Tracey Baptiste

“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.”

Biography

Tracey Baptiste is the author of the highly acclaimed middle grade fantasy sensations, The Jumbies and Rise of the Jumbies. She’s also the author of the young adult novel, Angel’s Grace as well as numerous non-fiction books. Her newest middle grade novel is the wildly popular, Minecraft: The Crash.

As a little girl 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. And 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 attended New York University where she earned a Bachelor’s degree in English and Comparative Literature as well as a Master’s degree in Elementary Education. She taught elementary school for many years – second grade was her favorite – and is currently a member of the faculty at Lesley University’s Creative Writing MFA program. Tracey also volunteers with the grassroots, non-profit organizations, We Need Diverse Books, The Brown Bookshelf, and I, Too, Arts Collective.

These days, Tracey lives with her husband and kids in New Jersey. When she’s not writing, you’ll find her hanging out with her dog (and office mate), Barkley, museum-hopping with her family, and taking dance class. Tracey loves to dance and keeps her last pair of pointe shoes on the bookshelf in her office.

Her last name is pronounced buh-TEEST.

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