacher in Gwinnett County, Georgia, and participated in the JET Programme in Japan. Myracle later earned an MA in English from Colorado State University, where she taught for two years and an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College.
Myracle's first novel, Kissing Kate, was released in 2003. Her middle-grade novel, Eleven, came out 2004, and Twelve came out in 2007. Myracle published The Fashion Disaster that Changed My Life in 2005. Thirteen was released in March 2008. She recently also came out with the book Thirteen Plus One in 2010. She also wrote Rhymes with Witches and Bliss, which came out in 2008, is its prequel. She also has a book entitled How to Be Bad with E. Lockhart and Sarah Mlynowski.
The Internet Girls series comprises ttyl (talk to you later), ttfn (ta ta for now), and l8r, g8r (later, gator). It features three friends—Zoe, Maddie, and Angela—who experience typical high school drama: boys, drugs, alcohol, parties, driving, and college prep. The novels ttyl and ttfn were both New York Times bestsellers, and ttyl was the first novel to be written entirely in instant messages. Most of Myracle's novels take place in Atlanta, Georgia and are inspired by her childhood friends and experiences, and her large diverse family.
In November, 2011, she published Shine, which is set in rural western North Carolina and deals with a young girl's search for the perpetrators of a hate crime against her gay friend.
Her latest work, released in August, 2013, is entitled The Infinite Moment of Us. According to Publishers Weekly, the coming of age story "is a rewarding account of two young people whose insecurities and personal histories weigh on the romance they work to build with each other."
According to the American Library Association, Myracle's books were the most challenged books of 2009 and 2011. Her books continue to be challenged in school libraries, usually for scenes of alleged sexuality, homosexuality, or alcohol use. Scholastic Books nearly refused to carry Luv Ya Bunches at its national school book fair events because the book features lesbian mothers. Scholastic recanted its initial decision after a large internet outcry.
Myracle is highly critical of adults attempting to keep books away from teenagers, believing that kids are smart enough to understand the message in books and learn their lessons. Regarding her own children's reading, she says "As a mom, I want my kids to read any book they want! I want them to read."
Awards and honors
Her first novel, Kissing Kate, was selected an Allie McNamara ALA Best Books for Young Adults for the year 2004. It was named by Booklist as one of the "Top Ten Youth Romances" of the year, as well as one of the "Top Ten Books by New Writers".
National Book Foundation controversy
In October, 2011, a controversy occurred when the National Book Foundation listed Shine as one of the five finalists for its annual National Book Award for Young People's Literature. Then it announced a mistake: Chime was the intended finalist; it would make an exception and consider six finalists. Shortly thereafter, NBF asked her to withdraw Shine from consideration and Myracle agreed to do so.
The Winnie Years
Internet Girls series
Flower Power series
The Life of Ty series
Stand-Alone Novels and Short Stories