Though James Cross Giblin spent most of his young life in Painesville, OH, he was born in Cleveland. His family moved to follow his father's law practice, and his mother, a former French teacher, took care of Giblin until he went to school. Giblin spent his summers consuming the shelves of the Morley Public Library. He attended Case Western Reserve University and in 1954, he moved to New York City for his master's degree in Creative Writing from Columbia University.
After trying to write plays, Giblin moved on to work as a children's book editor, starting at Lothrop, Lee, and Shepard. He then helped build Clarion Books and served as editor-in-chief until he decided to pursue his own writing career. Still a contributing editor at Clarion, Giblin also became an award-winning author of over twenty books.
Giblin's first published work was The Scarecrow Book which told about the 3000-year-old history of scarecrows and how farmers used and changed them to protect their crops. He mixes history and exciting storytelling to produce his texts and uses both recent inspiration and early memories to guide him. In writing books like Good Brother, Bad Brother: The Story of Edwin Booth and John Wilkes Booth and The Life and Death of Adolph Hitler, Giblin hopes to reveal insight into why these men acted as they did. When readers recognize these traits, they can help protect against similar people in society today. Giblin continues to write and lecture, encouraging authors to create thoughtful and fascinating nonfiction.
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