Author and Lawyer

I’ve written novels, short stories, nonfiction for both young readers and adults, and lots of legal briefs. I am currently writing an overlapping series of biographies called the Making of America. For more information on my series, click here. I’m also writing Twitter threads and blog posts.

My political commentary has appeared on the NBC News Think Blog,, and Slate Magazine.

My articles and essays have appeared in Education Week and Scope Magazine.

My short fiction has appeared in the American Literary View, The Iowa Review, and others. (If you’re wondering what a fiction writer was doing in law school, click here.)

For twelve years I maintained a private appellate law practice limited to representing indigents on appeal from adverse rulings.

I believe with the ACLU that when the rights of society’s most vulnerable members are denied, everybody’s rights are imperiled. I also believe with John Updike that the purpose of literature is to expand our sympathies.

I live with my family on the beautiful central coast in California.

My books have received the following honors and distinctions:

The Girl From The Tar Paper School::

♦Jane Addams Peace Association, Children’s Book Award for Older Readers, 2015

♦Carter G. Woodson Middle Level Book Award, 2015

♦California Reading Association Eureka Silver Honor Book Award

♦Included on the 2015 list of Notable Social Studies Trade Books for young readers compiled by the National Council for Social Studies

♦Orbis Pictus Award for Outstanding Nonfiction for Children (National Association of Teachers of English), Recommended Book

♦Included in the New York Public Library’s list of 100 children’s books to read in 2014.

♦A Junior Library Guild selection

Rivka’s Way:

♦Sidney Taylor Book Awards, Notable book of 2001

♦Lilith Magazine’s 5th Annual Selection of Books for Young Readers

♦Included in Great Books for Girls, by Kathleen Odean

♦Included in Best Jewish Books for Children and Teens, by Linda R. Silver

Andrew Jackson

Grateful American Book Award, Honorable Mention

Alexander Hamilton

♦A Junior Library Guild selection

Guilty? Crime, Punishment, and the Changing Face of Justice

♦Junior Library Guild selection


J.D., University of California, Berkeley School of Law

M.A., University of California, Davis, Graduate School, English with an Emphasis in Fiction Writing

B.A., University of Pennsylvania