bio from 1990
I've been collecting rocks, thinking about rocks, and writing poems about rocks for a long time.
a little update
My interests haven't changed much since 1990! I still love writing stories. I also love being in nature. I'm kind of obsessed with rocks, time, the universe, trees, fungi, microbes, and nutrient cycling. I grew up in the Pacific Northwest, graduated from Pomona College, and earned graduate degrees in education and creative writing from the University of Oregon. Now that I'm a grown-up kid, I get to visit schools to teach workshops about writing and science. I enjoy visiting schools, and I'm passionate about affirming and making space for children's curiosity, creativity, and innate connection to the natural world. I'm also an Audubon volunteer and the critique group coordinator for my local chapter of SCBWI. A Stone Is a Story is my first picture book (besides those listed above!). My next book, One Day This Tree Will Fall, releases in 2024.
These are just a few rocks from my collection. I bring these rocks and others to schools and libraries when I visit. Learn more about author visits here.
I was in Iceland when the Fagradalsfjall volcano erupted. My family and I watched it erupt (from a safe distance!). This is what the lava looked like when it hardened. Read my guest post about the geology of Iceland and its connection to A Stone Is a Story here.
official third-person bio
Leslie Barnard Booth is an author, educator, and freelance writer with roots in the Pacific Northwest. Her nonfiction picture book debut, A Stone Is a Story, releases in October 2023 with Simon & Schuster/Margaret K. McElderry Books, to be followed by One Day This Tree Will Fall in 2024 and I Am We in 2025. She has taught at preschool, elementary, and college levels, and holds an MFA in creative writing and an MS in education from the University of Oregon.
Leslie grew up in Washington State, among giant trees and rugged mountains, and as a child her pockets were always full of rocks. She is now a mom to two daughters, and her children often inspire her creative work. She learns a lot from watching how they approach nature—the way they pause, crouch, and look closely at even the littlest, humblest creatures. Thanks to them, she's relearned what children seem to know intuitively: that every snail, stone, and clump of moss is full of wonder, if only we take the time to look.
Leslie lives in Portland, Oregon. Visit her at lesliebarnardbooth.com.
Headshot by Kristal Passy Photography