“When I was only eleven years old, I decided to become a writer. I told this ambition in a letter to Laura Ingalls Wilder; the die was cast. How could I go back on my word?” – Sonia Levitin
A German American immigrant who escaped from Nazi Germany as a young girl (her family was Jewish), she was born Sonia Wolff on this day in 1934. She wrote her first poem at age 8 and has not only kept her word but ended up with over 40 novels for young adults and children. For good measure, she added a number of plays and wrote numerous essays on topics for adults.
Levitin began her professional writing career as a publicity columnist for several newspapers, but after her first novel Journey to America became an instant classic, she began to pick up traction as a professional novelist. Her novels for young adults often featured semi-autobiographical characters. And most of her books focus around historical events and tragedies, the theme being courageous main characters faced with difficult challenges
who must "take charge" in order to overcome these obstacles.
A frequent presenter on both writing and the immigrant experience, and a longtime teacher of creative writing, Levitan noted, “Through my writing, I have made new friends and continued to learn about this world of ours in all its wonder, with all its challenges.”
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