American-born novelist Ellen Hopkins has been writing young adult fiction since 1996 and has developed a unique style and status throughout her 14 young adult novels and 4 adult novels. Her young adult works, including Crank and Glass, are written in long-form, free-verse style, where each chapter is a poem with its own meter and structure that often reflects its content. They explore themes of teen drug abuse, sexuality, and mental illness, and are praised for representing these issues thoughtfully and accurately. Crank, published in 2004, is her most acclaimed novel and was New York Times Bestseller. In 2006, she received the Silver Pen Award and was inducted into the Nevada Writers Hall of Fame.
Hopkins maintains a blog where she is an outspoken activist for feminist and progressive ideals and a fierce critic of censorship. In her post about the Norman dispute, she defends her depictions of sex and drug abuse by saying that they are “cautionary tales,” and letting young adult audiences read them to better understand the dangers of drugs is “literally saving their lives.” Two of her novels, Crank and Identical, are on the American Library Association’s list of frequently challenged young adult texts.
“About.” Ellen Hopkins. Ellenhopkins.com.
“Frequently Challenged Young Adult Books.” American Library Association, 9 August 2016.
Moore, Larry D. “Ellen Hopkins 2011.” Wikimedia Commons, 22 Oct. 2011.