(May 29, 1949 – November 28, 2019) was an American writer of many children's books. His debut novel
'' won annual book awards determined by the vote of U.S. schoolchildren in about twenty different U.S. states. In June 2015 it was named the Phoenix Award
winner for 2016 as the best book that did not win a major award when it was published in 1996.
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