i went to my bookcase and grabbed judith viorst who was born in newark, new jersey in 1931. this is a bio of her from the kennedy center (and after the bio, at the link, they have a q&a with her):
Judith Viorst is the author of several works of fiction and non-fiction for children as well as adults. Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, her most famous children's book, was first published in 1972 and has since sold over two million copies. Ms. Viorst received a B.A. in History from Rutgers University, and she is also a graduate of the Washington Psychoanalytic Institute where she is a research affiliate. She began her career as a poet and has since completed six collections of poems for adults. Her first novel for adults, Murdering Mr. Monti, was published in 1994 and her most recent work of non-fiction, Imperfect Control, was published in January 1998 by Simon and Schuster. Her book Necessary Losses, published in 1986, appeared for almost two years on The New York Times best-seller list in hardcover and paperback. Ms. Viorst's children's books include The Tenth Good Thing About Barney, The Alphabet From Z to A, and the "Alexander" stories: Alexander, Who Used to be Rich Last Sunday, Alexander, Who's Not (Do You Hear Me? I Mean It!) Going to Move and, of course, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. Ms. Viorst lectures widely on a variety of topics, ranging from the subjects of loss and control to children's literature. She resides in Washington, DC with her husband Milton, a political writer. They have three sons, Anthony, Nicholas and Alexander, and two perfect grandchildren, Miranda and Brandeis.i'm not covering her children's book. my favorite judith viorst book is 1 i read when i was probably 12. it was a bit old by then. it was passed on to me by a cousin who'd left for nyc and she made the decision to go because of this book, 'the village square.'
the book came out in 1965 and has illustrations by tom ballenger. some of the poems ran in 'the new york herald tribune.'
this is really a gorgeous volume (published by coward-mcann, inc.) and that's 1 of the reasons i've kept it. the illustrations are so cute. i'm going to highlight 1 poem.
'A Trip Uptown'
i imagine that you can identify with the above if you were a goth girl, a punk or whatever. i could identify with it when i was a 12. and my cousin who made the big move to n.y.c. could as well. this book really captures the desire to grow up, the desire to have adventures, the hunger for something more than just the same around you.
it's humorous and filled with clever illustrations. the poems make you laugh but they also touch on a longing as real as anything in jack kerouac's 'on the road.'