Dr. Amitha Jagannath Knight was named a winner of the 2012 PEN New England Susan P. Bloom Children’s Book Discovery Award and received a Letter of Merit for her writing from the Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators in 2011. While her parents were originally from South India, she (and her identical twin!) were born in the United States. She has lived in Texas and Arkansas, and now lives in Massachusetts with her husband, two children, and two cats.
As a kid, Amitha read anything she could get her hands on, but her favorites were fantasy novels. She read and re-read The Dark Is Rising series by Susan Cooper, The Lord of the Rings series by JRR Tolkein, and The Chronicles of Prydain series by Lloyd Alexander. Another series she loved (despite the fact it wasn’t fantasy) was The Anne of Green Gables series by LM Montgomery, and as a kid she wished she had red hair and had been named Anne.
As an adult, her tastes have widened a bit (and happily, she no longer wishes she had a different name or hair color). Here are some of her current favorite books for kids and teens: Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson, Feed by M.T. Anderson, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein, The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place series by Maryrose Wood, Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson, and Boxers & Saints by Gene Luen Yang.
Her favorite books for adults: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, the Booktown Mystery Series by Lorna Barrett, Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides, Chief Inspector Armand Gamache Mystery series by Louise Penny, Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi, and Among Others by Jo Walton.