Clare Vanderpool, a resident of Wichita, Kansas, has a very strong connection to place. She lives a-skip-and-a-hop away from her childhood home with her husband and four children, and is a true Kansas gem, having been the first Kansas native to win the coveted John Newbery Medal for the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children. She received the medal in 2011 for her first book, Moon Over Manifest, and it was the first time in over 30 years that the medal winner was a debut novelist!
Her second novel, Navigating Early, is set in Maine, another place with which Clare established a connection. IRW invited Clare to be their featured author during the 2015 ARROW Retreat and chose Navigating Early as the retreat's central book.
Clare has degrees in English and Elementary Education, but says, "My best education has come from reading, listening to family stories, looking out the car window on road trips, pretending to be pirates with my brother, and just plain imagining."
Clare is currently working on her third novel.