Sharon M. Draper is a professional educator and award winning writer. She was the 1997 National Teacher of the Year, a five-time winner of the Coretta Scott King Award, and is a New York Times bestselling author. A graduate of Pepperdine University, she is best known for her novel, Darkness Before Dawn, as well as The Battle Of Jericho. Other books include Copper Sun, Double Dutch, Out of My Mind and the Jericho Trilogy.
Her literary recognition began when, as a challenge from one of her students, she entered and won first prize in a literary contest, for which she was awarded $5000 and the publication of her short story, "One Small Torch." She has published numerous poems, articles, and short stories in a variety of literary journals. Actively involved in encouraging and motivating all teachers and their students as well, she has worked all over the United States, as well as in Russia, Ghana, Togo, Kenya, Ethiopia, Bermuda, and Guam, spreading the word about the power of accomplished teaching and excellence in education.
Sharon Draper is an active participant in the activities of the YWCA of Cincinnati, a member of the National Council of Teachers of English, the International Reading Association, and Top Ladies of Distinction. Ms. Draper travels extensively and has been a guest on television and radio programs throughout the country, discussing issues of literature, reading, and education. She is an accomplished public speaker who addresses educational and literary groups of all ages, both nationally and internationally, with entertaining readings of her poetry and novels, as well as . She lives in Cincinnati, Ohio, with her husband and a golden retriever named Honey.