Jerry Spinelli is the author of more than a dozen books for young readers, including Maniac Magee, winner of the Newbery Medal; Wringer, a Newbery Honor Book; Crash; and Knots in My Yo-Yo String, his autobiography. He grew up in Norristown , Pennsylvania , where he once dreamed of becoming a major league baseball player. All of this changed at age 16, when his poem about a football game was published in the local newspaper. From then on, he wanted to become a writer.
Jerry's first book for children was published when he was 41 years old. He still lives in Pennsylvania with his "Stargirl," his wife, Eileen Spinelli, who is also an author of children's books.

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Present Day Picture

Knots In My Yo-Yo String, by Jerry Spinelli

My Thoughts

During the time Jerry Spinelli grew up, the world was becoming more and more advanced by the days. From a racial stand point to launching a spacecraft to the moon. Jerry got to experince many great events in his childhood that he can cherish forever. Jerry Spinelli was a great tribute to the society because he could write so well. Back at his childhood times writing was not what kids cherished the most. Sports and getting in to trouble was what kids loved to do. Jerry had both of those experinces but he mainly loved to write and he was very talented at it. He started out by writing in the sports column of the newspaper. Many kids a dreams of becoming proffesionals at sports including Jerry. But the odds of anyone doing that was very slim. So Jerry decided to do what he loved best and that was of coures writing. As many kids grew up to work in factories or working at mininum wage jobs that they hated, Jerry was having a blast writing childrens books. There is not a better job than a job you absolutly love and cherish. Jerry made a contribute to the society by doing the right and senseable thing. He attacked his strong points and became very succesful.

Quote "I am outside in the yard. There is the smell-sour, vaguely rotten. And then the sound. It is high-pitched, but that is not the problem. The radio makes high-pitched sounds, too, and so does my mother when she sings to me. The problem is the loudness, a force as feelable as a blizzard. Every morsel of me shrivels ands shakes. And even so, maybe I could stand it if only it woulod stop. But it does not and does not-and I cannot hear my own scream. My mother is running out to get me..."(2).
Thoughts Jerry Spinelli grew up right next to a beer factory. All of those high-pitched sounds came from the factory. Jerry Spinelli is remined that all of the sour smell and high-pitched sounds came from where he lived. Any time Jerry hears or smells any thing awkward, he is remined of where he came from. Jerry recalls many great memories from the factory, like hearing the sound woke him up just in time for school.


Quote "Early on I learned, without anyone actually telling me, that in this world it is not enough just to be. You have to be something"(16).
Thoughts Jerry Spinelli grew having to find out what he really wanted to do with his life. Jerry at first thought he had his life planned out when he decided to be a proffessional baseball player. But after writing a column in the newspaper about sports, he decided to be a writer. But not just any writer, a writer that everyone would notice. He did not want to be that boring old author who writes books only for grown-ups to read, no, he wanted to write books for kids to read. He wanted to make sure he was noticed more than just by adults.

Quote "In the final line we promised to be a generous victor and a gracious loser"(32).
Thoughts Jerry Spinelli grew up loving sports. He was a huge baseball fan and player. He won a state title for his team as a short stop. That year his team went undefeated. The quote says that no matter what the out come of the game, we well all have good sportsmenship. Well that was easy for them because they never lost a game that season. Jerry Spinelli was also in volved with basketball and football, but baseball was his favorite sport.


Quote "On July 20, 1969, Apollo 11 astronauts rode the lunar module Eagle to the surface the moon. Like much of the world, I was in front of a TV set watching fuzzy images of the event: Eagle launching from the mother spacecraft, Eagle orbiting the moon, Eagle coming in lower, lower, skimming lunar hills and craters, seeking a spot to land. I strained my eyes watching, and still I wasn't seeing, not well enough...the pictures in my head. I rushed outside to my car, I turned on the radio, and that's where I experinced the landing on the moon. I had rediscovered what I knew back on George Street: listening is believing"(44).
Thoughts 1969 was a great year for America. Apollo landed on the moon. Jerry Spinelli is a lucky person to experince such an event on tv/ radio. The TV had just came out and Jerry loved it. Jerry Spinelli was very excited about Apollo 11 because he got to witness one of the greatest accomplishments America has ever achieved.


Quote "The instant my mother saw my face, she gasped. It flashed through her mind that I had suddenly contracted measles or scarlet fever or some such red and rashy affliction. She pulled me farther into the light of the living room. It wasn't a disease-it was lipstick, red lippy patches of it all over my face. I had just come home from a birthday party at Nona Norris's. I explained that we had played some sort of game-the exact nature of which I don't recall-that resulted in all the girls mobbing one boy and smooching him dead with thier red, oh~so~grownup lipsticky lips. My mother told me to go upstairs and wash it off. She remembers almost wishing it had been measles. I was seven years old. And I already had a girlfriend"(115).
Thoughts Jerry Spinelli as a little boy was very popular. Even though he spent most of his time playing sports, he still had time to socilize. I guess you could call Spinelli a love magnet. He always had away around the ladys. But there really was only one that spinelli truley loved and that is his wife Eileen Spinelli. Jerry knew she was the one after Eileen gave him some great ideas of writing childens books. Eileen also wrote childrens books along with Jerry, so it made perfect sense for the both of them to be perfect couples.
Quote "Lucky was dead. As my brother and I stood over her, breathing hard from our dash to Johnson Highway, I wished I could believe otherwise. She lay in the street near the sidewalk. There was no blood. Her chest and paws were snowy white in the Sunday~afternoon light. But her eyes were open, she did not move, and I could not bring myself to touch her. Lucky had been a house dog. She did not know about streets and cars. I could feel Bill's eyes pleading. "Is she"? I nodded. We turned away and walked home. Bill cried. I held back. A neighbor called city hall about the body"(137).
Thoughts Jerry had a dog named Lucky, Lucky was always a friend to go to when Jerry was ethier sad or angry. Lucky was a small inside dog. Jerry felt that Lucky was just another sibling to him. Even though Lucky was an indoor dog, every once in awhile Jerry would let Lucky run around in the yard. Then that terrible day came when Lucky ran out into the road and got it by a car. Lucky of course did not know better, but Jerry blames it on himself for not bringing Lucky in when he went in.

1 (Picture of Sports)
, . "School Clip Art." Photograph. . 23 June 2001-2008. <>.

2 Spinelli, Jerry . Knots in My Yo-yo String. New York: Alfred A.Knopf, 1998. (The Book, Knots In My Yo-Yo String)

3 ( Picture of the beer factory) (Website)
, . "Cascade Brewery." Photograph. . 29 March 2008. <>.

(Picture of Jerry Spinelli) (website)
, . "Jerry Spinelli." Photograph. Orchard Books. 14 February 2004. <>.

(An outline of Jerry Spinelli's life)

6 (Picture of Space Shuttle)
, . "Apollo 11." Photograph. . 17 April 2007. <>.