Jeff savage
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Jeff Savage

Jeff Savage is the prolific writer of more than 100 non-fiction books for children. His award-winning titles include current biographies of athletes and entertainers as well as historical accounts of the development of the Wild West. More than 60 of Jeff's books have been adopted by the National Accelerated Reader Program.

Author


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I love sports!

  • I grew up in the sleepy Bay Area suburb of Fremont, California, and spent my childhood summers at my family cabin among the tall pines of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Wherever I went, you can be sure it was with my football or basketball.

  • As you can see in this picture, I was a ferocious athlete. I even played football and basketball and golf in high school. But, alas, the professional scouts, in a shocking oversight, failed to call.


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Education was important in my life!

  • My parents worked in the public school system – my father as a high school business teacher and my mother as a high school secretary – and together they stressed to me the importance of studying and getting good grades.

  • My hard work paid off when I was awarded an academic scholarship to UCLA. I later attended UC San Diego where I graduated with a degree in journalism and communications.


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My Job

  • Before my career as a writer, I worked an assortment of jobs, such as baby furniture stock boy, fry cook, car wash attendant, waiter, residential appraiser, stadium announcer, and disc jockey.

  • My first career job was as a sportswriter. I wrote articles for nearly a decade for the San Diego Union-Tribune. It was exciting to attend the games and go on the field and in the locker room to meet the stars. I've seen the action up close ever since. The greatest basketball players, football players, and boxers have all dripped sweat on me.


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My Family

  • I met my wife, Nancy, in 1993, in a crazy way. We were married two years later at the famous Hotel Del Coronado. Mrs. Savage is a teacher (4th grade, 5th grade, 6th grade, kindergarten, 2nd grade, special ed, substitute K-8, whew) and I get lots of ideas from her.

  • Our first son, Taylor, was born in 1997. Our second son, Bailey, was born in 1999. My favorite hobby is playing with my family. Other things I do for fun are stare at trees, play sports with the neighborhood kids, practice karate, and fly airplanes.


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Favorite Questions from Students

What is your favorite book that you've written?

  • All of my books are my favorite, but my true favorite is the one that is selling the most copies and being read most often! That has been, at various times, Sports Great Jim Abbott, Emmitt Smith: Star Athlete, Tiger Woods: King of the Course, Julie Foudy: Soccer Superstar, LeBron James: Amazing Athlete, and many more.

    Do you choose who you write about?

  • Yes. When I started, publishers often told me what books they were looking for. Now that I have been in the business for awhile and visit 100 schools each year, I have a good idea about what you want to read. Together editors and I come up with ideas. I've even created my own series!


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More Questions

Where do you work?

  • I work in my home office. It's downstairs at the end of the hall. For inspiration, I look out the window beyond our swimming pool and sport court to a sweeping vista in the Sierra foothills.

    How long does it take you to write a book?

  • I write carefully at the rate of about 200 words an hour. So if a book is 10,000 words long, it will take me about 50 hours to write it. But the entire process takes much longer. Remember, I need to gather information by doing research and interviews, then I need to form an outline. And after I write, I need to edit my manuscript before sending it to the publisher. And then I need to rewrite! So making an entire book might takes hundreds of hours.


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More Questions

Do you get autographs?

  • I have interviewed thousands of athletes and celebrities and I don't have many autographs. Can you believe that? The reason is because I never ask. It is not forbidden, but there is an "unofficial" code among writers that we not request autographs. It would not be "professional." But I know that if I ever asked, athletes would be happy to give me as many signed bats and balls as I want.

    Who is your favorite athlete?

  • My favorite athletes are not necessarily the greatest players. They are the athletes who worked the hardest to get where they are, the underdogs. Julie Foudy isn't the greatest women's soccer player, but she is a team player and a real leader. Mike Piazza taught himself how to hit a baseball as a boy by building a batting cage in his basement and swinging every day until his hands bled. Terrell Davis and Albert Pujols overcame tremendous childhood hardships to become great. They are some of my favorites.


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Book Orders Coming Soon

Hardcover - $14 Softcover - $6 (prices include tax)

HARDCOVER (only)BOTH (hardcover and softcover)

James Stewart [supercross racing]

Tony Hawk: Skateboarding Legend Annika Sorenstam [golf] Albert Pujols [baseball]

Vert Skating: Mastering the Ramp Ichiro Suzuki [baseball] Maria Sharapova [tennis]

Street Skating: Grinds and Grabs Barry Bonds [baseball] David Beckham [soccer]

The X Games: Skateboarding’s Greatest Event Jeff Gordon [auto racing] Sidney Crosby [hockey]

Oscar De La Hoya – The Golden Boy [boxing] Carly Patterson [gymnastics] Tiger Woods [golf]

Muhammad Ali – The Greatest [boxing] Yao Ming [basketball] Roger Federer [tennis]

Motocross Cycles Peyton Manning [football] Eli Manning [football]

Stunt Planes Ryan Howard [baseball] Dave Mirra [stunt bikes]

Mountain Bikes Tom Brady [football] Dallas Friday [wakeboarding]

Demolition Derby Cars LeBron James [basketball] Dwyane Wade [basketball]

Hydroplane Boats Dale Earnhardt, Jr. [auto racing]

ATVs Freddy Adu [soccer]

Rally Cars David Ortiz [baseball]

Racing Cars Travis Pastrana [supercross racing]

The World’s Fastest Stock Cars Danica Patrick [auto racing]

The World’s Fastest Pro Stock Trucks Steve Nash [basketball]

SOFTCOVER (only)

Julie Krone – Unstoppable Jockey

Julie Foudy – Soccer Superstar


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