Michael O. Tunnell’s love affair with books began when he was small. Raised by his grandmother, who read to him every day, Michael soon discovered that books were the world’s best teachers and entertainers.
As with many avid readers, Michael harbored since childhood the wish to create his own stories. After years of writing—and some rejection—Michael’s first picture book, Chinook!, was published in 1993 by Tambourine Books.
Today Michael teaches children’s literature at Brigham Young University, in addition to writing picture books, informational books, and novels for primary, middle-grade, and young adult readers. Many of his books are about historical topics, such as The Children of Topaz (Holiday House), Mailing May (Greenwillow), and Brothers in Valor (Holiday House). Michael’s books have received numerous awards and have appeared on many “best books” lists (ALA Notable Children’s Books, Notable Books for a Global Society, CCBC Choices).
Michael has served on the Newbery Award Committee and on the selection committee for the NCTE Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children. He has also published many professional books, including The Story of Ourselves: Teaching History Through Children’s Literature (Heinemann) and Children’s Literature, Briefly (Prentice Hall), and has written articles for a variety of educational journals. He and his wife, Glenna, live in Orem, Utah. They have four grown children.