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Marvin Terban






United States of America


New York


New York


United States of America

Called a "master of children's wordplay" by ALA Booklist and "Mr. English for Kids" by the Children's Book-of-the-Month Club, Marvin Terban is Scholastic's Professor Grammar. He has written over thirty-five books for young readers, most of them about the English language. He was born in Chelsea, Massachusetts, and his first writing job was a column for the local newspaper when he was still in high school. He was also the editor of his middle school and high school newspapers and literary magazines. He went to Tufts and Columbia Universities, where he received Bachelor's and Master's degrees respectively. For over forty years, he has taught English, Latin, Public Speaking, and theater to grades 5 to 12 at the Columbia Grammar and Preparatory School in New York City.

Years ago Marvin took a break from teaching to produce educational programs for public television. Returning to the classroom with renewed energy, he developed teaching games that used humor to help students understand and enjoy the mystifying idiosyncrasies of the English language. Those games grew into the highly original, award-winning, best selling series of funny books on English for which he is known. Three of Marvin's books for Scholastic (Dictionary of Idioms, Dictionary of Spelling, and Checking Your Grammar) have sold over one million copies each. His books have made it as far as Shanghai University in China, where they are used to teach English to adults. Two of his books were turned into early computer games. He and his wife Karen, a former special education teacher, also wrote two books for teachers. He is currently working on a new book for Scholastic on the parts of speech which will be accompanied by nine short videos and activities for the interactive whiteboard.

Marvin has acted in local community theater plays to raise money for charitable causes. He has also had small parts in movies directed by Woody Allen. For many summers he directed plays at a children's camp. He has paid "Meet the Author" visits to schools and given major presentations at educational conferences all over the United States, South America, Europe, Israel, and Japan. Marvin and Karen live in New York City across from Central Park and have two children and a granddaughter.

Susan Cheyney

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