Lori Ries

Fun Fiction for Ready Readers

"Lord, Help us to remember it isn't who we are that holds us back, but who we think we are not." Highlight's Chautauqua Writer's Workshops Banquet Prayer

Purple Bear as drawn by My daughter. (It was just by coincidence that her beloved bear became a character in the Sam books. She is delighted!)

Lori's Books

Junior Library Guild Selection 2010
Chicago Public Library Best of the Best Book/ CCBC Choices 2011
Cybil Award Finalist /Bank Street Best Books of the year 2010 /Maryland Library Association Blue Crab Young Readers Award
New From Boyds Mills Press! Oregon Book Award Finalist/ Bank Street College Best Books of the Year 2009
Horn Book Fanfare List: Best books of 2006/2007 Oregon Book Award Finalist Nick Jr. Family Magazine's Best Children's Books of 2006/ The Bank Street College Best Books of the Year 2006/
Parenting Magazine Best Books November 2006 Parenting Picks
Bank Street College of Education's Best Books of the Year/ The Friends Medallion 2007 Special Award
Children's Choices 2005


My journey as a writer begins here. Surrounded by family, and the many books my grandfather read to me as a small child.

Imagination. Isn't it wonderful? Mine found me joyfully deep in dirt baking mud pies, donning bright green knees from grassy hills, and running from the pickle police after sneaking Grandma's tangy sour dills. The farm, which I now affectionately call Downing Land, was a child's place of wonder and discovery.

A love for story grew, as I discovered the school library and read books of my own choosing. Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House Books, E.B. White's Charlotte's Web, The Story of my Life, by Helen keller, Louisa May Alcott's Little Women, and Judy Blume's, Are you there God, Its Me, Margaret. These were some of my favorites. Like Margaret, I even started a girl's club. We were the Wonder Woman Girls looking pretty super in our tin foil bracelets and matching head bands!

Lori with Emily Mitchell of Charlesbridge, at Highlights Chautauqua Writers Workshops, Chautuaqua, NY

Tween = Going Bananas
Older childhood years gave me adventures living in Virginia, Hawaii, and Montana. My stepfather was in the army so we moved around a bit. With new places to go, and new people to meet, I learned to love journaling. I wrote often; daily entries, poetry, and stories.

Lori with Larry Rosler of Boyds Mills Press
I did not know how to turn dreams into reality, so college life remained a dream. However, I found my writing life through opportunity. First, I married someone wonderful. David encouraged me to take a couple of college classes between children. I learned just how much I really did love writing, and it became a need. Later, I was given an opportunity to attend the Institute of Children’s Literature. Last, I was given an opportunity, from Highlights Foundation, to attend the Chautauqua Writer’s Workshop in New York. Here, I wrote my first book, “Super Sam,” which was published by Charlesbridge Publishing. By the end of that week, I was reborn, a writer, and I knew my life could never be the same. I love being a writer.

Today I live in Oregon with my wonderful husband and our energetic German shepherd, Molly.