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David A. Adler


April 10, 1947

I���ve always been a dreamer... A few years ago I was at Open School Night for my middle son. His fourth-grade teacher was the same one my eldest son had had seven years earlier and the same teacher I had had some time in the 1950s. The teacher looked at me, smiled, and then told the roomful of parents, “A long time ago, when I had just started teaching, David was in my class.” She smiled again and said, “I went to the principal and asked, ���What should I do with Adler? He���s always dreaming.��� ���Leave him alone,��� the principal answered. ���Maybe one day he���ll be a writer.���” That���s her story, not mine. But I know I did dream through much of my early school years and I did become a writer. Dreamers become writers, and, for me, being a published writer is a dream come true. I write both fiction and nonfiction. I begin my fiction with the main character. The story comes later. Of course, since I���ll be spending a lot of time with each main character, why not have him or her be someone I like? Andy Russell is based, loosely, on a beloved member of my family. He���s fun to write about, and the boy who inspired the character is even more fun to know. Cam Jansen is based, even more loosely, on a classmate of mine from the first grade whom we all envied because we thought he had a photographic memory. Now, especially when my children remind me of some promise they said I made, I really envy Cam���s amazing memory. For my books of nonfiction I write about subjects I find fascinating. I���ve been a Yankees and a Lou Gehrig fan for decades, so I wrote Lou Gehrig: The Luckiest Man. It���s more the story of his great courage than of his baseball playing. Children face all sorts of challenges, and it���s my hope that some will be inspired by the courage of Lou Gehrig. The Babe & I is fiction, but it���s based on fact - on newspaper reports of a nine-day period in 1932. The book blends my love of history, my love of baseball, and my tendency to dream. In the story, a boy finds a way to help his family survive through the hard depression years and, in the process, comes to believe he���s doing it in partnership with his idol, the Babe. My book of One Yellow Daffodil is fiction, too, but it���s based on scores of interviews I did with Holocaust survivors. The stories I heard from them were compelling. One Yellow Daffodil is a look both to the past and the future, and it expresses my belief in the great spirit and strength of our children. In my office I have a sign that says, DON���T THINK. JUST WRITE! and that���s how I work. I try not to worry about each word, or even each sentence or paragraph. For me, stories evolve. Writing is a process. I rewrite each sentence, each manuscript, many times. And I work with my editors. I look forward to their suggestions, their help in the almost endless rewrite process. Well, it���s time to get back to dreaming, and to writing ��� my dream of a job.
My Scholastic

Susan Cheyney

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