Phyllis Shalant

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Phyllis Shalant
BornJuly 22, 1949
Brooklyn, New York
Genrechildren's scholastic books

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Phyllis Shalant (born 1949) is an American author of both fiction and non-fiction children's scholastic books.


Born in Brooklyn, New York, Shalant has a B.A. from Brooklyn College, 1971 and an M.A. from Manhattanville College, 1997.[citation needed] She is currently a Professor of children's writing at Manhattanville College in New York.[citation needed] She focuses on teaching creative writing to children and adults. Her debut work was The Rock Star, the Rooster, & Me, the Reporter.

Shalant focuses almost exclusively on pedagogical writing. She conducts writer's workshops intended specifically for elementary school age children.[1]

Shalant discussed her background in education and her writing process in a 2000 interview with Donna Green of the New York Times.[2]


Shalant has received the following awards and recognition for her work:

—Texas Bluebonnet Award Master List, 1997, for Beware of Kissing Lizard Lips

—Florida Sunshine State Young Readers Award Master List, 1997, for The Great Eye

—"best book" citation from New York Public Library, 2000

—Washington Irving Children's Choice Honor Book, 2002, both for Bartleby of the Mighty Mississippi

—"best children's book" citation, Bank Street College of Education, 2002, for When Pirates Came to Brooklyn.[3]

One of her works, “The Society of Super Secret Heroes” is a children's book intended for the 4th-6th grade level. Finch Mundy is the main character. He and his three best friends, Rajiv Shah, a magician, Kevin Chan an artist and Elliott Levenson, who loves to joke around. The once dormant "Thinking Cape", acquired by Finch in Kindergarten, takes on magical powers and purports to “turn ordinary mortals into extraordinary ones.” They embark on several “missions,” where the boys have to take on the class bullies, and help a new teacher make friends. The Thinking Cape guides the boys on how to approach these problems. The boys face a real test as superheroes when the Thinking Cape disappears.[4]

Selected works[edit]

  • The Rock Star, The Rooster, & Me, Dutton Children's Books (New York, NY) 1990 [5]
  • The Transformation of Faith Futterman, Dutton Children's Books (New York, NY) 1990[5]
  • Shalom, Geneva Peace, Dutton Children's Books (New York, NY) 1992[5]
  • Beware of Kissing Lizard Lips, Dutton Children's Books (New York, NY) 1995[5]
  • The Great Eye, Dutton Children's Books (New York, NY) 1996[5]
  • Bartleby of the Mighty Mississippi[6] Guild Selection; New York Public Library 100 Best Books, 2000; Washington Irving Children's Choice Honor Book, 2002; Golden Sower Children's Choice Book Award nominee, 2002–2003[citation needed]
  • Bartleby of the Big Bad Bayou[7] Junior Library Guild Selection[citation needed]
  • When Pirates Came to Brooklyn[8] Best Books of 2002; Bank Street College of Education; Top 10 Books for Youth About Religion, Booklist[citation needed]
  • The Society of Super Secret Heroes: The Great Cape Rescue[4]


  1. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2008-07-05. Retrieved 2009-10-18. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  2. "Q&A/Phyllis Shalant; For a Book, Going Where the Turtles Donna Greene April 16, 2000".
  3. "Phyllis Shalant (1949-) Biography".
  4. 4.0 4.1 Shalant, Phyllis (2007). The great cape rescue. New York: Dutton Children's Books. ISBN 978-0-525-47404-3. OCLC 69593879. Search this book on Logo.png
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 "Phyllis Shalant (1949-) Biography - Personal, Addresses, Career, Member, Honors Awards, Writings, Work in Progress, Sidelights". Retrieved 9 July 2018.
  6. Shalant, Phyllis (2007). Bartleby of the mighty Mississippi : a novel. Lincoln, NE: iUniverse. ISBN 978-0-595-44477-9. OCLC 154688222. Search this book on Logo.png
  7. Shalant, Phyllis (2005). Bartleby of the big, bad bayou. Brian Floca. New York. ISBN 0-525-47366-1. OCLC 56631830. Search this book on Logo.png
  8. Shalant, Phyllis (2002). When pirates came to Brooklyn. New York: Dutton Children's Books. ISBN 0-525-46920-6. OCLC 50592686. Search this book on Logo.png

Other articles of the topic Children's literature : Peter Danielson, The Crumbs on the Table, The Party Line (books), The Bible Story, Thidwick the Big-Hearted Moose, Early in the Morning: A Collection of New Poems, Marijn Backer
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