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Alan Armstrong

Alan Armstrong started volunteering in a friend's bookshop when he was eight. At 14, he was selling books at Brentano's. As an adult, every so often, he takes to the road in a VW bus named Zora to peddle used books. He is the editor of "Forget Not Mee & My Garden," a collection of the letters of Peter Collinson, the 18th-century mercer and amateur botanist.

Alan went to China to see what Marco Polo might have seen, flying in one day the distance it took Marco three years to go by galley, camel, yak, horse, and foot, nearly at the cost of his life. Inspired by Polo's hunger for exploration and his gift for describing what he met, Armstrong wrote Looking for Marco Polo, his third book for children. His first book, Whittington, was awarded a Newbery Honor in 2006.

He lives with his wife, Martha, a painter, in Massachusetts.