Author bio

Leslie Connor

Leslie Connor - book author

From the author's website:

My life began suddenly (you can even ask my mother) in an antique farmhouse outside of Cleveland, Ohio. I was born right on the family room floor ~ no time to get to the hospital! I swear, I’ve been in a hurry ever since.

When I was in fourth grade we moved to a neighborhood full of kids outside of Schenectady, New York. My Dad worked for a company that sold some of the finest printing papers in all the land. He often brought home big, beautiful, heavy books that pinned me to my chair when I held them in my lap, and I loved to turn the pages, look at the photography and illustrations and smell the ink.

As a kid I took dancing lessons and did gymnastics. I could be found upside-down in odd places like the middle of the stairway, not that I recommend it! My bedroom was a messy nest full of paint sets and paper scraps, embroidery threads and sewing projects. In school I was good at some things and not at all good at others. Still, I found my passions. I went to college, first at SUNY, Cobleskill, where I received an associate’s degree in agriculture, and later at the University of Connecticut in Storrs, Ct. where I earned a bachelor’s degree in fine art.

At first, I was interested in children’s books from an illustrator’s point of view. But the writing part surprised me ~ came up from behind and tapped me on the shoulder. I realized that my head and heart were very full of stories and that I should pay attention! My ideas come from everyday life, and I write for readers of all ages.

I live in the Connecticut woods with my husband and three children. (Well, the kids are getting big and they all drive cars now so they come and go a lot these days.) We keep our bird feeders full, do a little gardening and stack a lot of firewood. I hike the trails near my home almost every morning. Then I make a pot of tea and get to work. Usually, my loyal Writing Dogs are right by my side. (Sometimes I even borrow dogs from my neighbors. You can’t have enough dogs.)

I love making artisan pizzas and pots of soup and my favorite treat is dark chocolate. I also love to ride my bike down to the diner to meet my friends for breakfast and more tea. (Hmm...that’s a lot of eating, isn’t it?)

Life is fine!

Leslie Connor is the author of books: Waiting for Normal, All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook, The Truth as Told by Mason Buttle, The Things You Kiss Goodbye, Crunch, Dead on Town Line, Miss Bridie Chose a Shovel, A Home for Goddesses and Dogs


Author books

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Title
Description
01
This poignant and joyful novel is filled with meaningful moments and emotional resonance.

Addie is waiting for normal. But Addie's mother has an all-or-nothing approach to life: a food fiesta or an empty pantry, her way or no way.

Addie’s mother is bipolar, and she often neglects Addie. All-or-nothing never adds up to normal, and it can't bring Addie home, where she wants to be with her half-sisters and her stepfather. But Addie never stops hoping that one day, maybe, she'll find normal.
02
Junior Library Guild Selection * Kids’ Indie Next List Pick

From Leslie Connor, award-winning author of Waiting for Normal and Crunch, comes a soaring and heartfelt story about love, forgiveness, and how innocence makes us all rise up. All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook is a powerful story, perfect for fans of Wonder and When You Reach Me.

Eleven-year-old Perry was born and raised by his mom at the Blue River Co-ed Correctional Facility in tiny Surprise, Nebraska. His mom is a resident on Cell Block C, and so far Warden Daugherty has made it possible for them to be together. That is, until a new district attorney discovers the truth—and Perry is removed from the facility and forced into a foster home.

When Perry moves to the “outside” world, he feels trapped. Desperate to be reunited with his mom, Perry goes on a quest for answers about her past crime. As he gets closer to the truth, he will discover that love makes people resilient no matter where they come from . . . but can he find a way to tell everyone what home truly means?
03
Mason Buttle is the biggest, sweatiest kid in his grade, and everyone knows he can barely read or write. Mason’s learning disabilities are compounded by grief. Fifteen months ago, Mason’s best friend, Benny Kilmartin, turned up dead in the Buttle family’s orchard. An investigation drags on, and Mason, honest as the day is long, can’t understand why Lieutenant Baird won’t believe the story Mason has told about that day.

Both Mason and his new friend, tiny Calvin Chumsky, are relentlessly bullied by the other boys in their neighborhood, so they create an underground club space for themselves. When Calvin goes missing, Mason finds himself in trouble again. He’s desperate to figure out what happened to Calvin, and eventually, Benny.

But will anyone believe him?
04
Bettina Vasilis can hardly believe it when basketball star Brady Cullen asks her out, and she just about faints when her strict father actually approves of him.

But when school starts up again, Brady changes. What happened to the sweet boy she fell in love with? Then she meets a smoldering guy in his twenties, and this “cowboy” is everything Brady is not—gentle, caring, and interested in getting to know the real Bettina.

Bettina knows that breaking up with Brady would mean giving up her freedom—and that it would be inappropriate for anything to happen between her and Cowboy. Still, she can’t help that she longs for the scent of his auto shop whenever she’s anywhere else.

When tragedy strikes, Bettina must tell her family the truth—and kiss goodbye the things she thought she knew about herself and the men in her life.

Leslie Connor has written a lyrical, heartbreaking, and ultimately hopeful story about family, romance, and the immense power of love.
05
Dewey Marriss is stuck in the middle of a crunch.

He never guessed that the gas pumps would run dry the same week he promised to manage the family's bicycle-repair business. Suddenly everyone needs a bike. And nobody wants to wait.

Meanwhile, the crunch has stranded Dewey's parents far up north with an empty fuel tank and no way home. It's up to Dewey and his older sister, Lil, to look after their younger siblings and run the bike shop all on their own.

Each day Dewey and his siblings feel their parents' absence more and more. The Marriss Bike Barn is busier than ever. And just when he is starting to feel crunched himself, Dewey discovers that bike parts are missing from the shop. He's sure he knows who's responsible—or does he? Will exposing the thief only make more trouble for Dewey and his siblings?

Award-winning author Leslie Connor has created another timely family story infused with humor and hope.
06
Making her powerful yet quiet debut, Connor delivers this original novel-in-verse--the story of a girl who is murdered by a classmate and finds herself stuck on the edges of the world she once knew and a realm whose tug she feels but can't quite find her way to. Illustrations.
07
The journey begins for a young immigrant named Miss Bridie. It is a journey of hope and uncertainty, a journey that will take her to a new land, a new home, and—if she has chosen wisely—a good life.
With elegant woodcuts, Caldecott medalist Mary Azarian brings to life Leslie Connor’s spare story of a life rich with blessings, yet not without challenges. Here is a lyrical tribute to the millions of immigrants who left their homes to begin anew in America—and an enchanting look at how one woman carves out a life with the help of a common shovel.
08
Lydia knows more about death than most thirteen-year-olds. Her mother was already sick when her father left them six years ago. When her mother dies, it is Lydia who sits by her side.

Fully orphaned now, Lydia follows the plan her mother made with her. She uproots to rural Connecticut to live with her “last of kin.” Aunt Brat, her jovial wife Eileen, and their ancient live-in landlord Elloroy welcome Lydia. Only days after her arrival the women adopt a big yellow dog.

Lydia is not a dog person—and this one is trouble! He pees in the house, escapes into the woods, and barks at things unseen. His new owners begin to guess about his unknown past.

Lydia doesn’t want to cause trouble for her new family—and she does not mean to keep secrets—but there are things she’s not telling . . .

….like why the box of “paper stuff” she keeps under her bed is so important…

….and why that hole in the wall behind a poster in her room is getting bigger…

…..and why something she took from the big yellow dog just might be the key to unraveling his mysterious past—but at what cost?

Leslie Connor has created another unique masterpiece, wholly original and beautifully crafted. A Home for Goddesses and Dogs sings about loss and love and finding joy in new friendships and a loving family—and the world’s best bad dog.