Jennifer Phillips grew up in Alton, Illinois and doesn't remember a time when she didn't know Robert Wadlow's story. There were school field trips to the Wadlow Room at the Franklin Masonic Lodge and visits to the Alton museum. Even now, she always visits Robert's statue when going home. A former newspaper reporter, Jennifer lives in Shoreline, Washington and likes to write about almost anything and everything. She especially likes writing for children but has done her share of writing for grown-ups, too. You can find additional activities related to Robert Wadlow, as well as her other works, at jenniferphilipsauthor.com.
And, at the centre of it all, trying desperately to work it all out, is the real David.
How to Be Happy tackles depression, friendship, sexual identity, suicide, academic pressure, love and adolescent confusion. It’s a brave and honest account of one young man’s search for a happy, true and meaningful life that will resonate with readers young and old.
David Burton is a twenty-seven-year-old writer from Brisbane, best known for his theatre work. His play April's Fool (Playlab Press) toured nationally in 2012. He has recently co-written Hedonism's Second Album for La Boite indie, and The Landmine Is Me for Queensland Theatre Company. A speaker and presenter in school across Queensland, David is passionate about sharing his remarkable story with young people. How to Be Happy won the Text Prize for Young Adult and Children's Writing in 2014.
‘[Burton] delivers some devastating truth bombs. Sexuality is hard. Identity is hard. Love is hard. School is hard...This book shines a much-needed light back through the tunnel. It is a call-out to teenagers still struggling to find their way. How to Be Happy says “here’s the path I took, hope it helps”.’ Books & Publishing
‘I’m blown away by Burton’s raw honesty and admirable wit.’ Alpha Reader
‘A fast-paced read that reminded me of one of my favourite memoirs, I thoroughly enjoyed this book.’ Bumbling Bookworm
‘How to Be Happy is easily a five star book ...I just can’t fathom my love for this book into words. You all need to read it.’ Endless Pages
‘How to Be Happy is funny. Bitingly, embarrassingly, genuinely—FUNNY...This book is gold, and if I could I’d make it mandatory reading in schools.’ Alpha Reader
‘This is an important book, one that deserves our attention... Highly recommended.’ Reading Time
‘Anyone who has ever felt like they didn’t fit in will be able to relate to the story of David’s unusual childhood and teenage years. I wish there had been a book like this when I was 14.’ Get Reading
‘How to Be Happy is a perfect books for teens and adults...It's funny, touching, and insightful, and I think it could help a lot of people feel less isolated.’ Bookish Manicurist
‘Burton’s descriptions of his anxiety and depression are tangibly poignant, giving authentic voice to those struggling with similar issues. His tone morphs fluidly from compulsively funny to devastating from one moment to the next, and his uproarious wit shines throughout. A heartfelt, accessible book that strives to break down the stigmas surrounding mental illness with remarkable humor and honesty.’ Kirkus Reviews
Hitler's Last Days is a gripping account of the death of one of the most reviled villains of the 20th century—a man whose regime of murder and terror haunts the world even today. Adapted from Bill O'Reilly's historical thriller Killing Patton, this book will have young readers—and grown-ups too—hooked on history.
This thoroughly-researched and documented book can be worked into multiple aspects of the common core curriculum.
The Man Who Walked Between the Towers is the winner of the 2004 Caldecott Medal, the winner of the 2004 Boston Globe - Horn Book Award for Picture Books, and the winner of the 2006 Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Children's Video.