My books are about kids who populate the margins of conventional society, who have something big to face in life, who take action on their own behalf, and who are aided by adults who live on the margins themselves. A coming together of the world we live in and the world inside my head.
When I was growing up I saw injustice and hypocrisy everywhere I looked. I still do. The battle against them goes on. Windmills must be tilted at or the power of romance will disappear, and we will be the poorer for it. I believe in the power of imagination and laughter and love. As a character in FINDING STINKO says, "Hope is the soap that floats in the bathtub of life."
Before writing books for young readers, I wrote movies for television. I was nominated for an Emmy, a Writers Guild of America award and a Razzie. I was also awarded a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. My credits can be seen by clicking on the quick link for IMDB to the right. I am a member of the Writers Guild of America West, the Author's Guild, and PEN Center USA.
I went to Trinity School in New York City and the University of Rhode Island where I met my wife, to whom, much to my good fortune, I am still married. We live in Seattle.
Children's Bill of Rights
We the children of the world, being unable to defend ourselves, advocate for ourselves, vote or make political contributions, declare that we are entitled to certain basic universal human rights.
1. We did not choose to be born. We were brought into this world. You will do everything you can to keep us free from hunger, fear, ignorance, abuse and servitude.
2. We will respect you, if you respect us.
3. We are to be educated. We will be allowed to make mistakes and to fail. We will learn from experience. We will become responsible for our words and actions as we grow. We will learn to tell the truth, because you will not lie.
4. We will be allowed to decide about our lives when we are older. You will encourage us to pursue what is in our hearts.
5. We will not judge others because of their skin pigmentation, size, gender, appearance, culture or the circumstances of their lives. You will teach us to reject prejudice of all kinds.
6. We are to be encouraged to pursue happiness and our own well-being, but not at the expense of others. You will teach us the value of helping others. You will teach us that accepting help is not a weakness.
7. We are to be taught by word and deed to respect and value all living things, including the planet.
8. We are to be taught by word and deed to be a good and decent people, to recognize our shortcomings, and to understand that life is not about me, or even you, but about all of us.
9. We are not to be hit. We are defenseless. Raising your hand produces fear and anger. It is not discipline, it is abuse.
10. We are children. Our lives are in your hands. We beseech you to teach us. To encourage us. To listen to us. To be patient with us. To love us. In return we will love and honor you all our lives, and we will do for our children what you have done for us.
Michael de Guzman