Ellen Hopkins’ claim to fame in teen literature is twofold: firstly, the fact that her books are written in entirely poetry and secondly, that she is unafraid to touch on tough subjects in teenage life. Without fear of censorship, in her books Burned, Crank, Glass, and many more, she confronts the issues of drug abuse, sexual abuse and teenage prostitution in ways that make her writing identifiable to most teens and a source of hope for a great many who are in the positions described by her books.
Here are 10 facts about this amazingly influential author:
- A few of her favorite teen authors are fellow TBF attendee Laurie Halse Anderson, John Greene, Laura Weiss, Neal Shusterman, and Meg Cabot.
- Her first job in writing was as a freelance journalist. Afterward she moved into children’s nonfiction and then eventually the fiction that she writes today.
- Poets that influenced her are Billy Collins, Sharon Olds, Langston Hughes and T.S. Eliot.
- She prefers print books to online.
- If she wasn’t an author, she says she would probably be a pilot. As a kid she wanted to be(if not a writer) then a lawyer or work with horses.
- For that matter, when she was nine, she published her first poem.
- Her advice for young writers is to read and write often, especially in genres that you don’t frequently experience.
- Crank was the 4th most censor-challenged book in 2010.
- Impulse was the most emotional book for her to write as well as her favorite.
- Her research often involves talking to those affected by the issues she writes about and is often very extensive.