Jewell Parker Rhodes has always loved reading and writing stories. Born and raised in Manchester, a largely African-American neighborhood on the North Side of Pittsburgh, she was a voracious reader as a child. She began college as a dance major, but when she discovered there were novels by African Americans, for African Americans, she knew she wanted to be an author. She wrote six novels for adults, two writing guides, and a memoir, but writing for children remained her dream.
Now Jewell has published four children’s books: Ninth Ward, Sugar, Bayou Magic, and Towers Falling. Her fifth, Ghost Boys, will be released in spring of 2018. She's also published six adult novels, two writing guides, and a memoir. When she’s not writing, she’s visiting schools to talk about her books with the kids who read them, or teaching writing at Arizona State University, where she is the Piper Endowed Chair and Founding Artistic Director of the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing.
Jewell has received numerous honors including: the American Book Award, the National Endowment of the Arts Award in Fiction, the Black Caucus of the American Library Award for Literary Excellence, the PEN Oakland/Josephine Miles Award for Outstanding Writing, and two Arizona Book Awards. Ninth Ward was named a Coretta Scott King Honor Book, a Notable Book for a Global Society, and a Today Show Al’s Book Club for Kids Selection. Her work has been published in China, Korea, France, Germany, Italy, Canada, Turkey and the United Kingdom, and reproduced in audio for NPR’s “Selected Shorts.”
Jewell Parker Rhodes is the author of books: Ghost Boys, Towers Falling, Ninth Ward, Sugar, Voodoo Dreams: A Novel of Marie Laveau, Bayou Magic, Douglass' Women, Voodoo Season, Moon (Marie Laveau Mystery #2), Magic City