More About the Author
Jean Davies Okimoto's latest book, The Love Ceiling, was a winner of a 2009 Next Generation Indie Book Award. She is also the recipient of the American Library Association "Best Books for Young Adults" Award, the International Reading Association's Reader's Choice Award, the IRA/CBC Young Adults' Choice Award, the Parents' Choice Award, the Washington Governor's Award, the 1993 Maxwell Medallion for Best Children's Book of the Year, and two of her books have been recognized as Smithsonian Notable Books. In 2007 she received the Green Earth Book Award from the Newton Marasco Foundation and in 2008 the Green Prize for Sustainable Literature honor book, a national award given by the Santa Monica Public Library.
Her publishers include Atlantic Monthly Press, Putnam, Little, Brown & Co., Dell, Scholastic, HarperCollins, and the Simul Press in Japan which has published Japanese editions of her novels My Mother Is Not Married To My Father and It's Just Too Much. Her short stories have also appeared in four Delacourte anthologies, Short Stories by Outstanding Writers for Young Adults. Shelley Duvall produced an animated version of Blumpoe the Grumpoe Meets Arnold the Cat for the series "Bedtime Stories" which was narrated by John Candy and appeared on HBO and Showtime. In connection with her non-fiction title, Boomerang Kids: How to Live with Adult Children who Return Home, she has appeared on the Today Show, the CBS Morning Show, The Oprah Winfrey Show, and CNN.
Her one-act play, Hum it Again, Jeremy has been produced in schools in Vancouver, Toronto and New York. The Northwest Asian American Theater in Seattle produced the world premiere of Uncle Hideki based on her novel Talent Night and in 2006 produced Uncle Hideki and the Empty Nest. Book-it Repertory Theatre produced The Eclipse of Moonbeam Dawson based on her novel by the same name.
Her other titles include Norman Schnurman, Average Person, a mystery, Who Did It, Jenny Lake?, Jason's Women, Molly By Any Other Name, and Take A Chance, Gramps! which was a Junior Library Guild selection, named to the Lone Star State Reading List, and nominated for the Mark Twain Award and the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Award.
A Place For Grace, published by Sasquatch Books, was the first picture book for a general audience to feature a hearing dog and a deaf character and was praised by Smithsonian as "One of this year's most charming and large-hearted offerings." No Dear, Not Here a picture book about the marbled murrelets, endangered seabirds and their quest for a nest in the Pacific Northwest, is also a Sasquatch title and was designated a 1995 Smithsonian Notable Book for Children.
A member of PEN American Center, the Author's Guild and the Dramatists Guild, she has a master's degree in psychology from Antioch University and is the founder of the Seattle Reading Awards, which recognizes the fifth grade students in the Seattle Public Schools who have shown the most improvement in reading. The program focuses on Chapter One, Bilingual and Special Education students and she has served as its co-chair since the awards began under the sponsorship of the Seattle Reading Association in 1986.
She and her husband Joe live on Vashon Island, Washington. Together they have four grown children, six grandchildren and a dog who thinks it's a person.