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Welcome to

David A. Adler says,

      "Writing should be fun!"

Among Adler's many
award-winning books

This powerful biography traces Lou Gehrig's life capturing the strength, modesty, and dignity for which this remarkable man will always be remembered. 


"Well told and handsomely illustrated." -- The New York Times Book Review

"Moving . . . It's hard not to shed a tear." -- San Francisco Chronicle Book Review

"Inspirational." -- USA Today Baseball Weekly


A Boston Globe-- Horn Book Honor Book

A National Parenting Publications Gold Award

An ALA Notable Children's Book

Bulletin Blue Ribbon Book

An IRA Teachers' Choice

A New York Public Library 100 Titles

     for Reading and Sharing

A Marion Vannett Ridgway Award

A Paterson Prize Book of Young People (K-3)



A School Library Journal Best Book!

A Society of School Librarians International Honor Book

*Booklist starred review, "Thoroughly researched, lucidly written." 

*School Library Journal, starred review.

"This well-written and absorbing read is an important inclusion for all collections."

      The Babe & I
                (Historical Fiction)

           Extra!  Extra!  Read all about it!


         It's 1932 and hard times are upon everyone.  The Great Depression has made jobs scarce and money hard to come by.  BUT America still loves baseball and Babe Ruth is the #1 star of the game.  And one boy is about to discover with some creativity, hard work, and a little help from the Babe himself he can do his part to help his family.


"Adler and Widener score big--their book reads like a labor of love."  -- Publishers Weekly

*"This nostalgic, heartwarming story about hard work and teamwork highlights heroes big and small."  Booklist (starred review)

"This is the kind of book that makes you want to buy season tickets."  -- The Horn Book

California Young Readers' Medal

ABA Pick of the List.

Golden Kite Honor Book

Jefferson Cup Honor Book

NCSS-CBC Notable Children's Trade Book

          in the Field of Social Studies

Smithsoniam Magazine Notable Book for Children 

Working Mother Magazine Best Book

Don't Throw It To Mo!
The first of the Mo Jackson sports books
--great fun for beginning readers

Winner of the 2016 Dr. Seuss medal!

Don't Throw It to Mo!.
Adler, David A. (Author) , Ricks, Sam (Illustrator)


Winner of the 2016 Theodor Seuss Geisel Award
Mo is the youngest kid on the Robins, his football team. His classmates don't mind, but the kids on their rival team tease him for being a "butterfingers" who's too tiny to catch the ball. But Mo's coach has a plan to turn Mo's little size into a big win for the Robins! This Level 2 reader about a little African-American boy with a big passion for sports was the winner of the Theodor Seuss Geisel Award in 2016.


School & Library Journal Review

Adler, David A. Don't Throw it to Mo! illus. by Sam Ricks. 32p. (Mo Jackson). Penguin. May 2015. Tr $14.99. ISBN 9780670016310; ebk. $10.99. ISBN 9780698136120.
K-Gr 2–Mo loves football so much that his mother wakes him up every morning for school by throwing him a forward pass. He participates in a neighborhood football team in which most of the kids are older, but Mo practices every day and keeps coach Steve company on the bench cheering for his team. Sometimes his coach works with Mo even though the boy doesn't play. One day, things change for Mo; coach Steve puts him in the game. No one expects him to play well, and the other team doesn't try to challenge him. Then one special play saves the game, and Mo wins it for his team. This beginning reader is well designed with bold colors and cartoon illustrations to provide new readers with context clues that support the story. Simple sentences and in-depth plot support key details providing material for strong comprehension to support fluency. VERDICT An engaging sports title with ethnically diverse characters, recommended for all early reader collections.–Melissa Smith, Royal Oak Public Library, MI



32 p. Penguin, hardcover, $14.99. (9780670016310).
The youngest kid on his football team, little Mo watches most of their games from the bench. Occasionally, Coach Steve tosses him a buttered football to help him "practice holding on to the ball, even if it's slippery." During a losing game, the opposing team's players jeer at the (literally) butterfingered kid on the sidelines. Then Coach Steve sends Mo in and, using their opponents' overconfidence and disrespect, sets up a winning play. While beginning readers may not be playing organized football, they can still dream about it. Laid out in simple words, large type, and wide-spaced lines, the text is illustrated with colorful, jaunty line-and-wash illustrations that portray the diverse characters with energy and style. The simply told story features an appealing underdog with enough skill to catch the ball and enough humility to give his coach some credit. Despite the longevity of Leonard Kessler's Kick, Pass, and Run (1966, 1996), football-themed books for beginning readers are surprisingly hard to find.

Fortunately for young sports fans, this one is a winner.
— Carolyn Phelan

Gertrude Ederle died in November 2003 at the age of 98. When AMERICA'S CHAMPION SWIMMER, GERTRUDE EDERLE was first published it was the only book length biography of this American heroine.  In 1926 her successful swim of the English Channel empowered women.


Praise for America's Champion Swimmer

"Captures the highlights of Ederle's life in evocative images and telling detail."  -- The New York Times Book Review

"Adler and Widener . . . have produced another winner . . . Fascinating." -- The Miami Herald

"Adler's story and Widener's drawings are a triumph in themselves." -- The San Diego Union Tribune


*A Child Magazine Best Book of the Year

*A San Francisco Chronicle Best Book of the Year

*ABA's Pick of the Lists

*A Booklist Editor's Choice

*A School Library Journal Best Book of the Year

*A Bulletin Blue Ribbon Book

*An Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Award Winner

Cam Jansen -- the girl detective with the photographic memory -- more than 30,000,000 copies of her mysteries are in print!

David A. Adler talks about writing.

"For me writing is a process.  I begin with a story idea, with the main characters, and the setting.  I struggle most with the 'voice,' how I will tell the story.  For me writing involves constant revisions.  It's so much easier, I think, not to try and get the story just right in the first draft, to leave that for the second, third, and fourth drafts.  My best stories have been rewritten many, many times before I sent them to my editors."

B. Franklin, Printer

--A Society of School Librarians International Honor Book


--Parents' Choice Award

--VOYA Nonficion Honor list

*"Adler doesn't miss a beat." School Library Journal, starred review

*"An intriguing portrait of a many-faceted man." Booklist starred review


Have classroom fun with Franklin

Here are some maxims from

Benjamin Franklin's Poor Richard's Almanacks:

"Fish and visitors smell in three days." (1736 Almanack)

"If your head is wax, don't walk in the sun." (1749)

"Men and mellons are hard to know" (1733)

"Make haste slowly." (1744)

"Clean your fingers before you point at my spots." (1750)

"Great talkers, little doers." (1733)

"Eat to live and not live to eat." (1733)


Now finish these (not from Franklin) to write your own:

Never tell a parrot _____________________

Don't tickle an angry ___________________

Hats and shoes are ____________________

"Don't laugh when _____________________

If you see an orange rolling ______________

Don't interrupt a teacher when ____________

Wise children don't _____________________

The more friends the more _______________

Happiness is a _________________________

JOE LOUIS: America's Fighter
At first he was a hero to African-American fans.
He became a hero to all Americans!

Joe Louis was a fighter, a world champion boxer, a "punching machine." But more important, Joe Louis was a hero. At the beginning of his fighting career, he was a hero and a symbol of hope to African Americans. Later, Joe Louis became a hero to all Americans, uniting blacks and white boxing fans in their hatred of the Nazis and their desire for him to beat the German fighter Max Schmeling.


With powerful text and luminous illustrations, the award-winning, picture-book team of David A. Adler and Terry Widenerhas brought to life the true story of one determined individual who overcame racism and poverty . . . and inspired a nation.

Includes a time line highlighting key events in the boxer's life.


NCSS/CBC Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Young People

* Booklist, starred review--

"Meticulously documented, this clearly written book builds a convincing portrayal."


Kirkus Reviews

Carefully researched account of "a life of courage, passion, and adventure."

Young readers already have a plethora of Tubman titles to choose from, including the author's own 1992 Picture Book of Harriet Tubman for younger readers, illustrated by Samuel Byrd. This one, though, offers an unusually coherent picture of her character as well as her place within both the major events of her times and the work of the Underground Railroad. Laying stress on her religious faith and her selfless nature, Adler covers her career as Union spy and nurse as well as "conductor" in deep-enough detail to make mention of her later involvement in a money swindle and her ambiguous relationship with "niece" (daughter? kidnap victim?) Margaret Stewart. Sheaves of small, period black-and-white portrait photos or engravings, plus occasional atrocity reports or editorials clipped from African-American newspapers give the pages a staid look overall. This is underscored by a typeface that, intentionally or otherwise, sometimes looks battered or too-lightly inked. Tubman's exploits and struggles make absorbing reading nonetheless.

Unassuming of aspect but judicious and illuminating of content. (endnotes, bibliography, personal note about the author's family in the Civil War) (Biography. 10-12)


Theodore Roosevelt seemed an unlikely head of state to many. Some called him the cowboy president because of his experiences as a Dakota Territory rancher, adventurer, and head of a Rough Rider regiment in the Spanish-American War. Yet as president he was anything but a hayseed. He increased the country's stature in the international sphere, built the Panama Canal, and won the Nobel Peace Prize. A tireless crusader for causes he held dear, he was known as the "trust buster" for breaking up powerful monopolies and was one of the most significant conservation activists of his time. This handsome portrait of perhaps our most colorful and energetic president includes photographs and pictures, letters, and other primary documents.


KIRKUS -- An absorbing portrait of an iconic president known as much for his adventurous nature as his robust political life.

Presidential biographies present a challenge in that many of the facts are familiar, and Theodore Roosevelt, the 26th president of the United States, was such a colorful character that he continues to be an attractive subject for young readers. As indicated by his title, acclaimed biographer Adler focuses on Roosevelt the adventurer, documenting how a determined Roosevelt grew from a sickly, bookish child to an energetic young man devoted to politics. His exploits in the wild and as a Rough Rider share page space with his personal challenges and stories of his lively family. Adler does not shy away from the less-attractive aspects of Roosevelt's presidency. Much has been made of his dinner with the African-American leader Booker T. Washington. "But he did not support easier access for blacks to the voting booth. He did not appoint a great number of blacks to federal jobs. And in 1906 he seemed to cross the line and support unequal treatment of blacks" with the Brownsville Affair. In addition to an engaging narrative, this volume is replete with illustrations: photographs, political cartoons of the period, even drawings done by Roosevelt himself. Adler's research is supported by a detailed timeline, source notes, bibliography, picture credits and index.

A valuable addition to the presidential-biography shelf. (Biography. 10-14)


"Well researched and clearly written, Adler's account offers a good introduction to the man and his times."

Kirkus Reviews


A celebration for America's first president.

Straightforward, lighthearted text and intricate, colorful illustrations tell the story of President-elect George Washington's travels from his home in Mount Vernon, Virginia, to New York City, where he was sworn in as the first chief executive of the United States. Exuberant parades and joyous festivities were held in abundance, though the unassuming Washington would seemingly have preferred to make his journey quickly and quietly. The future president's serious personality and no-nonsense attitude are clearly expressed, the jubilation of the crowds that met him is readily apparent, and the trek is portrayed succinctly yet includes specifics, outlining differences between then and now by implication. What's here is pleasant and interesting, and young readers and listeners will enjoy the details in the accessible text and the humorous, deftly drawn illustrations. What is missing is the presence of brown faces  among the White ones throughout the story; such omissions, intentional or not, are deeply questionable given the dearth of children's books on Washington that address the fact that he owned people who were slaves—a fact that is missing here even in the backmatter. Simultaneously a celebration of America's beginnings and a lost opportunity to present a complete depiction of history, this selection may nevertheless be useful given the approaching election and inauguration. 



Crowds cheering, trumpets sounding, and cannons firing! Follow along as George Washington journeys from Virginia to his inauguration in New York City.

After the Revolutionary War, the newly formed U.S. Congress chose the first president. Every vote was for Washington.

So began Washington's week-long trip from his home in Virginia to New York City, where he would be inaugurated. At every stop on George Washington's route, people were determined to celebrate their very first president. In Baltimore citizens rode along with Washington for seven miles, in Philadelphia people chanted "Long live George Washington," and in Elizabethtown, NJ, Washington was met with a parade of boats so spectacular that he would later write in his "the decorations of the ships, the roar of cannon . . . filled my mind with sensations."

David A. Adler deftly retells this joyous journey in information-packed prose, while John O'Brien masterfully illustrates our complex and beautiful new nation in his signature style. Included in the meticulously detailed artwork are period-accurate maritime signal flags for kids to decode and buildings like Federal Hall in New York City that still stand today. Back matter includes a time line, source notes, and a bibliography.

David A. Adler talks about writing.  "I know when I write something, anything, no one else would have written it exactly the same way.  It's true about your writing, too.  An original story is like a fingerprint.  No two stories are the same." 

CAMPY, The Story of Roy Campanella

CAMPY: The Story of Roy Campanella, by David A. Adler, illustrated by Gordon C. James, (Viking Press)
Danny's Doodles #1 -- The Jelly Bean Experiment

- Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

 "Adler adds some depth to the befriend-the-new-kid story with inventive phrasing, humorous characterization, and a gentle backstory about Calvin's absent father. . . Danny and Calvin are classic non-superhero chapter book protagonists, and they're remarkably easy to relate to." 


- Kirkus Reviews

"Award-winning nonfiction author and creator of Cam Jansen, Adler starts a new series of gently humorous stories aimed at those just starting chapter books. The first-person narration, realistic characters and occasional line-drawing "doodles" will keep pages turning. Young readers will easily see themselves in Danny and his compatriots."


- Publishers Weekly

"Adler again displays his versatility with this empathic first book in the Danny's Doodles illustrated chapter book series. Adler also tempers the story's humor with some poignant moments. . The novel delivers laughs as well as a clear message about friendship and acceptance, even when one's friend is "100% weird." 


Danny's Doodles #2 -- The Squirting Donuts 
A Picture Book of Harry Houdini -- Just published
YOU CAN, TOUCAN, MATH -- Word problem solving fun -- (Holiday House)

The governor, a presidential candidate, is visiting Cam and Eric's school for the dedication of a new library. Bang! A loud sound like a gunshot startles everyone. Was it really a gun -- or a noisy cover for a crime? Click along with Cam Jansen as she teams up with the Secret Service to solve the mystery.

ENEMIES OF SLAVERY (Holiday House)An introduction to the lives of fourteen abolitionists -- one page on each with full color illustrations


   Some are household names, other are all but forgotten. These twelve heroes played an important role in the American Revolution.

Paul Revere, silversmith, engraver, midnight messenger to the Patriots. Lydia Darragh, nurse, mother of five, Continental army spy. Crispus Attucks, escaped slave, "the first to defy, the first to die." George Washington, father of the country. Deborah Sampson, "the female soldier."

   From spying on the British to rescuing fallen soldiers on the battlefield, these men and women stand as unforgettable heroes of the Revolutionary War. David A. Adler's lively anecdotes and Donald A. Smith's bold paintings present a dozen figures whose courage and determination to seek freedom were indomitable in their own times and remain a shining example in our own.   Author's notes, a list of important dates, source notes, and a selected bibliography expand on the biographies of each person. This is a great gift for young history buffs interested in the Revolutionary War as well as a resource for classroom use.

SATCHEL PAIGE: Don't Look Back,
by David A. Adler, illustrated by Terry Widener (Harcourt)
Satchel Paige: Don't Look Back (Harcourt) 
CAM JANSEN with added Cam Jansen quizzes
and fun and a special surprise for Cam 
JUST PUBLISHED! This is the newest Young Cam Jansen mystery -- YOUNG CAM JANSEN AND THE SPOTTED CAT MYSTERY -- How did the spotted cat get in Cam's classroom? Whose cat is it? Can Cam solve this mystery? Can you?!?
mini biographies of twelve American heroes of the Revolution

Gr. 5-7. Adler follows up his well-received B. Franklin, Printer (2001) with an equally perceptive study of another iconic figure. Distilling major scholarship from the previous two centuries, he does nothing to tarnish Washington's reputation. Yes, he owned slaves, had a fiery temper, and exhibited such stingy ways that he sometimes drove his steward to tears, but he was also a canny, courageous, natural leader who learned from his mistakes, struggled with self-doubt, and held views toward slavery that were, for the time, moderate. Adler enhances his profile with a coherent, if distant, account of the Revolutionary War, small illustrations of many of the people and places he mentions, generous extracts from period letters or news accounts (in an evocatively battered looking typeface), capsule biographies of Washington's generals and cabinet members, and, finally, discursive endnotes and meaty resource lists. Marrin's George Washington and the Founding of a Nation (2001) features more rousing accounts of battles, but this offers clear views of Washington's public and private lives as well as sharp insights into his character and his times. John Peters
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved



An introduction to the lives of Lewis and Clark and to the exploratory expedition they led from St. Louis to the Pacific Ocean in the early nineteenth century.

Interview with David from the blog by Barbara Bietz on his book DON'T TALK TO ME ABOUT THE WAR

Posted by Barbara Bietz: David Adler is the much-loved author of over 200 books for children, including the iconic Cam Jansen Series. David’s writing career was inspired by his curious three-year-old nephew whose questions led to David’s first book, A Little At A Time (Random House) is being released with new art in 2010 by Holiday House. His latest book, Don’t Talk To Me About The War (Viking) is a touching middle grade novel about a young boy’s life in New York during World War II. I have been a huge fan of David’s books for many years, and I was thrilled at the opportunity to chat with him about Don’t Talk To Me About The War.

What was your inspiration for Dont' Talk To Me About The War?

Writing Don't Talk To Me About The War was a real process. It began with my fascination with the time between WW I and WW II. I had already written one very successful book of historical fiction about that time period, The Babe and I, a picture book featuring an encounter with Babe Ruth. The book won may awards including a Golden Kite Honor Award and the California Medal. Don't Talk To Me About The War began for me with the idea to fashion a story on one boy and his family's reaction to Roosevelt's fireside chats. After all, so much has been said and written about those talks, how families gathered by their radios to listen. Well, how did they react? That idea proved unworkable. The chats were too infrequent, only about once every six months. Instead I began with the 1940 rescue at Dunkirk, two views, one of a girl wrapped up in the horror of the trapped soldiers and her best friend Tommy who feels it's all happening so far away, across the ocean, and means very little to him. But more is happening in Tommy's life. There's baseball and his favorite team the Brooklyn Dodgers, radio, his friend Beth whose mother recently died and whose father works in the press room of the New York Daily Mirror, their friend Sarah's escape from Nazi-held Europe, and Tommy's mother's medical issues. It's a coming-of-age story as Tommy assumes more responsibilities at home as his mother becomes less able to care for Tommy and his father.

Was any research involved?

Oh, yes! I began with a calendar. I always knew what day it was in my story: May 23, 1940; May 24, 1940; May 25, 1940. And as I wrote I had that day's newspaper on my desk. If I wrote the Dodgers won that day, they did. The score and the details of the game in the book are accurate. The radio schedule and the weather is also accurate. The news reports about the rescue at Dunkirk are accurate, too, even the slow pace the full news reached the United States. Also, for Tommy's mother's illness I consulted old medical texts and a woman whose mother was diagnosed in 1939 with the same illness. I didn't want to know how it's treated today. I needed to know how it was diagnosed and treated in 1940.

Are you working on anything new?

Of course! I am working on an older level biography, similar in approach to my B. Franklin, Printer and George Washington: An Illustrated Biography. There are also Cam Jansen, Young Cam Jansen, and Jeffrey Bones mysteries in the works as well as another book of historical fiction.

**** May 4th ****

I've always been a dreamer . . . A few years ago I was at Open School Night for my middle son. His fourth-grade teacher was the same one my eldest son had had seven years earlier and the same teacher I had had some time in the 1950s. The teacher looked at me, smiled, and then told the roomful of parents, "A long time ago, when I had just started teaching, David was in my class." She smiled again and said, "I went to the principal and asked, 'What should I do with Adler? He's always dreaming.' 'Leave him alone,' the principal answered. 'Maybe one day he'll be a writer.'"
That's her story, not mine. But I know I did dream through much of my early school years and I did become a writer. Dreamers become writers, and, for me, being a published writer is a dream come true.
I write both fiction and nonfiction. I begin my fiction with the main character. The story comes later. Of course, since I'll be spending a lot of time with each main character, why not have him or her be someone I like? Cam Jansen is based on an elementary school classmate whom we all envied because we thought he had a photographic memory. Andy Russell is based on a beloved member of my family.
For my books of nonfiction I write about subjects I find interesting. The recent biographies I've written are about Benjamin Franklin, Janusz Korczak, Dwight David Eisenhower, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Lou Gehrig, Joe Louis, Lewis and Clark, Martin Luther King, Jr.,and George Washington Carver.
When I write, I try not to worry about each word, or even each sentence or paragraph. For me, books evolve. I rewrite each sentence, each manuscript, many times. And I work with my editors. I look forward to their suggestions, their help in the almost endless rewrite process.