Aimée Bissonette is the author of several picture books featuring adventurous girls and women.
Miss Colfax’s Light, (winner of the American Library Association Amelia Bloomer Award) recounts the true story of Harriet Colfax, one of the few female Lake Michigan lighthouse keepers in 1861.
North Woods Girl (winner of the Sigurd Olson Nature Writing Award), is “...narrated by a girl who admires her grandmother for not looking like other grandmas: 'She's bony. And she dresses in Grandpa's old flannel shirts.' But Grandma knows the woods behind her house and where to observe animals and ducks." (Pioneer Press).
Aim for the Skies: Jerrie Mock and Joan Merriam Smith’s Race to Complete Amelia Earhart’s Quest (due out in September), retells the extraordinary story of the 1964 air race between Americans Geraldine Mock and Joan Merriam Smith, the first two women to fly around the world.
Aimée Bissonette was born in New Kensington, Pennsylvania, the sixth of seven children. She grew up with her suitcase never fully unpacked—her family moved many times and she attended 8 different schools before graduating from high school. Aimée earned her Bachelor’s degree from Colorado State University and her Law degree from the University of Minnesota Law School.
She has worked as an occupational therapist, teacher, lawyer, and small business owner. In addition to her books for children, Aimée has published a book for K-12 teachers and administrators on the legal issues associated with technology in the schools.
She lives with her husband, family, and dogs in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Learn more about Aimée Bissonette on her website.
Q1: OUR THEME THIS YEAR IS HERE'S AN IDEA! WHERE IS YOUR FAVORITE SPACE FOR PONDERING IDEAS?
Aimée: Any place outdoors! There is a wonderful nature center near my house - 150 beautiful acres right in the middle of the city. I go walking there whenever I am working on a new idea, whatever the season. I also spend a lot of time on Lake Superior. Being out in nature definitely gets my creative juices cooking.
Q2: WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE SUBJECT IN SCHOOL?
Aimée: I loved my literature and writing classes - especially poetry and creative writing - but I also am a math and science girl. One of my favorite high school classes was chemistry and my undergraduate degree was in Occupational Therapy, which means I studies all kinds of sciences: kinesiology, anatomy, biology. I suspect my love for science has a lot to do with why I write so much nonfiction.
Q3: WHAT ONE THING WOULD YOU LIKE TO LEARN TO DO?
Aimée: I want to learn to speak Spanish. I know just enough to get by when I travel to Spanish speaking countries, but I want to be able to converse fluidly with my Spanish speaking neighbors and friends. I am always impressed when I travel abroad by Europeans who speak 4 or 5 different languages with ease. I think it's amazing - and they just shrug it off.
Q4: WHEN DID YOU KNOW THAT YOU WANTED TO BE AN AUTHOR?
Aimée: Like so many authors, I knew I wanted to write books from a very early age. I still have notebooks full of poems and short stories I wrote in elementary school. I had an amazing fifth grade teacher who I believe must have been a writer, too. Each afternoon, we'd stop whatever we were doing for a few minutes of writing, often in response to a writing prompt she had devised. Every so often she'd collect our writing notebooks. She'd return them with comments: "You are a wonderful poet," or "I love your stories." I have read those notebooks as an adult and I am not sure my writing was worthy of her praise. But her words propelled me forward. She made me think of myself as a writer. What a gift!