Donna Jo Napoli (born February 28, 1948) is an American writer of children's and young adult fiction, as well as a prominent linguist.

She has worked in syntax, phonetics, phonology, morphology, historical and comparative linguistics, Romance studies, structure of Japanese, structure of American Sign Language, poetics, writing for ESL students, and mathematical and linguistic analysis of folk dance. She has taught linguistics at Smith College, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Georgetown University, the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, the University of Pennsylvania, and is currently a professor of linguistics at Swarthmore College.

Born the youngest of four children in Miami, February 28, 1948, Napoli received both her B.A. (mathematics, 1970) and PhD (Romance Languages – the Linguistics Plan A, 1973) from Harvard, before a postdoctoral fellowship in linguistics at M.I.T. Napoli has dual citizenship in the U.S. and Italy.

Her children's books, listed below, have been translated into Chinese, Danish, Dutch, German, Greek, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Persian, Portuguese, Spanish, and will be in Thai and Polish. Many of her children's books are re-tellings of fairy tales, including The Magic Circle, Crazy Jack, Spinners, Zel, Breath, Bound, Beast, and The Wager for older children, and The Prince of the Pond, Ugly, and Mogo the Third Warthog for younger children. Other children's stories are historical fiction based in Italy, including Daughter of Venice, For the Love of Venice, and The Smile. Napoli has won numerous awards for her work, including the Golden Kite Award given by the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (for Stones in Water, and honor book Breath), the Sydney Taylor Award given by the Association of Jewish Libraries (for Stones in Water, and, honor book, The King of Mulberry Street and the Parents' Choice Gold Award (for Alligator Bayou and Silver awards for North and The King of Mulberry Street).

Her publications in linguistics include Syntactic argumentation (with Emily Rando). (Washington, DC: Georgetown Univ. Press, 1979), Syntax: Theory and Problems (Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press, 1993), Linguistics: Theory and Problems (Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press, 1996), Humour in sign languages: The linguistic underpinnings (with Rachel Sutton-Spence) (Dublin: Trinity Press, 2009), with dozens of articles in the scholarly journals. She is a former member of the editorial board of the premiere journal Language.


Young Adult novels

  • The Magic Circle, 1993 Dutton Penguin, 1995 Puffin Books (Paperback)
  • Zel, 1996 Dutton Penguin, 1998 Puffin Books (Paperback)
  • Song of the Magdalene, 1996 Scholastic, 1998 (Paperback), 2004 Simon & Schuster (Paperback)
  • Stones in Water, 1997, 1999 (Paperback) Dutton Penguin
  • For the Love of Venice, 1998, 2000 (Paperback) Delacorte Press
  • Sirena, 1998, 2000 (Paperback) Scholastic
  • Spinners, 1999, 2001 (Paperback) Dutton Penguin
  • Crazy Jack, 1999, 2001 (Paperback) Delacorte Press
  • Beast, 2000, 2002 (Paperback) Simon & Schuster
  • Daughter of Venice, 2002, 2003 (Paperback) Delacorte Press
  • The Great God Pan, 2003, 2005 (Paperback) Delacorte Press
  • Breath, 2003, 2005 (Paperback) Simon & Schuster
  • North, 2004, 2005 (Paperback) Greenwillow
  • Bound, 2004, 2006 Simon & Schuster
  • The King of Mulberry Street, 2005, 2007 (Paperback) Delacorte Press
  • Fire in the Hills, 2006, 2008 (Paperback) Dutton Press
  • Hush: An Irish Princess' Tale, 2007, 2008 (Paperback) Simon & Schuster
  • The Smile, 2008, 2009 (Paperback) Dutton Press
  • Alligator Bayou, 2009, 2010 (Paperback) Random House
  • The Wager, 2010, 2014 (Paperback) Henry Holt and Company
  • Skin, 2013 Skyscape
  • Storm, 2014 Simon & Schuster
  • Hidden: An Irish Princess' Tale, 2014 Paula Wiseman Books
  • Dark Shimmer, 2015 Random House

Elementary- and middle-school novels

  • Soccer Shock, 1991 Dutton Penguin, 1993 Puffin Books (Paperback)
  • The Prince of the Pond, 1992 Dutton Penguin, 1994 Puffin Books (Paperback)
  • When the Water Closes over my Head, 1994 Dutton Penguin, 1996 Puffin Books (Paperback)
  • Shark Shock, 1994 Dutton Penguin, 1997 Puffin Books (Paperback)
  • The Bravest Thing, 1995 Dutton Penguin, 1997 Puffin Books (Paperback)
  • Jimmy, the Pickpocket of the Palace, 1995 Dutton Penguin, 1997 Puffin Books (Paperback)
  • On Guard, 1997 Dutton Penguin, 1999 Puffin Books (Paperback)
  • Trouble on the Tracks, 1998 Scholastic
  • Changing Tunes, 1998 Dutton Penguin, 2000 Puffin Books (Paperback)
  • Shelley Shock, 2000 Dutton Penguin, 2002 Puffin Books (Paperback)
  • Three Days, 2001 Dutton Penguin, 2003 Puffin Books (Paperback)
  • Gracie, the Pixie of the Puddle, 2004 Dutton Penguin
  • Sly the Sleuth and the Pet Mysteries, 2005 Dial Press, 2007 Scholastic (Paperback)
  • Ugly, 2006, 2008 (Paperback) Hyperion Books
  • Sly the Sleuth and the Sports Mysteries, 2006 Dial Press
  • Sly the Sleuth and the Food Mysteries, 2007 Dial Press
  • Mogo, the Third Warthog, 2008 Hyperion Books
  • Sly the Sleuth and the Code Mysteries, 2009 Dial Press
  • Lights On The Nile, 2011 HarperCollins
  • Treasury of Greek Mythology: Classic Stories of Gods, Goddesses, Heroes & Monsters, 2011 National Geographic
  • Treasury of Egyptian Mythology: Classic Stories of Gods, Goddesses, Monsters & Mortals, 2013 National Geographic
  • Treasury of Norse Mythology: Stories Of Intrigue, Trickery, Love & Revenge, 2015 National Geographic

The Angelwings Series

Published by Simon & Schuster 1999-2001

  • Friends Everywhere
  • Little Creatures
  • On Her Own
  • One Leap Forward
  • Give and Take
  • No Fair!
  • April Flowers
  • Playing Games
  • Lies and Lemons
  • Running Away
  • Know-It-All
  • New Voices
  • Left Out
  • Happy Holidays
  • Partners
  • Hang In There

Picture books and early readers

  • The Hero of Barletta, Illustrations by Dana Gustafson, Carolrhoda Books, 1988
  • Albert, Illustrations by Jim LaMarche, Harcourt, 2001
  • How Hungry are You?, Illustrations by Amy Walrod, Simon & Schuster, 2001
  • Rocky, the Cat who Barks, Illustrations by Tamara Petrosino, Dutton Children's Books, 2002
  • Flamingo Dream, Illustrated by Cathie Felstead, Greenwillow, 2002
  • Hotel Jungle, Illustrations by Kenneth J. Spengler, Mondo Publishing 2004
  • Pink Magic, Illustrations by Chad Cameron, Clarion Books, 2005
  • Bobby the Bold, Illustrations by Ard Hoyt, Dial Books for Young Readers, 2006
  • The Wishing Club: A Story About Fractions, Illustrations by Anna Currey, Henry Holt and Company, 2007
  • Corkscrew Counts: A Story About Multiplication, Illustrations by Anna Currey, Henry Holt and Company, 2008
  • Ready to Dream, Illustrations by Bronwyn Bancroft, Bloomsbury USA, 2009
  • The Earth Shook: A Persian Tale Illustrations by Gabi Swiatkowska Hyperion Books, 2009
  • Handy Stories to Read and Sign, Illustrations by Maureen Klusza, Gallaudet University Press, 2009
  • Mama Miti: Wangari Maathai and the Trees of Kenya, Illustrations by Kadir Nelson, Simon & Schuster, 2010
  • The Crossing, Illustrations by Jim Madsen, Simon & Schuster, 2011
  • A Single Pearl, Illustrations by Jim LaMarche, Hyperion Books, 2013
  • Hands & Hearts, Illustrations by Amy Bates, Abrams Books, 2014

Recently Announced eBooks

  • Hang In There, 2015
  • Left Out, 2015
  • Partners, 2015
  • Happy Holidays, 2015
  • Know-It-All, 2015
  • No Fair!, 2015
  • Playing Games, 2015
  • April Flowers, 2015
  • One Leap Forward, 2015
  • Give And Take, 2015
  • On Her Own, 2015
  • Song Of The Magdalene,2015
  • Friends Everywhere, 2015
  • Little Creatures, 2015
See also References
  1. ^ Donna Jo Napoli at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database (ISFDB). Retrieved 2014-02-20.
External links
  • Official website
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Profile and Interview at TeenReads (2000)
  • Donna Jo Napoli: A Hunger for Words, Scott Philips (September 19, 2006)
  • Cover art and reviews at
  • Donna Jo Napoli at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database
  • Donna Jo Napoli at Library of Congress Authorities, with 95 catalog records

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