Amy Meislin Pollack was a teacher for over four decades, raised three children, and loves to play with her seven grandchildren. From her own childhood to the classroom and as a parent and grandparent, she is perfectly positioned to pen her coming-of-age book series.
The Adventures of Jelly Bean, followed by The Further Adventures of Jelly Bean, first came into being when the author's fourth-grade teacher used to ask her to get up in front of the class and tell the stories about this character she would make up as she went along.
Several years later she started writing these stories down, and would work on them periodically in any free time she had during her teaching career and raising her three children.
Now retired from a 40-year career in teaching - spanning a wide range of subjects and grade levels - she has embarked on a lively writing career.
The silver lining of the Covid pandemic for Pollack was that she was more or less forced, after approximately 60 years, to finish her Jelly Bean books.
Her books are about a young girl whose life is always changing and how she adapts to these changes. She tries to work out relationships with her friends, her parents, her older brothers, her uncle. Her parents do not want her best friend, who is of mixed race, to visit. Another friend is anorexic. One brother drops out of school. A grandparent dies.
Pollack earned a BA in English from Goucher College in Baltimore and received her Master’s in English from University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education. She was certified as a secondary education and reading specialist for grades K-12 and earned a special education teaching degree from NYU, allowing her to teach disabled students.
For six years she was a professor of writing, and a teacher in the tutoring center at Montclair State University in NJ. She lives in central New Jersey with her husband and their dog named Bunny.
"Amy Pollack's visit was delightful! She really connected with the children, and they were engaged throughout her presentation. Amy inspired our students to write and to share their creative ideas. It was truly enjoyable having her here.”
—Deborah Afir, P.S. Librarian
NJASL Convention in Atlantic City - NJ Association of School Librarians