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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

Beating back fear of Tijuana, why I keep thinking about Mexico, a cross-border kidnapping

Baja is back Hip and delicious. There’s no reason not to get in your car and go. By Elizabeth Salaam, July 24, 2013 | Read full article I was hit with the realization that half ...

October 25, 2020
Not your average street person, not your average refugee, a bicyclist dies, cross-border kidnapping

Street neighbor in the East Village Kazakhstan national can’t get her daughter back Yes, I was on the street, but I was home-schooling my daughter. By John Brizzolara, July 26, 2013 | Read full article ...

October 3, 2020
Afro hair, piercings, obsession with abdomens, T-shirts talk, the beauty of henna, worry about fat

Afro Puffs ’Dos that don’t. I’m overjoyed that my daughter loves her hair. I’m also afraid there will come a day when she tells me she wishes it were long, straight, and yellow. By Elizabeth ...

September 21, 2020
Oddness of the Waldorf School, food critic Eleanor Widmer, why San Diego's light is unique, MiG killer Randy Cunningham

A Single Mother Alone in the World If the child-support check is late, I let it be. I resent having to beg for anything. I used to be on my ex like white on rice, ...

September 14, 2020
San Diego's undercovered violent side

He Should Have Known Better It had been another sleepless night for Chris Squire, pedaling around San Diego delivering drugs. When the sun rolled into the sky on August 14, 2006, he knew he was ...

July 26, 2020
Mexico after the millenium

Smugglersville “The cops mess with us. The thieves mess with us. Everybody messes with us.” I was hobbling back from the store with a liter of milk, when I saw three young men sitting on ...

San Diego's punk music, goodbye to Lennon

Soundtrack: Notes gave pathos to clouds My father bought my first piano from the Briscoes in Sumter, South Carolina. We knew the Briscoes from church and because Brother Briscoe, as we called him, was in ...

July 5, 2020
Cross-border kidnapping, German cyclist killed at Camp Pendleton

Street neighbor in the East Village Yes, I was on the street, but I was home-schooling my daughter. By John Brizzolara, July 26, 2013 When Vietnamese people say American they always mean white I grew ...

June 6, 2020
My daughter's Afro, tongue piercing, obsession with stomach looks

Afro Puffs I’m overjoyed that my daughter loves her hair. I’m also afraid there will come a day when she tells me she wishes it were long, straight, and yellow. By Elizabeth Salaam, July 11, ...

May 31, 2020
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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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