I write and edit books for young people.
I can help you write well too.
THE SHORT STORY:
I am the author of the creepy MG fantasy adventure The Jumbies (with a sequel coming in fall 2017), the contemporary YA novel Angel’s Grace and 9 non-fiction books for kids in elementary through high school.
I’m a former elementary school teacher, I do lots of author visits, and I’m on the faculty at Lesley University’s Creative Writing MFA program.
I am a freelance editor for publishers and individual authors.
My name is pronounced buhTEEST.
THE LONG(ER) STORY:
I’ve wanted to write since I was three and my mother bought me an oversized illustrated Grimm’s Fairy Tales. It was so spellbindingly beautiful, I thought I wanted to live in its pages my entire life.
I decided to be a writer then, but I didn’t tell anyone until I was thirteen. I was inspired to write for kids after reading Rosa Guy’s “The Friends.”
Before I became a published author, I was a teacher. I taught mostly 2nd grade because it’s the AWESOMEST!
After teaching for a few years, I worked in educational publishing making reading and language arts textbooks for kids. Later, I worked for a publishing company editing non-fiction books for kids. Now, I am a freelance editor for publishers and individual clients.
I love helping writers with their own books for kids.
You can find me at school and library visits, writing conferences, book fairs, and teacher and library conferences.
My debut novel was Angel’s Grace. It was named one of the 100 best books for reading and sharing by NYC librarians. I’ve always liked librarians. It was also the first novel I ever tried to write (except for the one when I was 12, but let’s not go there.)
My latest novel is The Jumbies, which was published by Algonquin Young Readers in 2015. It was a Junior Library Guild Selection, a New York Public Libraries Staff Pick, one of Brightly’s Best Kids Books of 2015, a We Need Diverse Books “Must Read,” and named to Bank Street’s Best Books of 2016.
The sequel to The Jumbies arrives fall 2017.