S. A. Bodeen

S. A. Bodeen V Imagery and Design

S.A. Bodeen is the author of The Garden and The Compound, which earned her an ALA Quick Pick for Young Adults, a Bank Street Best Children's Book of the Year, and a Publishers Weekly "Flying Start." She is also the author of several picture books, including  Elizabeti’s Doll, winner of the Ezra Jack Keats Award. Bodeen grew up on a dairy farm in Wisconsin. Her first friends were cows, which she named after characters in books. From there she went on to be a Peace Corps volunteer in East Africa, and has lived in seven states, as well as a remote Pacific island. She adores books and is a big fan of cheese. She lives in Oregon.



  • Book Trailer for The Compound by S.A. Bodeen

    A book trailer for author S.A. Bodeen's award-winning debut novel, The Compound.



  • S. A. Bodeen V Imagery and Design

Q & A


What did you want to be when you grew up? An author, of course.When did you realize you wanted to be a writer? Grade 5. Someone else won the creative writing award and it made me insanely jealous. ( I did get the Spelling prize though.)What’s your first childhood memory? When I was 4, getting charged by Eleanor, one of our Holsteins. She had a calf and I got too close and I remember screaming and running for the porch. ( I made it, obviously)What’s your most embarrassing childhood memory? First grade, Mrs. Slaughter’s class, I wet my pants. And the embarrassment factor of that incident has not lessened much in 36 years.What’s your favorite childhood memory? I grew up on a farm in small town in Wisconsin. Every summer my Aunt Connie and Uncle Bud and 4 cousins would come from Los Angeles. I thought they were like the Brady Bunch and they added color to my black and white life.As a young person, who did you look up to most?  Captain Kirk. He always triumphed over the bad guy, was loyal to his friends, and protective of his crew. I watched Star Trek reruns every day after school. You let someone into your living room five days a week and they tend to be fairly influential. (As Oprah fans can attest.)What was your worst subject in school?  Art. I got a D+.  No chance of me ever illustrating my own work. What was your best subject in school? Social StudiesWhat was your first job? I always had to help around our farm, but my first paying job  was picking strawberries the summer after 6th grade. 10 cents a quart. My take at the end of the summer was $34. I blew it all on a camera.How did you celebrate publishing your first book?  It was ten years ago and my kids were little. I think we took them out to a McDonald’s Playland or something.Where do you write your books? Usually at the kitchen table. One day I hope to have a  desk.Where do you find inspiration for your writing? In things I read, see, watch. Which of your characters is most like you? I’m not sure I’ve written that one yet. But some days I feel very akin to Eva in Elizabeti’s Doll.When you finish a book, who reads it first? Whichever family member I manage to bribe sufficiently.Are you a morning person or a night owl? Definitely morning, I rarely stay up after 10.What’s your idea of the best meal ever? A pre-game grill-marked bratwurst with sauerkraut at Lambeau Field. Which do you like better: cats or dogs? Cats, but dogs are a close second.What do you value most in your friends? Them liking me for who I am. And laughing at my jokes.Where do you go for peace and quiet? A hot shower that wastes much water.What makes you laugh out loud? The OfficeWhat’s your favorite song? "Pride" by U2. Actually, Bono could sing a Barney tune and it would be my favorite.Who is your favorite fictional character? Owen MeanyWhat are you most afraid of? Deep water. And tornadoes. Basically Mother Nature in general.What time of year do you like best? SpringWhat’s your favorite TV show? I would skip my own funeral to watch Lost. I’m totally obsessed.If you were stranded on a desert island, who would you want for company? Toss up between Jon Stewart, for the laughs, or Ozzy from Survivor, for the coconuts and fish. If you could travel in time, where would you go? To 1977 to see my seventh grade self. I would tell her she will survive those years, and to soak up the drama and angst, because it will make for terrific story material one day.What’s the best advice you have ever received about writing? “Know your coma rules!” Advice from Mrs. Laverty, my high school English teacher.What do you want readers to remember about your books? I’m happy to just have them remembered!What would you do if you ever stopped writing? I’d be a spokesperson for Carmex, can’t live without that stuff.What do you like best about yourself? I make a really really good grilled cheese.What is your worst habit? Putting things off that I need to do.What is your best habit? I am a religious flosser.What do you consider to be your greatest accomplishment? That will occur when my kids become decent contributing members of society.Where in the world do you feel most at home? On my olive green sectional with a cat on my lap.What do you wish you could do better? Wallpapering. I always leave little bubbles.   What would your readers be most surprised to learn about you? I play an excellent game of HORSE.What do you consider being a success in the field of publishing?  When you are a question on Jeopardy.



Shipwreck Island

S. A. Bodeen


Available 07/28/2015Pre-Order

Sarah Robinson is deeply troubled in the wake of her dad’s second marriage. She now has to deal with a new stepmom and two stepbrothers, Marco, who is her age, and Nacho, who’s younger....


Eli and his family lived in an underground shelter they called the Compound for six years. They thought they were the only survivors of a nuclear attack, but when Eli learned that it was all...


The Raft

S.A. Bodeen

Robie is an experienced traveler. She’s taken the flight from Honolulu to the Midway Atoll, a group of Pacific islands where her parents live, many times. When she has to get to Midway...