Born: April 12, 1952
Birthplace: Fresno, California
Although his prolific career has included essays, plays, and ten books of poetry for adults, Gary Soto is best known as an acclaimed writer of fiction and narrative poems for children. His sympathetic and often humorous juvenile books include Baseball in April and Other Stories (1990) and the novel Taking Sides (1991). Soto, a professor of creative writing at the University of California, Riverside, travels widely to schools in California and the Southwest to promote reading and meet his young readers.