Tracey Baptiste (she/her)

“Books are a unique magic that casts a different spell on every reader each time they read it. In every story I write, and in every presentation I give, I’m thinking about all the many ways words can come back again and again, creating new meaning in readers as they grow.”


Tracey Baptiste is the New York Times-bestselling author of Minecraft: The Crash and the acclaimed middle grade fantasy trilogy: The Jumbies. She has also written the middle grade nonfiction African Icons: Ten People Who Shaped History, as well as the popular picture books: Because Claudette and Mermaid and Pirate.

Growing up in Trinidad, Tracey loved books. When she was three, her mother bought her an oversized, illustrated copy of Grimm’s Fairy Tales, and from that moment on, she knew she wanted to be a writer. Tracey once started her very own library in her house… and secretly hoped everyone would bring their books back late so she could collect fines and become rich. As an eleven-year-old, she was inspired by V. S. Naipaul’s Miguel Street, and read the book so many times, her brother’s hand-me-down copy disintegrated. After moving to the United States when she was fifteen, she read Rosa Guy’s The Friends, and that’s when she knew she wanted to write for kids.

Tracey has a B.A. in English and Comparative Literature and an M.A. in Elementary Education, both from New York University. She taught elementary school for many years, has worked as an editor, and curriculum designer, and is currently faculty at Lesley University’s Creative Writing MFA program.

Tracey lives with her husband, kids, and dog in New Jersey. Her last name is pronounced buh-TEEST.

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