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Joanna Cole

Biography

Joanna Cole

I discovered in the fifth grade that I enjoyed explaining things and writing reports for school. I had a teacher who was a little like Ms. Frizzle. She loved her subject. Every week she had a child do an experiment in front of the room, and I always wanted to be that child. Grade school was very important to me -- maybe that's why I ended up writing books for children as an adult. After graduating from college, I worked as an elementary-school teacher, a librarian, a children's book editor, and a writer. My first book was Cockroaches

An article in the Wall Street Journal inspired me to do some research. I discovered that there had never been a children's book written about cockroaches before. So I thought, why not? Plus, I had ample time to study that creature in my low-budget New York apartment! 

Since then I have written both nonfiction and fiction books for children. In my science books, including The Magic School Bus books, I write about ideas, rather than just the facts. I try to ask a question, such as how do scientists guess what dinosaurs were like? Then I try to answer the question as I write the book. Writing is hard work, but it's the greatest fun in the world.

Joanna Cole