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MEL GLENN

BIOGRAPHY I BOOKS I PRESENTATIONS I BOOK ORDERING

Mel was born in Zurich, Switzerland, on May 10th,

1943. His family came to the United States when he was

three years old, and they settled in Brooklyn, New York.

He grew up playing stickball in the street (three manhole

covers equaled a home run) and stoopball (a forgotten art,

really) outside his house.

Mel graduated from New York University in 1964 with an

English degree, which in no way prepared him for life in Africa. So he joined the Peace Corps and went to Africa.

Mel lived in Sierra Leone for two years, teaching English and history, before coming back to the States. He went back to school, and got his Masters degree from Yeshiva University, and did some post-graduate work at NYU. And, having not yet had his fill of school, he became a teacher. First, junior high for a few years, at JHS 240 in Brooklyn. A few years later, he settled in for the long haul: 31 years at the same school from which he graduated, Abraham Lincoln High School, near Coney Island. Mel loved teaching English, helping his students discover why Macbeth is cool, and how come Captain Ahab didn't just quit his silly quest, and open a seafood joint in Boston.

Mel married his wife, Elyse, in 1970, about when he started at Lincoln. They had two sons, now both in their 20's. His son, Jonathan, made his way to a career writing television news. Andrew, his other son, splashed his way out of the family's literary gene pool, to become a software engineer.

Mel always felt drawn to the written word. He started writing for NYU's student paper when he was 18. He wrote news, sports, and feature articles. But it took many years, and a dare from his wife, Elyse, until he tried his hand at a book.

"I could not be a writer if I were not a teacher, Mel Glenn has said. He tends to write about teenagers largely because he spent so many decades surrounded by them in high school hallways. He was inspired by their lives, and their stories.

Mel retired from teaching in 2001. He now spends his time writing, and making appearances at schools, libraries, and community groups around the country.

In his free moments, Mel likes sternly admonishing the television set whenever a public figure dares to use incorrect grammar, and cheerily refusing to clean up the papers on his desk no matter how often his wife throws up her hands in despair. He and his wife live in Brooklyn, NY.