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Laura McNeal

Laura Rhoton McNeal holds an MA in fiction writing from Syracuse University and is the author, with her husband Tom, of four young adult novels published by Knopf: Crooked (winner of the California Book Award in Juvenile Literature), Zipped (winner of the Pen Center USA Literary Award in Children’s Literature), Crushed and The Decoding of Lana Morris. Laura’s solo debut novel, Dark Water, was a finalist for the National Book Award and the winner of the San Diego Book Award in young people’s literature in 2010.

McNeal's notable Reader stories from the archives:

Diary of an Orange Grove

I Know That One Day, Not Very Far Off in a Corner of This World, Someone Is Going to Say, We Need You (war stories of the baby market)

Their Babies Smell Like Freshly Opened Hickory Nuts (squirrels' lives)

Fairy Godmother's Art (sewing and class-consciousness - about the author's mother)

Vampires on My Front Porch (the care and feeding of pale wigglers)

Articles by Laura McNeal

Best Reader stories from 2010

Reader writers on why Christmas is magic By Dorian Hargrove, Elizabeth Salaam, Ernie Grimm, Jay Allen Sanford, Melissa Wiley, Ollie , Walter Mencken, Dec. 22, 2010 San Diego women who have converted to Islam Over ...

March 1, 2020
Best Reader stories from 2002

He's sad for ships DeRosset doesn’t speak abstractly about his work. He’s a storyteller. “What’s really nice,” he told me before I’d had a chance to see the painting at the church, “is that I’ve ...

February 2, 2020
Best Reader stories from 1997

Childhood's End: Dr. Spock at 94 53-year-old Morgan, Dr. Spock’s second wife, has been relentless and inventive in her search for ways to keep her husband youthful and healthy. For his 75th birthday, for example, ...

January 18, 2020
Best Reader stories from 1996

Mafia in San Diego before World War II (first in series of six stories) “The raids, all made with search warrants, started soon after noon and were not completed until early evening. All of the ...

January 12, 2020
Fallbrook – 56 miles and an eternity from San Diego

When I say Fallbrook, nothing comes to mind “They are going to fix the streets? For whom? Every other shop is vacant and has been for the last few years. There’s no draw for tourists. ...

Laura McNeal and the Reader

Laura Rhoton McNeal holds an MA in fiction writing from Syracuse University and is the author, with her husband Tom, of four young adult novels published by Knopf: Crooked (winner of the California Book Award ...

April 7, 2019
Love and Mariachis in Chula Vista

This is a love story. It begins in Guadalajara and is rekindled four times a day in room 1204 of Chula Vista High, a setting that is not romantic. The windows of the band room, ...

February 9, 2011
Reader writers on our country this July 4th

I grew up in a religion that loved everything I would be taught to disdain in graduate school: America, authority, marriage, motherhood, and divine revelation. My father was a history-reading intellectual who treated me like ...

June 30, 2010
Mr. Benjamin’s Cotillion comes to Coronado

When I signed my son up for dance and deportment lessons, I didn’t tell him. For one thing, it was called Mr. Benjamin’s Cotillion, and I couldn’t shake the image of Mr. Benjamin Bunny, Peter ...

May 5, 2010
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