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Jerry Spinelli

When Jerry Spinelli was 16, a big victory of his high-school football team inspired him to write a poem. When the poem was published in a local newspaper, the experience inspired Spinelli to become a writer. In such novels as Space Station Seventh Grade and Crash, Spinelli has demonstrated a gift for revealing both the ordinary and extraordinary sides of his characters. A native of Norristown, Pennsylvania, Spinelli was awarded the 1991 Newbery Medal for Maniac Magee.