“She brings her writing alive through the author visit whether it is in person and/or via Zoom.” — Patrick Andrus, 4th Grade Teacher, Eden Prairie Schools

Jess Redman is a therapist and award-winning author of books for young readers. Her first book, The Miraculous, was a Bank Street Best Children’s Book of 2019, an Amazon Best Book of 2019, and was called “layered, engaging, and emotionally true” in a Kirkus starred review. Her second book, Quintessence, was an NCTE Charlotte Huck Honor Book, a Bank Street Best Children’s Book of 2020, and was described as “a fanciful adventure with a rich emotional core and a fairy tale flair” by Publishers Weekly. Her newest book, The Adventure Is Now, was an Amazon Editor’s Pick, a Bank Street Best Children’s Book of 2021, and “a Roald-Dahl-esque delight” according to the Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books.

Her books have been featured on multiple state lists, and she loves visiting schools to inspire a love of reading and writing. She lives in Florida with her husband and two young children.

Jess's Featured Titles

The Adventure Is Now

Farrar, Straus and Giroux |
Middle Reader Book

A fun-filled, action-packed middle grade novel about a boy who learns about protecting the environment, finding real friends, and living in the now while spending the summer on a remote island.

Sometimes it’s hard to be Milton P. Greene. He says all the wrong things, his family is falling apart, and everyone at school avoids him because of the very embarrassing Bird Brain Incident. But when Milton plays his video game Isle of Wild, he becomes someone else—Sea Hawk, the brave and brilliant naturalist explorer who conquers danger at every turn.
Then Milton’s parents ship him off to the remote Lone Island for the summer, where his uncle Evan is an environmentalist researcher. The island is chock-full of spectaculous species, and Milton realizes this is his chance to become the brave and brilliant naturalist he’s always wanted to be—and even meet some fellow explorers!

But as it turns out, the future of the Lone Island is in some pretty serious peril, and the only thing that can save it is a field guide full of cryptic clues. If Milton and his unexpected new friends are going to protect the island, they’ll have to trust each other, discover new truths, and embark on a wild and wondrous adventure all their own.

The Adventure is Now is a dazzling, fun-filled story from Jess Redman.


Farrar, Straus and Giroux |
Middle Reader Book

A 2021 NCTE Charlotte Huck Award Honor Book
A Bank Street Best Book of 2021

Quintessence is an extraordinary story from Jess Redman about friendship, self-discovery, interconnectedness, and the inexplicable elements that make you you.

Three months ago, twelve-year-old Alma moved to the town of Four Points. Her panic attacks started a week later, and they haven’t stopped—even though she’s told her parents that they have. She’s homesick and friendless and every day she feels less and less like herself.

But one day she finds a telescope in the town’s junk shop, and through its lens, she watches a star—a star that looks like a child—fall from the sky and into her backyard. Alma knows what it’s like to be lost and afraid, to long for home, and she knows that it’s up to her to save the star. And so, with the help of some unlikely new friends from Astronomy Club, she sets out on a quest that will take a little bit of science, a little bit of magic, and her whole self.

This title has Common Core connections.

The Miraculous

Farrar, Straus and Giroux |
Middle Reader Book

An Amazon Best Children’s Book of 2019

In the tradition of heartwrenching and hopeful middle grade novels such as Bridge to Terabithia comes Jess Redman’s stunning debut about a young boy who must regain his faith in miracles after a tragedy changes his world.

Eleven-year-old Wunder Ellis is a miracologist. In a journal he calls The Miraculous, he records stories of the inexplicable and the extraordinary. And he believes every single one. But then his newborn sister dies, at only eight days old. If that can happen, then miracles can’t exist. So Wunder gets rid of The Miraculous. He stops believing.

Then he meets Faye—a cape-wearing, outspoken girl with losses of her own. Together, they find an abandoned house by the cemetery and a mysterious old woman who just might be a witch. The old woman asks them for their help. She asks them to believe. And they go on a journey that leads to friendship, to adventure, to healing—and to miracles.

The Miraculous is Jess Redman’s sparkling debut novel about facing grief, trusting the unknown, and finding brightness in the darkest moments.

“A stunning story expressing the complexities and mysteries of love and death in all of its light and darkness. A beautifully rendered and meaningful read for young readers asking deep questions.” —Veera Hiranandani, Newbery Honor–winning author of The Night Diary

“Exquisitely crafted, serious, yet woven through with wry humor, this story’s miracles are its fierce and tender characters. I loved this extraordinary debut.” —Leslie Connor, National Book Award Finalist author of The Truth as Told by Mason Buttle


From Brain to Bookshelf: How an Idea Becomes a Book

In this fun and interactive program, Jess will discuss how she became an author, from her early childhood stories through her published books. Students will learn about the writing process, how books are edited, how covers are designed, and much more. Jess will also talk about learning through failing and will motivate students by sharing what everyone with a big goal needs: Perseverance! And, of course, there will be time for Q&A.


Growing a Story: Writing Workshop

It’s the question every author gets: Where do stories come from? In this workshop, students will hear about Jess’s “seeds of inspiration” and then will explore their own—from memories to art to newspapers to dreams to music. Students will then take these inspiration seeds and begin to sprout a story of their own using simple, fun writing exercises and techniques. This workshop can be expanded into multiple sessions.


Diving Into Adventure: A Closer Look at The Adventure Is Now”

This program is perfect following a class or school-wide read of The Adventure Is Now. Jess will talk about the inspiration behind the story, share deleted characters and scenes, and show sketches of the creatures in the field guide. Students will hear about the fascinating research Jess did to create the Lone Island’s unique ecosystem and will have the opportunity to create their own field guide entry. Jess will also share about the story’s video game, Isle of Wild, and talk with students about their own screen time and the adventures they hope to go on. Students will discuss topics including conservation, biodiversity, technology, resilience, courage, and the power of friendship.


Growing Your Light: A Closer Look at Quintessence

This program is perfect following a class or school-wide read of Quintessence. Jess will talk about the inspiration behind the story, share deleted characters and scenes, and show sketches of the map of Four Points. Students will hear about the astronomy and chemistry research Jess did, including discussions of supernovas, runaway stars, and the periodic table of elements. Students will have the opportunity to discuss which element they would be and why (they can take the quiz on Jess’s website ahead of time!) and will discuss topics like honesty, courage, asking for help, and friendship. This program often pairs well with Mind Matters (see below), either the short or longer version.


Finding Your Miracles: A Closer Look at The Miraculous”

This program is perfect following a class or school-wide read of The Miraculous. Jess will talk about the inspiration behind the story, share deleted characters and scenes, and show the book cover in its many stages of development. Students will hear about Jess’s research into folklore and global traditions, which led to the creation of Wunder’s journal, the DoorWay House, and the DoorWay Tree. Students will have the opportunity to create their own journal entry, just like Wunder’s, exploring the things in their lives that bring them hope and that connect them to their families and community.


Mind Matters: The Power of Stories

This program be added to another or can stand alone. During this time, Jess will talk with students about how all her characters have to deal with a big life change and how each one handles those changes in their own way. Students will discuss how the characters’ strengths helped them and what they had to learn throughout the course of the story. Jess will also teach a few simple, age-appropriate skills, such as positive affirmations and breathing techniques. Topics discussed will include facing a challenge, dealing with anxious feelings, asking for help, self-care, and resilience.


Mind Matters: The Power of Stories

In this program for adults (educators, parents, youth advocates), Jess will discuss the role of stories in addressing mental health concerns in young people. Jess is a licensed mental health counselor and her books include issues such as anxiety/panic attacks, grief/loss, divorce, and bullying. Participants will explore how stories about these topics can open up conversations, how they give readers the language to express their own feelings, and how they can introduce healthy coping skills. Participants will learn how to connect with their young readers in real, meaningful ways. Jess will also walk participants through the basics of self-care and some simple coping skills. This program can be tailored to the audience’s specific interests and goals.

Virtual Visits with Jess

Jess’s Recent News

Jess’s Upcoming Events

Honors, Awards & Recognition

2020 NCTE Charlotte Huck Honor Award
Bank Street Best Children’s Book of 2019, 2020 and 2021
Amazon Best Book of 2019
Amazon Editor’s Pick, 2019 and 2021
2023 Sunshine State Young Readers Award nominee
2023 Rhode Island Children’s Book Award nominee
2022 Sakura Medal nominee

Media Kit

By clicking the link below you will be directed to a Google Docs Folder
where you can download author photos and cover images.

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