Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

AAME hosts award-winning children's author at library

March 16, 2018

The Arts Alliance Mountain Empire presents Kimberly Brubaker Bradley as part of its Speaker Series.

Baker speaks at the Bristol Public Library April 10 at 7 p.m.

Her latest book is “The War I Finally Won,” her 17th. It is the sequel to Newbery Honor and #1 New York Times bestselling book “The War That Saved My Life.”

She was born in Fort Wayne, Indiana, in 1967. “I loved to read. I was the sort of kid who would skip recess to go talk with my school librarian — "but I didn’t know any writers, and I didn’t think it was the sort of job I could have. I loved chemistry, too, and I majored in chemistry in college. I was lucky, though, to go to Smith, a liberal arts school where I was encouraged to learn everything that interested me, and I took lots of writing classes, and, fortunately, a class on children’s litera-ture taught by none other than Newbery medalist Patricia MacLachlan. She and Jane Yolen, who ran a writer’s group nearby, encouraged my very early (and very bad!) efforts,” she says.

She married her high-school sweetheart, and they both started medical school. She dropped out after six weeks, which she says was “an excellent decision even though it took a lot of courage at the time. I realized I really wanted to be a writer. My husband stayed in medical school — another excellent decision — and for a while I worked as a research chemist and wrote stories late at night and on weekends. By the time I was pregnant with our son, I was getting enough freelance and ghostwriting jobs that I could quit being a chemist. A few years later, my husband finished his training to become an eye surgeon, and we moved so he could join a practice in Bristol, Tennessee.

She and her husband still live in Bristol on a 52-acre farm with an assortment of horses, a dog and cats