About John

photo of author John Micklos Jr.Author, Editor, Consultant

John Micklos, Jr. is an award-winning education journalist and the author of more than 50 books for children and young adult readers. His books include picture books, poetry books, and nonfiction titles spanning a wide range of topics and age ranges.

Poetry picture books include Daddy Poems, Mommy Poems, Grandparent Poems, and No Boys Allowed: Poems About Brothers and Sisters, all published by Boyds Mills Press.

In September 2017, Penguin’s Nancy Paulsen Books imprint published John’s counting book, One Leaf, Two Leaves, Count with Me! Illustrated by Clive McFarland of Ireland, the book enables young children to count their way through the seasons as they watch leaves growing on and later falling off a tree. Glowing reviews in Publishers Weekly and Kirkus Reviews praise the book’s bouncy rhymes and bold artwork. The book was included as a selection in Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library for multiple years.

In March 2021, Penguin Workshop will publish John’s latest picture book. In simple rhyming text, Raindrops to Rainbow provides a color-focused story about a young girl who experiences a thunderstorm and learns that only with a little rain can we see the rainbow. The girl is initially disappointed to be stuck inside on a rainy day. Her mother helps her make the best of it, and eventually they get to go outside, splash in puddles, and enjoy a rainbow together. Illustrator Charlene Chua has created lovely, bright artwork, including an adorable Welsh Corgi.

In terms of nonfiction, John contributed to the best-selling National Geographic Kids book 125 True Stories of Amazing Pets. Other nonfiction books include a six-book series about the Revolutionary War for elementary students as well as high school-level biographies of Muhammad Ali, Elvis Presley, Jennifer Hudson, and Amelia Earhart (all published by Enslow). John also has written elementary-level biographies of Alexander Graham Bell (published by HarperCollins/Time for Kids), Ruth Bader Ginsburg (published by Capstone), and Abraham Lincoln and Geronimo (published by Hameray). 

John has written numerous books for Capstone, including books about the Lewis & Clark expedition, the 1918 flu pandemic, the Challenger disaster, the Alamo, the Civil War, the Harlem Hellfighters, Navy SEALS, the First Amendment, the Fourth Amendment, Understanding Propaganda, Unusual Medicine, Peculiar Nature, and many others.

In 2015 John established the publishing imprint First State Press. Thus far, First State Press has published two titles: a picture book titled The Sound in the Basement, illustrated by Eric Hamilton, and a poetry book titled Beach Fun: Poems of Surf and Sand, illustrated with photos by award-winning photographer Lisa Goodman.

John has done K-12 school visits (live or via Zoom) in Delaware, Pennsylvania, Texas, New Jersey, Indiana, and Maine, speaking on topics ranging from poetry writing to crafting nonfiction to principles of journalism. In fall 2015 he served as the keynote speaker for Young Authors’ Day at Keystone College in Pennsylvania. He has spoken at the national conferences of the International Literacy Association and the National Council of Teachers of English, as well as state conferences in New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, and Delaware. Visit the Presentation or Contact page to find out how to bring John to your school or conference.

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