Jennifer Swanson is the author of 45+ nonfiction books for kids. Her passion for science and technology resonates in all her books and her work has won multiple awards including a Green Earth Book Honor Award, three Florida Book Awards, California Reading Association awards, a Parent’s Choice Gold award, and a 2021 Kirkus Best Books Award. Jennifer is an accomplished speaker at events and schools around the country, the Highlights Foundation, the National NSTA conferences, the World Science Festival in NYC, and the Library of Congress’ National Book Festival. She lives in Jacksonville with her husband and two dogs.
What was your favorite book when you were a child?
Nancy Drew books were my absolute favorite books! I loved following along and solving the mystery. I think that’s why I love science. It’s the same thing. Science is all about solving the mysteries of how things work.
What’s your favorite line from a book?
This one from A. A. Milne is very special to me: “Promise me you’ll always remember: you’re braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than think.”
Who are your top three favorite authors or illustrators?
That’s a tough one, there are so many that I admire. My top three favorite science authors are Melissa Stewart, Laurie Wallmark, and Sarah Albee.
Why did you want to become an author or illustrator?
I have always loved to write. From the time I was very small, I wrote books. I spent a huge amount of my early years in a library and one of my dreams was to be able to pull a book off of the shelves with my name on it.
Do you have any advice for future authors or illustrators?
Work hard and never give up. Over the course of my career, I have received lots of rejection. I have been told that my writing is not good enough—that I should go back to my “day job.” But I didnt’ let that stop me. I just dug in, spent more time learning my craft, and kept going. Don’t let anyone take your dream from you!