Upon graduating college, and after a year of working as a waiter at Beefsteak Charlie’s (all the beer and sangria you can drink!), James Preller got his first “real job” in 1985 as a junior copywriter for Scholastic. As part of his duties, he wrote promotional flyers for Seesaw Book Club –- and that’s when his lifetime love of children’s books took root. He’s worked in children’s publishing ever since, as an author, editor, book packager, and consultant. He has continued to write a wide range of children’s books, most recently including a haiku collection illustrated by Mary GrandPre, All Welcome Here, to a middle grade wilderness thriller, Blood Mountain, and just about everything in between. James is best known for the Jigsaw Jones Mystery Series (42 titles, more than 10 million sold), the Scary Tales series, A Pirate’s Guide to First GradeThe Courage TestSix Innings, and Bystander, a highly-regarded novel centered around bullying in a middle school environment. A prequel/sequel, Upstander, is due out in 2021. 

James has earned more than a dozen starred reviews, three Library Guild Selections, an ALA Notable, 2 NYPL “Best Books for Reading and Sharing,” a YALSA award, a Bank Street College Selection, a CYBIL Award, named to numerous state lists, and more. 

James lives with his wife and family in Delmar, NY. One of his most joyful activities has been visiting and presenting at schools around the country; he sorely misses those trips and looks forward to brighter, healthier days ahead. 

James will be represented by Elizabeth Bennett.