Patricia McCormick, a two-time National Book Award finalist, is the author of five critically acclaimed novels – Never Fall Down, a novel based on the true story of an 11-year-old boy who survived the Killing Fields of Cambodia by playing music; Purple Heart, a suspenseful psychological novel that explores the killing of a 10-year-old boy in Iraq; Sold, a deeply moving account of sexual trafficking; My Brother’s Keeper, a realistic view of teenage substance abuse; and Cut, an intimate portrait of one girl’s struggle with self-injury.
McCormick grew up in central Pennsylvania, went to Catholic grade school, high school, then Rosemont College. She worked as an assistant press secretary to the Governor of Pennsylvania from 1974-78, then went to the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. McCormick worked as a reporter for daily newspapers, and went into magazine journalism where she wrote book and movie reviews. McCormick studied fiction writing at The New School in New York City and went on to publish critically acclaimed books for young adults.
Never Fall Down was a finalist for the National Book Award in 2012 and was named a New York Times Notable Book for 2012. It was also named a Best Book of the Year by iTunes, The Huffington Post, School Library Journal and the Chicago Public Library.
The Plot to Kill Hitler, about Dietrich Bonhoeffer, was published in September2, 2016 by Harper Collins, and her latest book, Sergeant Reckless, was published by Balzer + Bray in July 2017.
McCormick was named a New York Foundation on the Arts fellow in 2004 and a MacDowell fellow in 2009. She is also the winner of the 2009 German Peace Prize for Youth Literature.
praise for sergeant reckless
“McCormick offers up her first picture book, and it's a rousing success. . . . An engaging slice of history.” — Booklist (starred review)
"This endearing story of wartime camaraderie won’t soon be forgotten." — Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“McCormick excels at bringing thrilling nonfiction stories to young readers, and this picture book about the horse awarded two Purple Hearts enthralls. With cinematic art by Bruno (“Mesmerized”) bringing the big cast to life, it’s an approachable introduction to the Korean War and a heartwarming example of “the mysterious bond between humans and animals.” — The New York Times Book Review
"This intriguing historical tale of an underdog highlights the connection between animals and humans, provides a view of the dangers of the battlefield, and has a subtle feminist slant. A warm human (and horse) interest story that feels fresh off a newsreel."
"McCormick’s narrative is excellent and Brunos’s bold illustrations contribute to the story as much as the text. . . . This well-illustrated war story will appeal to many, especially fans of Michael Morpurgo’s War Horse. A strong selection."
— School Library Journal
PRAISE FOR THE PLOT TO KILL HITLER
“Offers a lucid history of the rise of Nazi Germany and a dramatic account of one man’s resistance to evil.” — Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“[A] tragic, inspirational, and quite unusual tale of a man who was the moral center of a resistance movement that, though it failed, continues to live on in international memory.” — Booklist (starred review)
“It’s deep stuff for children, but McCormick, who has already tackled child prostitution (“Sold”) and genocide (“Never Fall Down”), makes it work. She gracefully elucidates the major influences on Bonhoeffer’s life, stressing his moral dilemmas and his decision to ‘speak out for those who cannot speak.’” — New York Times book review
“Readers will discover how compelling a story about ideas and ideals can be.” — Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
Praise for I Am Malala
“Powerful and inspiring.” — Kirkus
The Guardian Children's Review, October 8, 2014
Praise for Never Fall Down
“A harrowing tale of survival in the Killing Fields.” – Kirkus
"Catharsis is the message of Never Fall Down, recovery through tears and giving voice to trauma." – Seth Mydans, he New York Times
Praise for Purple Heart
“McCormick builds the plot subtly and carefully with rich, sparse prose… The author tenderly calculates the guilt and trepidation that infect Matt’s mind, and when he returns to patrol, what he finds on the streets of Iraq will either make him or break him.” – Kirkus
“A thrill, expertly layered mystery.” –The Horn Book
The New York Times, Boys at War, Ryan Southerland, Novermber 5, 2009
Praise for Sold
“Written as a prose poem, Sold focuses on the essential question of whether it is possible to trust when all that one has trusted has been proven untrustworthy. McCormick provides readers who live in safety and under protection of the law with a vivid window into a harsh and cruel world—one most would prefer to pretend didn’t exist.” – Kirkus
“Searing… poetic.” –The Horn Book
"Readers will admire Lakshmi's grit and intelligence, and be grateful for a ray of hope for this memorable heroine at book's end." – Publishers Weekly
Praise for My Brother's Keeper
“In Cut, Patricia McCormick’s terrific debut novel, the narrator cuts herself… Her second novel, My Brother’s Keeper, cuts even more deeply.” – The New York Times
“Splendidly done.” – Kirkus
Praise for Cut
“Cut, a debut novel by Patricia McCormick, is one of the best young-adult novels in years. Riveting and hopeful, sweet, heartbreaking.” – Boston Globe
“A vivid and inspiring first novel… deft and fascinating… part mystery story and part adolescent drama.” – The New York Times