On Thursday November 28th renowned children’s author Andrew Clements passed away at the age of 70. Andrew Clements has more than eighty children’s and YA books published, including the books Frindle, Lunch Money, and The Losers Club. As a children’s book author, Clements has been praised for the portrayal of elementary and middle school life, carefully crafting the dynamic between teacher and student, the details and energy of a classroom, and the chaotic and exciting schoolyard moments.
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Andrew Clements had his first picture book, Bird Adalbert published in 1985 by Picture Book Studio, a small publishing house that he was working at with a role of editing and marketing children’s books. Clements continued to write picture books through the 1990’s and then in 1996, Clements published the book that launched his literary career.
Frindle was Clements first novel, a book based on playing around with the idea of words and language. According to Clements’ website the idea came from a presentation at an elementary school that he gave in 1990, saying “I was trying to explain to them how words only mean what we decide they mean.” A pretty philosophical thought to present to a bunch of elementary grade children, however, it stuck when he got his shot at Simon & Schuster, and Frindle was published as a children’s novel in 1996. This debut novel has sold 8.3 million copies worldwide. Clements continued to write picture books, children’s novels, and young adult novels.
image via goodreads
Those who have worked closely with Clements over the years describe him as a compassionate, creative, and imaginative person. Amy Berkower was Clements’ literary agent. She remembers Clements as an “all-around good guy”, praising his abilities as an author, “he wrote about children with lively imaginations who liked to challenge the status quo as well as the teachers who helped nurture their creativity and guide them towards making a positive impact.”
Clements has written novels that continue to shape people’s lives, young and old, every day. He showed the world that being creative and imaginative is something that can stay with you throughout life. His wit, imagination, and willingness to pursue creativity will be dearly missed.
“Andrew Clements, in innumerable ways, reminded us all the pen was mightier than the sword, quite literally.”
– Caitlyn Dlouhy, who has edited over ten of Clement’s books via Publishers Weekly.
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