LEARNING ABOUT
ANN McGOVERN

Compiled by Kay E. Vandergrift

READ THIS FIRST, PLEASE!

Dear Reader,

Thanks for visiting Ann McGovern's web site.

I've been writing children's books for more than 35 years. I've written over 50! I'm excited about the different topics I write about -- adventures in far-away places, the sea and its creatures, stories and picture books, biographies, funny books, folk tales, poetry, question and answer books about life in long-ago America, nature, and a whole lot more.

This web site gives you the chance to get to know me, my travels, my scuba diving adventures, my school visits, my family, and of course, my books.

If you want to send me a message by E-mail, write to: amcgsch@aol.com If you want to send a letter by "snail" mail, write to Ann McGovern c/o Kirchoff Wohlberg, 866 United Nations Plaza, New York, NY 10017.

THE WORLDS OF ANN MCGOVERN

Ann McGovern is excited by the worlds she writes about.

ANN MC GOVERN'S LIFE

A world traveler, Ann McGovern has visited every continent -- yes, even Antarctica! She scuba dives in oceans around the world. Ann McGovern grew up in New York City, where she lives today. She began to write when she was eight years old.

Ann went to college out west, to the University of New Mexico, but she didn't stay there for long. She learned a lot from her travel experiences, from her scuba diving expeditions, and from researching her books. Ann and her husband, Marty Scheiner, had many adventures together around the world. Every year, Ann and her family take a vacation somewhere in the world.

GROWING UP

I didn't see the countryside or a cow until I was ten years old, but I loved growing up in New York City. I climbed a special tree in Central Park till I got to my favorite branch, where I would sit and read for hours. I would visit the library every day after school. Whenever she saw me, the librarian would say, "You again!" She was very kind to me and helped me find my favorite books of fairy tales and travel adventures. I was in the library more than I was home, I think.

My father died when I was five and though I shared a room with my older sister, I often felt very alone and sad. I stuttered a lot and never spoke in class. Of course I had feelings I wished to express but since I couldn't talk about them, I began writing poems about my feelings and thoughts. From the time I was eight years old, I always felt better about myself after writing.

I went out West to the University of New Mexico and married my English teacher. I had a son when I was just 20 years old. Then when he was 18 months old, my marriage was over and I returned to New York. I worked at any job I could get to support myself and my baby. I remember the hard times, living in a fifth-floor walk-up tenement, with the bathtub in the hall and only cold water. I worked as a waitress, as a model, in publishing companies. Working at a publishing company inspired me to try writing a children's book. That was more than 35 years ago!

I married Marty Scheiner in 1970 and with him, I learned to scuba dive, sail, and photograph around the world. He died in 1992.

I leave New York City often these days to visit schools, travel somewhere exciting, and visit my children, grandchildren and granddogs. I spend a month every year in Mexico. I love to return to New York City and the excitement and multi-colors of the most vibrant city in the world.

ANN MC GOVERN'S FAMILY

From the time we were married, Marty and I always took the children on a vacation once a year. At first, it was the four children and the two of us. When the children grew into adults, they sometimes invited their friends to come on our trips. After Marty died in 1992, I've continued our family vacations and every year we travel somewhere in the world to be together.

Today my family numbers 12 people. All the children have mates. My daughter, Annie and her husband John live in Maryland, just outside of Washington, D.C. They have three children, Sharon, Chris, and Dennis, and a cat called Smoky. Already Sharon has published a poem in her school magazine, Chris writes stories for his school paper, and Dennis loves to play drums. John works with computers and Annie works with a parenting program. My oldest son, Peter, lives with his wife Becky and their two dogs -- Bongo and Sushi -- in Portland, Oregon. Peter teaches computers at Portland Community College. Becky is a good writer and artist. Together they've raised bees and designed web sites. Next is Charlie, who lives about an hour away from New York City. He and Jill are always busy with projects to help solve the world's problems.

My youngest son, Jim, lives with his wife Odile and their two dogs -- Bilas and Kiva -- in Tortola, an island in the Caribbean. Jim and Odile work underwater! They teach underwater photography and make videos of people diving beneath the sea. They write and take photographs for books and magazines about the underwater world and they lead a scuba diving expedition every year to someplace wonderful.

I have four granddogs, three grandchildren, and a grandcat. We all dive, except for my grandsons. When they reach the age of 12, the boys will learn as their older sister did. With all 12 of us, we will fill up a dive boat! (No, the cat and dogs don't dive!) I couldn't ask for a more wonderful family.

AWARDS AND COMMENTARIES

Some of her books have won awards and brought her honors. Ann visits schools everywhere. She does many "author days" in schools every year. Schools write to Ann telling her how much they appreciate her school talks.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

To see a list of Ann's books visit this page. Ann is very proud of her new book, Lady in the Box.

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Created July 15, 1997, Last Updated August 1, 1997