Joanna Cole (born August 11, 1944), is an American writer of children’s books. She is most famous as the author of The Magic School Bus series. She has written over 250 books ranging from her first book Cockroaches to her famous series Magic School Bus, which is illustrated by Bruce Degen.
Cole was born in Newark, New Jersey, and grew up in the suburb East Orange. She loved science as a child, and had a teacher she says was a little like Ms. Frizzle. She attended the University of Massachusetts and Indiana University before graduating from the City College of New York with a B.A. in psychology. After some graduate education courses, she spent a year as a librarian in a Brooklyn elementary school. Cole subsequently became a letters correspondent at Newsweek, then associate editor for the SeeSaw book club at Scholastic, and then a senior editor for Doubleday Books for Young Readers. She went freelance in 1980, writing children's books and articles for Parents magazine. The first Magic School Bus book was written in 1985 and published the following year.
The Magic School Bus has enjoyed continued success and has sold millions of copies in multiple languages. The most recent installment in the series is The Magic School Bus Explores Human Evolution (2020) . Joanna Cole has continued to write books on many subjects for a range of ages, and has collaborated on many books with Stephanie Calmenson, including the Ready, Set, Dogs! series and The Adventures of Allie and Amy series.
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