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Paula Danziger

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Subject: 1944 in literature, List of young adult writers, August 18, July 8
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Paula Danziger

Paula Danziger (August 18, 1944 – July 8, 2004) was an American children's author. She grew up in Metuchen, New Jersey. She lived in New York City and in Bearsville, New York (just outside of Woodstock). For several years, she had a flat in London.

Danziger, who said she knew in the second grade that she wanted to be a writer, wrote more than 30 books, including her 1974 debut The Cat Ate My Gymsuit, Remember Me to Harold Square, The Divorce Express and Can You Sue Your Parents for Malpractice? She was also the author of the Amber Brown and Matthew Martin series.

She was a graduate of Montclair State University, earning a bachelor's and master's there before becoming a teacher at John Adams Middle School in Edison, New Jersey. After being injured in an automobile accident, had trouble writing, as she was only able to write backwards. She was able to regain the ability to write normally, but she was able to write backwards for the rest of her life. This sequence of events prompted her to do what she really want to do in life; she began writing. Most of her books are considered Young Adult (YA) books, although some of the Amber Brown books were aimed at younger readers.

Her first publication was The Cat Ate My Gymsuit, whose characters were largely based on her experiences from childhood.

She has collaborated with Ann M. Martin twice, with P.S. Longer Letter Later and Snail Mail No More.[1] The two would send correspondence to each other as if they were the main characters.

Paula and Bruce Coville would read to each other over the phone, as a way to edit and receive feedback on their individual work.[2]

She frequently gave lectures and speeches, wearing elaborate costumes and calling herself a children's Dame Edna Everage. She is quoted as saying that her alternative career choice would have been as a stand-up comedian. However, Paula expressed that she was doing exactly what she wanted to be doing in life - and loved her life.

In the United Kingdom, she was best known for presenting a regular item about children's literature on the BBC's Saturday morning show Going Live.[3]

One morning in 2004 while her niece, Carrie Danziger, was visiting her, she was having chest pains. Danziger tried to hide this so it wouldn't disrupt Carrie's visit. This included calling a friend in her apartment building and mentioning she thought it was a heart attack. Carrie had to tell Danziger to go to the hospital, where she received open heart surgery and was kept alive for nearly a month. Paula Danziger died on July 8, 2004, following complications of a heart attack at the age of 59.

At the time of her death, many of her books had been published in 53 countries and in 14 languages. Danziger had a very passionate and emotional funeral in New York City, which was led by best friends and fellow authors Elizabeth Levy and Bruce Coville. Paula's family, consisting of Barry Danziger, Annette Danziger, Samuel Danziger, Carrie Danziger, Benjamin Danziger, and Joshua Danziger, were all present and gave speeches about how wonderful of a person she was. Paula is buried in the Woodstock Artist's Cemetery in Woodstock, NY.[4]

In 2012, Coville and Levy continued her Amber Brown series, beginning with Amber Brown is Tickled Pink, which told the story of the title character's mother's re-marriage.[5]

For children

Amber Brown books

A is for Amber Brown series

  • What a Trip, Amber Brown (2001)
  • It's Justin Time, Amber Brown (2001)
  • Get Ready for Second Grade, Amber Brown (2002)
  • Orange You Glad It's Halloween, Amber Brown? (2002)
  • It's a Fair Day, Amber Brown


  • Barfburger Baby, I Was Here First (2004)

For teenagers

Matthew Martin books

Tara*Starr and Elizabeth books

Rosie and Phoebe books

Marcy Lewis books

Kendra Kaye books



  1. ^ "Letter from Ann: An Interview with Ann and Paula Danziger". Accessed September 1, 2012.
  2. ^ The Official Bruce Coville Website. Accessed September 1, 2012.
  3. ^ BBC Going Live. Accessed September 1, 2012. "Going live Introduction"
  4. ^ Woodstock Artists Cemetery. Accessed September 1, 2012.
  5. ^ Sally Lodge (2012-05-24). "Paula's Danziger's Best Friends Revive Amber Brown Series".  

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