Dan Gutman was born in a log cabin in Illinois and used to write by candlelight with a piece of chalk on a shovel. Wait a minute. That was Abraham Lincoln. Actually, Dan grew up in New Jersey. And, for some reason, he still lives there.
Like a lot of boys, Dan didn't like reading, but he loved sports. So, naturally, he grew up to write sports books for reluctant readers.
In 1994, Dan cooked up a novel about a boy who finds the most valuable baseball card in the world and discovers he has the power to travel through time using the baseball card like a time machine. The result was Honus & Me. Rejected by ten publishers over two years, the book was finally published in 1997 by HarperCollins.
Honus & Me was nominated for eleven state book awards, was made into a play and a TV movie, and established Dan Gutman as an emerging name in middle-grade fiction. Most importantly, it allowed Dan to avoid getting a real job.
As a full-blown author, Dan Gutman wrote many other middle-grade books (many of which he won many, many major awards for).
Then, in 2004, his insatiable quest for world domination led Dan Gutman to come up with the idea of chronicling the weird antics at Ella Mentry School. Aimed at beginning readers, the My Weird School books describe a school in which the kids are normal but the teachers are all insane. Each book focuses on a different adult, and titles include Miss Daisy Is Crazy!, Mr. Klutz Is Nuts!, Mrs. Cooney Is Loony!, Miss Lazar Is Bizarre!, Ms. Todd Is Odd!, Mr. Macky Is Wacky!, Ms. Coco Is Loco!, and Mr. Louie Is Screwy! (the titles rhyme, you see).
There are now more than thirty titles in the My Weird School and My Weird School Daze series. The books have sold over four million copies (and those are just the ones Dan bought himself trying to get on the bestseller list). My Weird School and My Weird School Daze have been cracking up kids all over the country for more than five years now, and there's no doubt that they are the best early reader books in the history of the world. My Weird School is now getting even weirder with the new series, My Weirder School.
In the midst of all this weirdness, Dan was hit with a burst of genius, which soon developed into a new action-packed series called The Genius Files, featuring thirteen-year-old boy and girl twins named Coke and Pepsi McDonald.
When he's not writing books, Dan writes self-glorifying profiles. He lives with his wife, Nina, and their kids, Sam and Emma. To learn more about Dan and his books, please visit www.dangutman.com.
Meet the Man Behind the Pictures
Sure, Dan can write weird and wonderful stories . . . but what about those awesome illustrations? Read Dan’s interview with art-smart guy Jim Paillot, illustrator of the My Weird School series.
Introduce your class to the weirdest writer in the history of the world with a virtual visit from Dan Gutman. Let this goofy guy tell your students himself how he started writing, was rejected by over ten publishers, eventually got published, and how he came up with the idea for the My Weird School series. You’ll be sure to WOW your class (which is MOM upside down).