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About Jolene

Here's my official biography:

Jolene Gutiérrez grew up on a farm, surrounded by animals, plants, and history. She holds a Master’s degree in Library Science and is an award-winning teacher-librarian and has been working with diverse learners at Denver Academy for the past 25 years. She is a wife of 21 years and mama to two teenage humans and three preteen dogs. An active member of SCBWI and The Author’s Guild, Jolene is a We Need Diverse Books mentorship finalist, a Writing with the Stars 2018 mentee (with picture book author Stacy McAnulty), a Highlights Foundation scholarship winner (twice), a Children’s Book Academy scholarship winner and graduate, and the winner of the Cynthia Levinson nonfiction picture book biography scholarship to the Writing Barn. She's an active member of debut author support groups Picture Book Buzz and Perfect2020PBs. Jolene is the author of Mac and Cheese and the Personal Space Invader (Clear Fork, 2020) and Bionic Beasts: Saving Lives with Artificial Flippers, Legs, and Beaks (Lerner, 2020). Learn more at 

Jolene is represented by agent Kaitlyn Sanchez of Olswanger Literary.

And here's another biography that gives you a little more information about me in first person. ;)

Age 4 with my favorite book and rock.
I was born in Sterling, Colorado in 1974. I grew up on a farm in northeastern Colorado and have many fond memories of farm life, including riding horses and collecting rocks. I also have many nasty memories of farm life, including falling in a puddle of pig poop while wearing white pants and eating Rocky Mountain Oysters before I learned that they aren't really oysters.

Growing up on a farm with no other kids my age within walking distance, I grew to love reading and writing. I've been writing since I was 5 or so, and my second-grade teacher helped me publish my first book.

I met my soulmate in high school and eventually married him. We've been married for 22 years! We live near Denver, Colorado and have 2 amazing children, 3 dogs, and 1 rescue squirrel.

I've been a school librarian for the past 25 years, and I love helping students find their perfect book. After I had my kids, though, for a little while I was so busy being a mom that I forgot some of the other things that nurture my soul. When a brilliant woman I knew, Rae, lost her fight with breast cancer, I realized that I needed to stop waiting for my dreams to come true and take steps to make them come true. So I started writing again.

I dream that the books I write will become someone's perfect book. I can't imagine anything more magical than that! One of my other dreams is to change the world, one reader at a time. I have lots of dreams. None of them include Rocky Mountain Oysters. :)

Jolene and her family