|When Joseph Bruchac was a young boy, his grandparents always encouraged him to read, write, and learn all that he could. His grandmother always gave him books about animals and nature at Christmastime. And although his grandfather could barely read or write, he shared something else with his grandson--his love and respect for nature. That love and respect for nature combined with the pleasures of reading that Joseph discovered would later be the central theme of his work. When he graduated from high school, he attended Cornell Agriculture school with an academic scholarship and began as a major in Wildlife Conservation. But after three years of studying, Joseph realized that he wanted to be a writer after taking some creative writing courses. He changed his major and attended school for one more year to get a degree in English. After he graduated, he attended Syracuse University with a writing fellowship. When he completed his studies, he continued writing part-time and tried several careers including teaching martial arts and working as a tree surgeon before deciding to become a full-time writer. His first children's book, THIRTEEN MOONS ON A TURTLE'S BACK, was published in 1992. Since then, he has published over 30 children's books. For aspiring young writers, Joseph has this piece of advice: "There are stories in everyone and everything. Ancestry and family, local history and the journeys on which my life has taken me--these are the roots that have nourished me as a writer. Look for the roots of your own stories, too."