About Adam

I was born in San Francisco in 1982, but moved to Baltimore when I was two and a half. I grew up there, attending a school without very many rules. Somehow, I found a way to break all of them. I spent my entire 

Adam Gidwitz

middle school career in the principal’s office. One day I will write a book and tell you about all of the ways you can be sent to the principal’s office during middle school. Maybe each chapter will be a different way to be sent to the principal’s office. There will be three hundred and forty-five thousand chapters.


I straightened myself out during high school and ended up going to college in New York City. I thought about majoring in religion, and then in philosophy, but ultimately chose English literature, because I think that the deepest truths about life tend to be written in works of fiction. Also, you can’t beat the homework in English: “You’ll like this book! And this one! Try this book, it’s amazing!”


I spent my third year of college in England. I walked around the old university town and ate beef pasties and sat in parks and read John Keats all day long. I only had to go to class twice a week, for an hour at a time. If you’re any good at math, you’ll know that that means I only had to be somewhere for two hours out of every 168. That means I was free to do whatever I wanted 166 out of every 168 hours, or 98.8% of the time. I didn’t realize it then, but it was in that year that I discovered I could be a writer–me, a beef pasty, and my imagination is all I seem to need to be happy. (My wife tells me that this is untrue. I refuse to believe her.)


After graduating, I stayed in New York and took a job in a second grade classroom at Saint Ann’s School, in Brooklyn, while attending Bank Street College of Education in the evenings. So during the days I was telling stories to kids at lunch and recess and story time, and at night I was meeting writers and reading bags full of children’s books and thinking about how it all went together. Eventually, I taught first, second, fifth, and high school at Saint Ann’s. One day, the mother of one of my students saw a play I wrote for the kids involving puppets. She came up to me afterwards and said she was a literary agent. She told me, “That was good,” and I was like, “Uh, what?” But from then on, I knew she might be interested in something I wrote. So when I started writing down the stories I told to my students, I showed them to her–and that’s how A Tale Dark and Grimm was born.


I spent most of 2012 living in France with my wife, who studies monks in the Middle Ages., and we had been traveling to Europe for her research for years. So while publicly I was talking about Grimm’s fairy tales, privately I was touring ruined monasteries, visiting medieval dungeons, and wandering ancient forests. As my wife did her research, I was collecting stories, events, and amazing facts. At first, I collected them for fun, because they were amazing. But soon I started thinking about writing a book. That book became The Inquisitor’s Tale, Or, The Three Magical Children and Their Holy Dog, which would win the Newbery Honor Award in 2017.


After writing a long, ambitious book about medieval history, I decided I wanted to focus on the age group that I had originally taught: elementary school students. So I created The Unicorn Rescue Society, a series about two kids who travel around the world protecting mythical creatures from danger. Each book features a creature from a different global culture. So I teamed up with other awesome authors from the cultures the URS would be visiting to write the books. It has been one of my favorite projects so far… and now there’s even a Unicorn Rescue Society Card Game!


These days, when I’m not at home in Brooklyn, lying on my couch and staring up at the ceiling (which is a crucial part of the writing process), I’m taking my daughter to school, recording new episodes of the Grimm, Grimmer, Grimmest podcast, and visiting schools all over the world. 


I’m also currently working on adapting the Unicorn Rescue Society and the Grimm books into streaming TV shows. More information on that coming very soon!


Ask me a question!






Our author visit was incredible!!!  Thanks again, everyone is still raving!
-Catherine S.
What a wonderful day it was. The kids at the school visits were beyond thrilled and inspired by Adam (I can’t thank him enough for presenting the writing workshop to all 80 5th graders. That was truly exceptional and meant so much to the kids, their teachers, and me), and the feedback from the library event has been stellar. The member of the PFLAG group said that as a retired teacher she has been to a ton of author visits and that yesterday’s was by far the best. 
-Caitlin C

My son is a 5th grade student. You visited last week and I have to tell you, it was transformative for him. He came home that day and basically repeated your entire visit verbatim. (Yup, it took a while). Then when his brothers got home from school, he told them how awesome you were. Then when my husband got home, same thing. It was about six hours of Adam Gidwitz awesomeness. He told me I absolutely HAD to read your book so now we’re both reading “A Tale Dark and Grimm” at the same time. 


My son is also a brutally awful speller. He’s very self conscious about it and it has inhibited his writing in the past, but when you told the kids that they’re writing stories even when they’re playing with their GI Joes, and making up scenarios  — well that just flipped a switch with my son. He’s been writing and reading since your visit and I could not be more grateful. I’m so very happy there’s another rare author out there who can inspire a fifth grade boy to read and write creatively. Can’t wait to read your other books.


Many thanks and keep it going!

-Angelique B.


Hi, I am writing you on behalf of my daughter. She is on your last book, The Grimm Conclusion and this is the first novel set she has finished. She is almost 9 years old and she absolutely loves your books.
-Laine N.
My son pre-ordered the book and then devoured it, he sure loved the series!  You turned a non-reader into a kid who wanted to start a collection of his favorite books, after he had read them from the library.  Thank you!

-Melanie P.

I am the mother of a 12 year old that is not a strong reader due to ADD/dyslexia, and because of that has decided that reading is boring. I have tried all sorts of books and just can’t seem to find one that clicks. I came across “A Tale Dark and Grimm” and asked her to give it a try. Due to her dyslexia it took a few weeks, but she read the entire thing! Better yet, she asked if there were more! I went out and bought the next book with the same results and then bought your third book, again she finished the entire thing. Though devastated there are no more Grimm books to read, she has started reading other books on her own without me having to make her do her nightly reading for Language Arts homework.


I’m sorry to take up so much of your time with my long winded letter, but I just can’t thank you enough for your incredibly written books that clicked with my daughter and opened the door to a whole new world of the endless possibilities of magic and adventure that books can give us. The greatest thing that your books gave her was the confidence to read, and a sense of accomplishment as she finds herself becoming a better reader with each page she turns. She is anxiously awaiting another one of your books to read and hopes that you may be working on something! Thank you again, Adam, for sharing your gift and changing my sweet little girl’s world!

-Micah S.
You only came in to my life 2 weeks ago. My grandson wanted to read his favorite book ever to me. Said he had read it 500 times. So he pulled out a paper back called A Tale Dark & Grimm. We sat down, he open the book and off we went.
-Connie J.
Adam, it was a pleasure spending the time with you last week.  I’ve heard from many parents and kids who thoroughly enjoyed the presentations.  The kids were rolling in the aisles, and the adults had a lot to chew on!  Thank you for your humor and thoughtfulness, and for giving so generously of your time.
-Alexis S.
Thank you for a fantastic visit today! The kids were remarkably focused and enthusiastic (especially considering today is June 1!). They spoke thoughtfully and convincingly about history, fiction, and the year 1242 in Europe. 
-David Z.
It was a real thrill for us to have Adam visit us last Friday. The student and teachers are talking about it and the books are hot items once again. The grade 6 teachers were especially complimentary even though the girls were quiet to begin with…Adam made a great impression. What a difference a great author visit can make when it is well planned, organised and enthusiastically presented.
-Lea M.
Thank you so much for getting Adam up to Burlington for the NELA Conference.  He was just as spectacular and well-received as I knew he would be!  While he was speaking everyone was engaged and laughing, and for the rest of the day people were buzzing about how much they enjoyed him!
-Vicki O.
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