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Marilyn Singer (born 3 October 1948) is an author of children's books in a wide variety of genres, including fiction and non-fiction picture books, juvenile novels and mysteries, young adult fantasies, and poetry.

Marilyn Singer
Marilyn Singer
Photo by Sonya Sones


Marilyn Singer was born in the Bronx, New York City on October 3, 1948 and lived most of her early life in North Massapequa (Long Island), NY. She attended Queens College, City University of New York, and for her junior year, the University of Reading, England. She holds a B.A. in English from Queens College and an M.A. in Communications from New York University.

In 1974, after teaching English in New York City high schools for several years, Marilyn began to write – initially film notes, catalogues, teacher's guides and film strips. Then, one day, when she was sitting in the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Marilyn penned a story featuring talking insect characters she'd made up when she was eight. Encouraged by the responses she got, Marilyn wrote more stories and in 1976 her first book, The Dog Who Insisted He Wasn't, was published by E. P. Dutton.

Since then, Marilyn has published over one hundred books for children and young adults. Her genres are many and varied, including realistic novels, fantasies, non-fiction, fairy tales, picture books, mysteries and poetry.

Marilyn Singer lives in Park Slope, Brooklyn, New York.


1971. Education: Attended University of Reading, UK, 1967–68; Queens College of the City University of New York, B.A. (cum laude), 1969; New York University, M.A., 1979.


Picture Books


Novels for Children

Mysteries For Children

Fiction for Young Adults

Fairy Tales

Magazine articles and Other publications

  • "Pests and Pollinators," on insects and other garden animals in Click (July/August 2002)
  • "Clay Castles," on African termites in Click (February 2002)
  • "A Safe Place," on Kruger National Park in Click (March 2001)
  • "Never-Ending Journey," on the Serengeti migrations in Click (October 2000)
  • "Raising the Bar," on Puppies Behind Bars, a program that prison inmates raise pups to become guide dogs for the blind in AKC Gazette (October 2000)
  • "A Dad Who Has Babies," on seahorses in Click (February 2000)
  • "A Farmer's Best Friend," on sheepdogs in Click (May/June 1999)
  • "Paper Houses," on wasp nests in Click (February 1999)
  • "The Mind of the Judge," on dog obedience trial judges in AKC Gazette (March 1998)


  • Cat-Chasing Day (Dutton) A poetry collection on holidays for dogs
  • The Boy Who Cried Alien (Hyperion) A "silent movie" in poems about Larry the Liar, a spaceship, and a town
  • Tallulah's Toe Shoes (Clarion)
  • Tallulah's Nutcracker (Clarion)
  • Follow Follow: A Book of Reverso Poems (Dial)
  • Rutherford B., Who Was He? (Disney-Hyperion)
  • I'm Gonna Climb a Mountain in My Patent Leather Shoes (Abrams)

Awards and nominations

  • Mirror, Mirror
    • Cybil Award for Poetry, 2011
    • ALA Notable, 2011
    • CLA/NCTE Notable, 2011
    • Nominee, Texas Bluebonnet Award
    • Capitol Choice Book
    • 6 starred reviews
  • Chicago Public Library's Best of the Best, 2009 (Eggs and First Food Fight This Fall)
  • Orbis Pictus Honor Book, 2008 (Venom)
  • New York Public Library's One Hundred Best Titles for Reading and Sharing, 2007 (Venom)
  • NSTA-CBC Outstanding Science Trade Book, 2007 (What Stinks?)
  • Science Books & Film Best Trade Books, 2006 (What Stinks?)
  • New York Public Library, Best Books for the Teen Age, 2006
  • ALSC Notable Book, 2005 (Central Heating)
  • Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award Honor Book, 2005 (Creature Carnival)
  • New York Public Library's "Best Books for the Teen Age," 2005
  • Nominee:ALA Best Book for Young Adults, 2004
  • NSTA-CBA Outstanding Science Trade Book, 2002 (Tough Beginnings: How Baby Animals Survive)
  • Canadian Children's Book Centre "Our Choice" Book, 2002
  • Children's Literature Choice Book, 2002
  • National Science Teachers Association/Children's Book Council Outstanding Science Trade Book for Students, 2002
  • Skipping Stones Honor Award Book for 2002
  • Society of School Librarians International Best Book for Science, 2001 (Tough Beginnings: How Baby Animals Survive)
  • Animal Behavior Society Children’s Book Award, 2001 (A Pair of Wings)
  • Society of School Librarians International Best Book for Science for 2001
  • New York Public Library's "Best Books for the Teen Age," 2001 (I Believe in Water: Twelve Brushes with Religion)
  • Tayshas List, 2001-2
  • Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults, 2000 (YALSA) (Stay True: Short Stories for Strong Girls)
  • Booklist’s Top Ten Science Books, 2000 (On the Same Day in March)
  • NCSS-CBC Notable Book, 2000 (On the Same Day in March)
  • Runner-up, Publishers Weekly Best Religious Books of 2000
  • Cooperative Children's Book Center CCBC Link, Book of the Week, Dec 11, 2000
  • Finalist, YA category, Edgar Award, 1998 (Deal with a Ghost)
  • Nominee: Edgar Award, 1998 [2]
  • Society of School Librarians International Best Books, 1997-8
  • Scholastic Book Club selection (paperback), 1993
  • Scholastic Book Club selection (paperback), 1991
  • NCTE Notable Book, 1989
  • Best Illustrated Children's Books of 1989, The New York Times
  • Best Children's Books of 1989, Time magazine
  • Society of School Librarians International Best Books, 1998-9
  • ALA Best Book for Young Adults, 1983 (The Course of True Love Never Did Run Smooth)
  • An American Library Association Best Book, 1983
  • Maud Hart Lovelace Award, 1983 (It Can't Hurt Forever)
  • Children's Choice Award (IRA/CBC)
  • Turtle in July
    • NCTE Notable, 1989
    • New York Times Best Illustrated, 1989
    • Time magazine Best Children’s Books of 1989
    • Reading Rainbow review book
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