Jonathan Friesen is author of the award-winning Jerk, California, a heart-warming YA novel about a young man struggling with Tourette’s Syndrome which won the 2009 ALA Schneider Award for “Best Book for Teens.” In addition, he is a frequent contributor to Clubhouse magazine, twice winning the EPA Excellence Award for middle grade short stories published in Clubhouse. Because of his fourteen years’ experience teaching fifth grade in public schools, he has numerous opportunities to speak to in elementary, middle, and high schools across the country, as well as in public libraries to groups of patrons and librarians. He is also a frequent speaker at educator conferences, home school conferences (connecting to over two million children nationwide), national writers’ conferences, mental health conferences, school district events, and to parent groups across the country on issues of ostracism and empowerment. He maintains an active website, blog, and newsletter database, and is a personal online writing coach for gifted young novelists across the country. He and his wife live on a horse farm in Minnesota with their three children and a growing number of animals.