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Todd Strasser



Todd Strasser
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 6 to 10
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   8.89

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    turbulent, cyber, largely, insight, bullying, candid, armed, literature, writing, stalking, liberal, Award-winning, rapport, factor, originally, popularity
     content words:    Todd Strasser, New York, New York University, United States, Later Strasser, Eventually Strasser, Beloit College, Middletown Times Herald-Record, New Yorker, Village Voice


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Todd Strasser
By Jamie Kee
  

1     Award-winning author Todd Strasser has devoted most of his writing career to publishing books for children. Although he began writing chiefly for teenagers, he has also written books for elementary and middle school students. Strasser's books are written largely from his own experiences or feelings, but he always keeps his readers in mind when writing each book. Strasser's clear insight into his readers and their interests explains the success of his books.
 
2     Born in New York on May 5, 1950, Todd Strasser remembers having a happy childhood. He enjoyed playing sports such as tennis and skiing, and he also took pleasure in fishing. Strasser admits that he was an underachiever in school. Although he enjoyed science, he struggled in grammar, spelling, and writing. Strasser never got the encouragement he needed until college. This lack of encouragement contributed significantly to his academics. Another factor that influenced Strasser's youth was the 1960s social revolution. He found himself involved in the "anti-establishment movement" of the time period. Some of these feelings would later surface in Strasser's writings.
 
3     When Strasser reached his college years, he found the encouragement that was missing during childhood. He attended New York University for a few years, but later decided to drop out. The influences from the turbulent 1960s still remained in Strasser when he hitchhiked around the United States. He then decided to move to a commune in Virginia where he enjoyed the support of a community with shared interests, belongings, and responsibilities. Later Strasser hitchhiked around Europe while surviving as a street musician. During this time, he wrote poetry and songs in addition to the many journals he filled with his experiences. Strasser realizes that these experiences helped mold him into the person and writer he has now become.

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