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Jonathon Scott Fuqua

books by Jonathon Scott Fuqua


Jonathon Scott Fuqua

“I moved seventeen times before I was eighteen,” recalls Jonathon Scott Fuqua. His stepfather was a chef who traveled all over the country, and like Sam in The Reappearance of Sam Webber, the author knows how hard it is to be the new kid. On the other hand, those frequent moves may have helped foster some of the qualities that have contributed to his writing success, including an astute power of observation and a certain spirit of tenacity. When you receive more than thirty rejection letters for a book you’ve spent a year writing, tenacity can come in handy. But Jonathon Scott Fuqua admits that he once came close to giving up. “I stacked my manuscripts downstairs and I said, ‘We’re going to burn these.” Fortunately, his wife talked him out of it, and two years later The Reappearance of Sam Webber was published, proving well worth the wait. The Reappearance of Sam Webber racked up honors, including the American Library Association Alex Award and a School Library Journal Best Book of the Year Award—an auspicious beginning to what would become an acclaimed writing career. His book King of the Pygmies— a novel of courage, determination, and hope— tells a compelling story of a young man’s struggle to come to terms with his disability.The author’s second novel, Darby, came out of a unique oral history project. Set in 1926, Darby was inspired by interviews the author conducted with residents of Marlboro County, South Carolina, over a three-year period. “Darby’s voice came to me while driving between the wide-open fields of the South, where tumbledown shacks and crumbling mansions share the same panorama, where history saturates the air,” the author says. “Having grown up, for the most part, in the region, I have an incredible fondness for it. To me, it brings to mind innocence, freedom, and youth. And yet, for others, the South rightfully stirs the opposite emotions.” Darby is essentially “a story of friendship,” the author believes. “In the end, I hope that the book does justice to good people born into troubling times, some of whom, in small ways, helped lay the foundations for change and justice.” Jonathon Scott Fuqua’s third book with Candlewick Press, The Willoughby Spit Wonder, also evokes a period rich with American history: this time the 1950s. Hailed by Madison Smartt Bell as “a beautiful little book, told with an unaffected simplicity that makes its sad, brave story read like a minor classic,” the poignant story features a family struggling against loss—and a boy who would be a superhero. “Two years ago, I watched a very good friend die,” says the author. “After his funeral, I came to see that his life had been a masterpiece because all his friends grinned and laughed at his memory. With this in mind, I began writing The Willoughby Spit Wonder and promptly realized that the main character, Carter, shared my wish that death could be defied by force of will.” Jonathon Scott Fuqua lives with his wife and daughter in a historic row house in Baltimore, Maryland.
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