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Jerry Spinelli

Award-Winning Children's Author

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Jerry Spinelli Biography

Growing up, Jerry Spinelli was really serious about baseball. He played for the Green Sox Little League team in his hometown of Norristown, Pennsylvania, and dreamed of one day playing for the major leagues, preferably as shortstop for the New York Yankees.

One night during high school, Spinelli watched the football team win an exciting game against one of the best teams in the country. While everyone else rode about town tooting horns in celebration, Spinelli went home and wrote "Goal to Go," a poem about the game's defining moment, a goal-line stand. His father submitted the poem to the Norristown Times-Herald and it was featured in the middle of the sports page a few days later. He then traded in his baseball bat for a pencil, because he knew that he wanted to become a writer.

After graduating from Gettysburg College with an English degree, Spinelli worked full time as a magazine editor. Every day on his lunch hour, he would close his office door and craft novels on yellow magazine copy paper. He wrote four adult novels in 12 years of lunchtime writing, but none of these were accepted for publication. When he submitted a fifth novel about a 13-year-old boy, adult publishers once again rejected his work, but children's publishers embraced it. Spinelli feels that he accidentally became an author of children's books.

Spinelli's hilarious books entertain both children and young adults. Readers see his life in his autobiography Knots in My Yo-Yo String, as well as in his fiction. Crash came out of his desire to include the beloved Penn Relays of his home state of Pennsylvania in a book, while Maniac Magee is set in a fictional town based on his own hometown.

When asked if he does research for his writing, Spinelli says: "The answer is yes and no. No, in the sense that I seldom plow through books at the library to gather material. Yes, in the sense that the first 15 years of my life turned out to be one big research project. I thought I was simply growing up in Norristown, Pennsylvania; looking back now I can see that I was also gathering material that would one day find its way into my books."

On inspiration, the author says: "Ideas come from ordinary, everyday life. And from imagination. And from feelings. And from memories. Memories of dust in my sneakers and humming whitewalls down a hill called Monkey."

Spinelli lives with his wife and fellow writer, Eileen, in West Chester, Pennsylvania. While they write in separate rooms of the house, the couple edits and celebrates one another's work. Their six children have given Jerry Spinelli a plethora of clever material for his writing.

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FAQs
  • How do I book Jerry Spinelli to speak at my event?

    Our experienced booking agents have successfully helped clients around the world secure speakers like Jerry Spinelli for speaking engagements, personal appearances, product endorsements, or corporate entertainment since 2002. Click the Check Availability button above and complete the form on this page to check availability for Jerry Spinelli, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to discuss your upcoming event. One of our experienced agents will be happy to help you get speaking fee information and check availability for Jerry Spinelli or any other speaker of your choice.
  • What are the speaker fees for Jerry Spinelli

    Speaking fees for Jerry Spinelli, or any other speakers and celebrities, are determined based on a number of factors and may change without notice. The estimated fees to book Jerry Spinelli are available upon request for live events and available upon request for virtual events. For the most current speaking fee to hire Jerry Spinelli, click the Check Availability button above and complete the form on this page, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to speak directly with an experienced booking agent.
  • What topics does Jerry Spinelli speak about?

    Jerry Spinelli is a keynote speaker and industry expert whose speaking topics include Authors, Television Stars.
  • Where does Jerry Spinelli travel from?

    Jerry Spinelli generally travels from West Chester, PA, USA, but can be booked for private corporate events, personal appearances, keynote speeches, or other performances across the country.
  • Who is Jerry Spinelli’s agent?

    AAE Speakers Bureau has successfully booked keynote speakers like Jerry Spinelli for clients worldwide since 2002. As a full-service speaker booking agency, we have access to virtually any speaker or celebrity in the world. Our agents are happy and able to submit an offer to the speaker or celebrity of your choice, letting you benefit from our reputation and long-standing relationships in the industry. Please click the Check Availability button above and complete the form on this page including the details of your event, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536, and one of our agents will assist you to book Jerry Spinelli for your next private or corporate function.
  • What is a full-service speaker booking agency?

    AAE Speakers Bureau is a full-service speaker booking agency, meaning we can completely manage the speaker’s or celebrity’s engagement with your organization from the time of booking your speaker through the event’s completion. We provide all of the services you need to host Jerry Spinelli or any other speaker of your choice, including offer negotiation, contractual assistance, accounting and billing, and event speaker travel and logistics services. When you book a speaker with us, we manage the process of hosting a speaker for you as an extension of your team. Our goal is to give our clients peace of mind and a best-in-class service experience when booking a speaker with us.
  • Why is AAE Speakers Bureau different from other booking agencies?

    If you’re looking for the best, unbiased speaker recommendations, paired with a top-notch customer service experience, you’re in the right place. At AAE Speakers Bureau, we exclusively represent the interests of our clients - professional organizations, companies, universities, and associations. We intentionally do not represent the speakers we feature or book. That is so we can present our clients with the broadest and best performing set of speaker options in the market today, and we can make these recommendations without any obligation to promote a specific speaker over another. This is why when our agents suggest a speaker for your event, you can be assured that they are of the highest quality with a history of proven success with our other clients.
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This website is a resource for event professionals and strives to provide the most comprehensive catalog of thought leaders and industry experts to consider for speaking engagements. A listing or profile on this website does not imply an agency affiliation or endorsement by the talent.

All American Entertainment (AAE) exclusively represents the interests of talent buyers, and does not claim to be the agency or management for any speaker or artist on this site. AAE is a talent booking agency for paid events only. We do not handle requests for donation of time or media requests for interviews, and cannot provide celebrity contact information.

If you are the talent and wish to request a profile update or removal from our online directory, please submit a profile request form.

Award-Winning Children's Author

Travels From:
West Chester, PA, USA
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Jerry Spinelli Biography

Growing up, Jerry Spinelli was really serious about baseball. He played for the Green Sox Little League team in his hometown of Norristown, Pennsylvania, and dreamed of one day playing for the major leagues, preferably as shortstop for the New York Yankees.

One night during high school, Spinelli watched the football team win an exciting game against one of the best teams in the country. While everyone else rode about town tooting horns in celebration, Spinelli went home and wrote "Goal to Go," a poem about the game's defining moment, a goal-line stand. His father submitted the poem to the Norristown Times-Herald and it was featured in the middle of the sports page a few days later. He then traded in his baseball bat for a pencil, because he knew that he wanted to become a writer.

After graduating from Gettysburg College with an English degree, Spinelli worked full time as a magazine editor. Every day on his lunch hour, he would close his office door and craft novels on yellow magazine copy paper. He wrote four adult novels in 12 years of lunchtime writing, but none of these were accepted for publication. When he submitted a fifth novel about a 13-year-old boy, adult publishers once again rejected his work, but children's publishers embraced it. Spinelli feels that he accidentally became an author of children's books.

Spinelli's hilarious books entertain both children and young adults. Readers see his life in his autobiography Knots in My Yo-Yo String, as well as in his fiction. Crash came out of his desire to include the beloved Penn Relays of his home state of Pennsylvania in a book, while Maniac Magee is set in a fictional town based on his own hometown.

When asked if he does research for his writing, Spinelli says: "The answer is yes and no. No, in the sense that I seldom plow through books at the library to gather material. Yes, in the sense that the first 15 years of my life turned out to be one big research project. I thought I was simply growing up in Norristown, Pennsylvania; looking back now I can see that I was also gathering material that would one day find its way into my books."

On inspiration, the author says: "Ideas come from ordinary, everyday life. And from imagination. And from feelings. And from memories. Memories of dust in my sneakers and humming whitewalls down a hill called Monkey."

Spinelli lives with his wife and fellow writer, Eileen, in West Chester, Pennsylvania. While they write in separate rooms of the house, the couple edits and celebrates one another's work. Their six children have given Jerry Spinelli a plethora of clever material for his writing.

Jerry Spinelli Videos

  • Jerry Spinelli '63 addresses the Class of 2019
    Newbery-prize winning author Jerry Spinelli '63 gave the Commencement Address to the Class of 2019.

FAQs on booking Jerry Spinelli

  • How do I book Jerry Spinelli to speak at my event?

    Our experienced booking agents have successfully helped clients around the world secure speakers like Jerry Spinelli for speaking engagements, personal appearances, product endorsements, or corporate entertainment since 2002. Click the Check Availability button above and complete the form on this page to check availability for Jerry Spinelli, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to discuss your upcoming event. One of our experienced agents will be happy to help you get speaking fee information and check availability for Jerry Spinelli or any other speaker of your choice.
  • What are the speaker fees for Jerry Spinelli

    Speaking fees for Jerry Spinelli, or any other speakers and celebrities, are determined based on a number of factors and may change without notice. The estimated fees to book Jerry Spinelli are available upon request for live events and available upon request for virtual events. For the most current speaking fee to hire Jerry Spinelli, click the Check Availability button above and complete the form on this page, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to speak directly with an experienced booking agent.
  • What topics does Jerry Spinelli speak about?

    Jerry Spinelli is a keynote speaker and industry expert whose speaking topics include Authors, Television Stars.
  • Where does Jerry Spinelli travel from?

    Jerry Spinelli generally travels from West Chester, PA, USA, but can be booked for private corporate events, personal appearances, keynote speeches, or other performances across the country.
  • Who is Jerry Spinelli’s agent?

    AAE Speakers Bureau has successfully booked keynote speakers like Jerry Spinelli for clients worldwide since 2002. As a full-service speaker booking agency, we have access to virtually any speaker or celebrity in the world. Our agents are happy and able to submit an offer to the speaker or celebrity of your choice, letting you benefit from our reputation and long-standing relationships in the industry. Please click the Check Availability button above and complete the form on this page including the details of your event, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536, and one of our agents will assist you to book Jerry Spinelli for your next private or corporate function.
  • What is a full-service speaker booking agency?

    AAE Speakers Bureau is a full-service speaker booking agency, meaning we can completely manage the speaker’s or celebrity’s engagement with your organization from the time of booking your speaker through the event’s completion. We provide all of the services you need to host Jerry Spinelli or any other speaker of your choice, including offer negotiation, contractual assistance, accounting and billing, and event speaker travel and logistics services. When you book a speaker with us, we manage the process of hosting a speaker for you as an extension of your team. Our goal is to give our clients peace of mind and a best-in-class service experience when booking a speaker with us.
  • Why is AAE Speakers Bureau different from other booking agencies?

    If you’re looking for the best, unbiased speaker recommendations, paired with a top-notch customer service experience, you’re in the right place. At AAE Speakers Bureau, we exclusively represent the interests of our clients - professional organizations, companies, universities, and associations. We intentionally do not represent the speakers we feature or book. That is so we can present our clients with the broadest and best performing set of speaker options in the market today, and we can make these recommendations without any obligation to promote a specific speaker over another. This is why when our agents suggest a speaker for your event, you can be assured that they are of the highest quality with a history of proven success with our other clients.

Jerry Spinelli is a keynote speaker and industry expert who speaks on a wide range of topics . The estimated speaking fee range to book Jerry Spinelli for your event is available upon request. Jerry Spinelli generally travels from West Chester, PA, USA and can be booked for (private) corporate events, personal appearances, keynote speeches, or other performances. Similar motivational celebrity speakers are Gordon Korman, Pam Muñoz Ryan, Laura Numeroff, Kabir Sehgal and Simon Lovell. Contact All American Speakers for ratings, reviews, videos and information on scheduling Jerry Spinelli for an upcoming live or virtual event.

Jerry Spinelli Speaker Videos

  • Jerry Spinelli '63 addresses the Class of 2019
    Newbery-prize winning author Jerry Spinelli '63 gave the Commencement Address to the Class of 2019.

Tell us about your event!

During normal business hours, we respond to most inquiries within 4 hours.

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Speakers Similar to Jerry Spinelli

This website is a resource for event professionals and strives to provide the most comprehensive catalog of thought leaders and industry experts to consider for speaking engagements. A listing or profile on this website does not imply an agency affiliation or endorsement by the talent.

All American Entertainment (AAE) exclusively represents the interests of talent buyers, and does not claim to be the agency or management for any speaker or artist on this site. AAE is a talent booking agency for paid events only. We do not handle requests for donation of time or media requests for interviews, and cannot provide celebrity contact information.

If you are the talent and wish to request a profile update or removal from our online directory, please submit a profile request form.

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