I BOOK ORDERING
was born in Zurich,
His family came to the United
when he was
years old, and they settled in Brooklyn,
grew up playing stickball in the street (three manhole
equaled a home run) and stoopball (a forgotten art,
outside his house.
graduated from New York University in 1964 with an
degree, which in no way prepared him for life in Africa. So he
joined the Peace Corps and went to Africa.
lived in Sierra Leone for two years, teaching English and history,
before coming back to the States. He went back to school, and
got his Masters degree from Yeshiva University, and did some post-graduate
work at NYU. And, having not yet had his fill of school, he became
a teacher. First, junior high for a few years, at JHS 240 in Brooklyn.
A few years later, he settled in for the long haul: 31 years at
the same school from which he graduated, Abraham Lincoln High
School, near Coney Island. Mel loved teaching English, helping
his students discover why Macbeth is cool, and how come Captain
Ahab didn't just quit his silly quest, and open a seafood joint
married his wife, Elyse, in 1970, about when he started at Lincoln.
They had two sons, now both in their 20's. His son, Jonathan,
made his way to a career writing television news. Andrew, his
other son, splashed his way out of the family's literary gene
pool, to become a software engineer.
always felt drawn to the written word. He started writing for
NYU's student paper when he was 18. He wrote news, sports, and
feature articles. But it took many years, and a dare from his
wife, Elyse, until he tried his hand at a book.
could not be a writer if I were not a teacher,î Mel Glenn has
said. He tends to write about teenagers largely because he spent
so many decades surrounded by them in high school hallways. He
was inspired by their lives, and their stories.
retired from teaching in 2001. He now spends his time writing,
and making appearances at schools, libraries, and community groups
around the country.
his free moments, Mel likes sternly admonishing the television
set whenever a public figure dares to use incorrect grammar, and
cheerily refusing to clean up the papers on his desk no matter
how often his wife throws up her hands in despair. He and his
wife live in Brooklyn, NY.