Steven B. Frank
Steven B. Frank is the author of Global Warning (Clarion Books, 2023), Class Action (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2018) Armstrong & Charlie (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2017), and The Pen Commandments: A guide for the beginning writer (Pantheon/Anchor, 2003).
His short stories and plays have appeared in Weekly Reader's READ and WRITING FOR TEENS magazines.
"Mr. Frank" is also a longtime English teacher at Le Lyçée Français de Los Angeles, where his students deliberately misbehave because he likes to punish them with fun writing topics.
Steven lives in Laurel Canyon, California.
"A nail-biting campaign against a negotiated deadline that tests the ingenuity of the
young eco-warriors and finally forces them into a desperate, spectacular, last tick public protest.
FINALIST for the 2019 Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction
"Inspiration for a new generation of political engagement."
"A funny, engaging, and thought-provoking story."
"Unforgettable, well-drawn titular characters are the heart of this deeply moving and laugh-out-loud funny story about family, friendship, integrity, and navigating differences."
--Kirkus STARRED review.
An ALA NOTABLE; A Junior Library Guild selection, 2018
A NY PUBLIC LIBRARY best book for the teen years.
"A delightful, useful tool for writing well."
--Quill & Scroll
When I was growing up, I always looked forward to the holidays. I couldn’t wait to open presents and see if, maybe this year, my family would finally get me something different.
The gifts you get say a lot about how people see you. My brother Michael, a big reader, would unwrap The Complete Novels of Charles Dickens or Balzac: A 6-Volume Set. All that reading paid off. Mike grew up to be just what the family expected: a writer.
Dan, the middle child, loved science and electronics. He would unwrap a Home Chemistry Set, an Erector Set, or a Heathkit, Jr. Deluxe Electronic Workshop. His gifts would take over the floor of the bedroom we shared. Sometimes he’d let me into the mad science he was performing—by telling me to run downstairs and get him a screwdriver. All that tinkering paid off. Dan grew up to be just what the family hoped for: a doctor.
Then came my turn. I would unwrap…a can of tennis balls. Every year. Every holiday. A new can of balls. Usually Wilson.
I loved playing tennis. It gave me a special bond with my dad and, later, a solid bond with other kids my age. But sometimes when you’re pegged as the “athlete in the family,” nobody sees what else you might want to be. In my case, I was curious too about stories and science. But those identities were already taken.
I didn’t grow up to be a professional tennis player. I grew up to be a teacher and a writer.
It’s good to be grateful for the gifts you get. But it can take a lifetime to unwrap the ones you have.