“As spellbinding as fiction.” – Boston Globe

I aim for powerful, precise storytelling in all of my creative writing, which includes four award-winning nonfiction books for young adults, as well as poetry and plays. Zenger Media summarized my book style as “serious history written in uncomplicated sentences” and the Boston Globe honored my Perilous Journey of the Donner Party with these words: “Truth is indeed as spellbinding as fiction… [Calabro’s] research is meticulous and the telling, almost conversational in tone, is riveting.”

Books for Young Adults

The Perilous Journey of the Donner Party

Clarion Books/Houghton Mifflin (hardcover)
ISBN 0-395-86610-3

We remember them mainly for their cannibalism. But there is much more to the true story of Donner Party, which Marian Calabro tells through the eyes of 13-year-old survivor Virginia Reed. An ALA Notable Book and multiple award winner (California Library Association, Virginia Library Association, New York Public Library). “Eerie and mesmerizing. Readers of all ages can transport themselves back to one of the darkest ordeals in American history.”—Julie Bookman, Atlanta Journal-Constitution

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Great Courtroom Lawyers: Fighting the Cases that Made History

Facts On File (hardcover)
ISBN 0-8160-3323-4

Biographical essays of criminal defenders Clarence Darrow, F. Lee Bailey, and William Kuntzler; Supreme Court justice Robert H. Jackson; Thurgood Marshall and John W. Davis, opponents in the battle over school desegregation; and three pioneering women lawyers: political activist Belva Lockwood, abortion rights champion Sarah Weddington, and prosecutor Linda Fairstein. “Heroic yet realistic profiles. The writing is clear and the explanations of legal concepts are nicely handled.”—ALA Booklist

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Zap! A Brief History of Television

Macmillan/Four Winds Press (hardcover)
ISBN 0-02-716242-7

Published when “The Simpsons” was new, this is truly a history of a medium that has since changed radically. “Entertaining anecdotes and information … well-organized and refreshingly readable. The 12 chapters are peppered with photographs and quotes, and, most important, are written in a way that encourages students to think about related issues.” —Library Journal

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Operation Grizzly Bear

Macmillan/Four Winds Press (hardcover)
ISBN 0-02-716241-9

Describes the thirteen-year-study of grizzly bears done by John and Frank Craighead in Yellowstone National Park, in which their use of the radio-tracking collar and other innovations added to the scope of human knowledge about the grizzly.”Calabro’s account is an involving synthesis of bear lore and field narrative. Several dramas provide suspense.”—ALA Booklist

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Anthology

Heart So Open, Soul So Wide: Tributes to Pat Schneider

Countless writers around the world have been transformed by the work of Pat Schneider and the Amherst Writers & Artists (AWA) method of writing that she pioneered. Some of her admirers decided it was high time for a collection that honors Pat and her brilliance. Editor Marian Calabro and book designers Lane Goddard and Sue Reynolds – all AWA affiliates – put out a call for entries. This anthology is the result. It contains a wide variety of poems, essays, stories, and even emails that vividly describe how Pat and her work have touched so many lives. All of the contributors believe in the vision that Pat communicates and teaches so well: “Above all else, the AWA method is about building community. We need to have a shared life.”

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Marian Calabro and Pat Schneider in 2013. Pat is holding Heart So Deep, Soul So Wide, an anthology of tributes to Pat from AWA writers.

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