Similar authors to follow
Manage your follows
About J. A. White
J. A. White lives in New Jersey with his wife, three sons, and a hamster named Ophelia that doesn’t like him very much. When he’s not making up stories, he teaches a bunch of kids how to make up stories (along with math and science and other important stuff). He wishes dragons were real because it would be a much cooler way to get to work.
QUESTIONS THAT I THINK PEOPLE MIGHT ASK ME IF THEY HAPPENED TO ASK ME SOME QUESTIONS
Where were you born?
I was born in Staten Island, New York. Technically it’s part of New York City, but the neighborhood where I grew up had trees and grass and even the occasional squirrel. Staten Island is also the birthplace of the marvelous writer Theodore Sturgeon, who continues to be one of my inspirations. (His terrifying short story “The Professor’s Teddy Bear” sounds like a sweet and cuddly Christmas special. It’s not.)
Where do you live now?
Now I live in New Jersey, in the house with windows and a front door. It’s on a street between some other houses. You probably know the one I’m talking about.
What does the “J.A.” stand for?
The ‘J’ stands for “Jerry” and the ‘A’ stands for “Alan.” If you take away the periods you have “JA,” which is “Yes” in Norwegian. Now if anyone asks you if you know what the “J.A.” stands for in my name, you can say “Ja!”
Did you always want to be a writer?
Pretty much. I’ve been making up stories for as long as I can remember. My first bedroom was decorated with panda wallpaper, and I actually remember naming each and every panda in the room and giving them simple little personalities. I would talk to them when I was supposed to be sleeping each night, probably asking them profound questions such as, “Why do parents make you eat yucky stuff?” and “Who gives their kid panda wallpaper anyway?” This desire to avoid the real world only increased as I grew older.
In my elementary school yearbook it actually says that my goal was to be a novelist! In middle school I began writing really long stories about the kids in my class, culminating in my early masterpiece “The Attack of the Killer Cheese Whiz.”
Do you have any children?
My beautiful wife Yeeshing and I have three boys: Jack (11), Logan (5) and Colin (3). Colin likes to pretend he’s a flesh-eating zombie and hunt down his brothers, who gamely scream in terror. It’s important for young children to have healthy, age-appropriate hobbies.
What do you do when you’re not writing books?
I’m actually a full-time teacher in a nice little town in New Jersey. Right now I teach third grade, but I’ve taught fifth and sixth grades as well. When I’m not teaching or writing books, I help run a production company called Escape Goat Pictures. We make silly short films and book trailers and stuff. I sleep from 3-6AM every other Tuesday.
Do you like writing or teaching better?
I love them both, for completely different reasons. It’s like asking me, “What do you like better, coffee or baseball?” Actually, the answer to that is coffee. I also like oranges better than apples. I’m sorry, what point was I trying to make again?
Do you have any hobbies?
There are lots of things I love to do, but unfortunately I never seem to have enough time. Reading is my favorite activity, of course, but I also love movies and video games (especially scary games or time suckers like Skyrim). I am also a big Mets fan, and I think they’re going to be really good in the next few years.
When’s your birthday?
April 29th, 1974. So how old am I, hmm? (See, I warned you I was a teacher.)
Do you have any pets?
Unfortunately, I am somewhat allergic to dogs, very allergic to cats, and incredibly, mind-numbingly allergic to horses. We have a hamster named Ophelia. I wave to her. From a distance.
What’s your favorite movie?
Raiders of the Lost Ark, followed closely by The Empire Strikes Back and North by Northwest. If you’re old enough to watch these movies, you definitely should!
Customers Also Bought Items By
A boy is imprisoned by a witch and must tell her a new scary story each night to stay alive. This thrilling contemporary fantasy from J. A. White, the acclaimed author of the Thickety series, brings to life the magic and craft of storytelling.
Alex’s original hair-raising tales are the only thing keeping the witch Natacha happy, but soon he’ll run out of pages to read from and be trapped forever. He’s loved scary stories his whole life, and he knows most don’t have a happily ever after. Now that Alex is trapped in a true terrifying tale, he’s desperate for a different ending—and a way out of this twisted place.
This modern spin on the Scheherazade story is perfect for fans of Coraline and A Tale Dark and Grimm. With interwoven tips on writing with suspense, adding in plot twists, hooks, interior logic, and dealing with writer’s block, this is the ideal book for budding writers and all readers of delightfully just-dark-enough tales.
* Summer 2018 Kids' Indie Next List * YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults Nomination * 2019-2020 Florida Sunshine State Young Readers Award * 2020 Rhode Island Children's Book Award Nominee * Bank Street Best Children's Book of the Year 2019 (9-12) * 2020-2021 Missouri Association of School Librarians Truman Readers Award Preliminary Nominee * Texas Bluebonnet Award List 2020-2021 * South Carolina Junior Book Award Nominee (2021-2022) *
Plus return to the world of Nightbooks—if you dare—with J. A. White's follow-up, Gravebooks!
Return to Shadow School for the second installment of the spooky middle-grade series from J. A. White, the acclaimed author of Nightbooks and The Thickety series.
Cordelia Liu’s first year at Shadow School was a success. She studied hard and made friends. She also sent hundreds of ghosts into the afterlife, because Shadow School isn’t a normal school, and Cordelia Liu isn’t a normal girl.
But her second year is already different. Ghosts are refusing to move on, the teachers are acting weird, and Cordelia’s best friends, Benji and Agnes, aren’t as interested in rescuing the ghosts as they used to be. Benji is busy hanging out with the girl he befriended over the summer, while Agnes spends all her time building a machine that might be capable of dehaunting the school forever.
Cordelia is the only one who believes that something sinister is happening right under their noses. But what if it’s even worse than she could imagine?
Praise for Shadow School #1 Archimancy:
“Just the right balance of humor, mystery, and scariness. Readers will be eager to see more of this smart and spunky trio in further spooky adventures.” —Kirkus
“The story balances the spookier elements with the humorous and difficult going-ons of middle school. An easy quick pick for a just creepy enough read.”—BCCB
“A well-paced thriller. Tension builds to a crescendo, and the ending promises more adventures to come for Cordelia and her friends.”—Booklist
Cordelia’s last year at Shadow School brings readers back for the finale in the spooky middle grade trilogy by J.A. White, the author of the acclaimed Thickety series and Nightbooks. Cordelia must complete her quest to save the world of the living from the ghosts, and dangerous phantoms, who terrorize them.
It’s her final year at Shadow School, and Cordelia Liu isn’t ready to move on. Which is funny, considering helping ghosts “move on” is sort of her thing. But Cordelia can’t bear to give up the rare ability to see and help ghosts.
A field trip brings Cordelia, Benji, and Agnes face-to-face with a dangerous phantom—a ghost capable of reanimating dead animals—and a team of professional ghost hunters that disappear right after they capture the phantom. Cordelia can’t help herself—she needs to know more about the ghost hunters and the phantom.
It’ll mean getting Agnes and Benji to join her and the ghost hunters at a strange village called Shady Rest where ghosts live peacefully in their own homes. But soon, Cordelia, Benji, and Agnes realize that Shady Rest is not quite what it seems. Ghosts are disappearing from their homes. Others start to glow and grow frighteningly long necks and extra teeth. And some of them look strangely familiar. Didn’t they save these ghosts already?
In the creepy conclusion to the Shadow School trilogy, author J. A. White says a final farewell to this unique world of ghosts and phantoms even though some friends—and fiends—never truly leave you.
From the acclaimed author of Nightbooks and The Thickety comes a spooky series, perfect for fans of Neil Gaiman, Adam Gidwitz, and Stranger Things!
Cordelia Liu knew Shadow School was going to be different. Still, she didn’t expect the school grounds to be filled with ghosts.
Cordelia soon realizes she’s not the only one who can see the ghosts; her new friend Benji can too. Together with super-smart Agnes, the trio are determined to find out why the ghosts are there, and whether there’s a way to set them free.
But the school was created with more sinister intentions, and someone is willing to go to extreme lengths to ensure that the ghosts remain trapped forever.
Check out the book that School Library Journal called a “delightful blend of friendship, suspense, and spectral sightings [that] belongs on most shelves!”
The Thickety: A Path Begins is a spellbinding tale about a girl, the Thickety, and the power of magic. Fans of Neil Gaiman will love this thrilling new world.
When Kara Westfall was five years old, her mother was convicted of the worst of all crimes: witchcraft. Years later, Kara and her little brother, Taff, are still shunned by the people of their village, who believe that nothing is more evil than magic…except, perhaps, the mysterious forest that covers nearly the entire island. It has many names, this place. Sometimes it is called the Dark Wood, or Sordyr's Realm. But mostly it's called the Thickety.
The villagers live in fear of the Thickety and the terrible creatures that live there. But when an unusual bird lures Kara into the forbidden forest, she discovers a strange book with unspeakable powers. A book that might have belonged to her mother.
And that is just the beginning of the story.
Supports the Common Core State Standards
Publishers Weekly Best Book
IndieBound Indie Next List
Publishers Weekly Flying Start
Amazon's Big Spring Books
Washington Post Summer Book Club
J. A. White’s The Thickety: Well of Witches is an epic quest into an enchanted kingdom with new kinds of magic, an old enemy, and only one way out. Fans of Neil Gaiman will love this third novel in the spectacular and twisty fantasy series that has readers and reviewers raving.
Kara and Taff know that only Grace Stone has the power to reverse her Last Spell on their father, and that in order to save him, they have to rescue their foe from the Well of Witches first. Forgiving Grace should be the hardest part of their journey . . . but soon the children are confronted by creatures called the Faceless, mysteries as old as magic, and an ancient secret that threatens their very lives. Back in the World, a war against magic is brewing that endangers everyone they care about. Can Kara and Taff find Grace and make it back to their father in time?
Perfect for fans of Neil Gaiman, book two in the acclaimed Thickety series is the story of a good witch, a bad witch, and a forest demon, trapped together in a world that is both enchanting and dangerous.
After Kara Westfall's village turns on her for practicing witchcraft, she and her brother, Taff, flee to the one place they know they won't be followed: the Thickety. Only this time Kara is magicless without her grimoire and Sordyr, the forest demon, is intent on keeping them there. Kara and Taff will meet other inhabitants of the Thickety in their search for a safe way out, including the infamous witch, Mary Kettle. But can they trust anyone—plant, creature, witch, book, or magic—to help them escape, to undo Grace's final terrible spell, and to stop Sordyr's horrible reach from spreading across the rest of the world?
Correlates to the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts
The spellbinding conclusion in the critically acclaimed Thickety series, perfect for fans of Neil Gaiman.
In The Thickety #4: The Last Spell, Kara and her brother Taff must find the hidden pieces of Princess Evangeline’s grimoire to defeat Rygoth and her army of witches in one last good versus evil battle.
Kara and Taff have discovered that the Spider Queen is searching for Princess Evangeline’s grimoire—the Vulkera. Legends say that any witch who wields its dangerous magic would be indestructible. Kara and Taff have to stop the Spider Queen from finding the ancient weapon—and destroying everything.
They will travel through time with an old enemy, come face-to-face with the creatures that guard the grimoire’s pages, and unravel a king’s dangerous secret, before one final battle against the Spider Queen.
But can Kara save the people she loves and cast a spell that could change magic forever?
Sabes que las cosas no pueden ir a peor si una escapada nocturna acaba contigo encerrado en el piso de una bruja. Y te das cuenta de lo equivocado que estabas y de que todo puede empeorar cuando te despiertas y ves que, lo que creías haber soñado, no era, ni de lejos, una pesadilla.
Y ahí está Alex, atrapado en casa de una bruja, de las malas, maldiciendo el momento en que le pareció buena idea entrar en el piso de una desconocida a ver una peli de miedo. Porque si algo le han enseñado esas películas es que cuando una historia empieza así, seguro que acaba mal… Pero la suerte de Alex cambia cuando descubre que a la bruja Natacha le encantan las historias de miedo, como a él. Ahora tiene que entretenerla con ellas porque, a más tiempo permanezca con vida, más posibilidades tendrá de escapar…
El sorprendente libro que ha inspirado la película "Cuentos al caer la noche" de Netflix