Other ambitions came and went, but writing stayed on, and she majored in creative writing at Purdue University, then went on to a Master's Degree in English. Marriage and the sudden addition to her life of three young stepsons, and then a son, forced writing into the nooks and crannies, but she wrote poetry and plays for adults as she taught college English. In the mid-seventies, Stephanie began working in the Poets-in-the-Schools program in Pennsylvania. Her first group of students were fourth and fifth graders, and she found among them a new generation of intense readers, still using the flashlight-under-the-covers trick.
"They brought back to me that special reading joy that most adults, even the readers among us, have lost, and I wanted to try my hand at writing for those kids, so like myself at their age and yet so different."
The difference, she felt, was less in the children themselves than in the fast-changing world they lived in. Her writing for children and young adults, beginning with Grandpa — And Me in 1978, has reflected that contemporary world.
Stephanie Tolan is also well known as an advocate for extremely bright children.She co-authored the award-winning nonfiction book, Guiding the Gifted Child, and has written many articles about the challenges gifted "asynchronous" children and adults face as they find a way to fit into their world. She lectures throughout the country to audiences of parents, educators and counselors attempting to find ways to meet the children's needs. Her experiences with these "amazing, off-the-charts" young people inspired the themes of Welcome to the Ark, a powerful novel about four brilliant young misfits in a world teetering on destruction.
Stephanie Tolan currently lives in Charlotte, NC, with her husband.
eBook The Last of Eden