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Marvin Terban is a longtime teacher and best-selling children's book author. Called a "master of children's wordplay" by ALA Booklist and "Mr. English for Kids" by the Children's Book-of-the-Month Club, he has written over thirty-nine books for young readers and teachers, most of them about the English language. He is Scholastic's "Professor Grammar." He was born in Massachusetts and got his start as an author with a book that he wrote and drew in the first grade about a fuzzy green dragon. His first writing job was a weekly column for his local newspaper when he was in high school. He was also the editor of his high school newspaper and literary magazine. He went to Tufts University, where he received his Bachelor's degree, and Columbia University, where he received his Master's degree.
For over fifty years, he has taught English, Latin, Public Speaking, Computer, Theater, Filmmaking, and other subjects at the Columbia Grammar and Preparatory School in New York City where he developed teaching games that used humor to help students understand and enjoy the mystifying idiosyncrasies of the English language. Those games grew into the highly original series of funny books on English for which he is known in schools all over the United States and around the world. His Scholastic Dictionary of Idioms has been translated into Japanese and Korean. Two of his first books were turned into early computer games.
He and his wife, a former special education instructor, also wrote two activity books for teachers. Three of his Scholastic books, Checking Your Grammar, Dictionary of Idioms, and Dictionary of Spelling, have sold well over one million copies each. In 2005, the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, an international organization of 25,000 creators of children's books, voted Marvin their Member of the Year.
Marvin has acted in local community theater plays to raise money for various charities. He has also had a few small parts in Hollywood movies. For many summers he directed plays at a children's summer camp. He has paid "Meet the Author" visits to many schools, and he has given presentations to students and teachers at colleges and educational conferences in the United States, South America, Europe, Israel, China, and Japan.
The Terbans live in New York City across from a park and have two children and two grandchildren. His grandchildren live in the country and have a dog named Nacho and two pet pigs in their backyard named Pickles and Eileen. Marvin loves to be a teacher and an author, read, take walks in Central Park, go to movies and shows, travel to places around the world, meet his readers at school visits, and best of all, spend time with his family and friends.