About Jil Ross

Photo of Jil Ross the author of the Shenanigan Series books Finally, in 2003, Ross's then 11-year-old son laid down a challenge. At the time, he was struggling in school.

"I was trying to motivate him, but in the meantime, he was watching me working and working on something and not doing anything with it," Ross recalled. "Finally, he said: 'If you're not going to do anything with the stories, just throw them away.'"

Luckily for children everywhere, Ross did not throw the Shenanigans Series away. Instead, she stepped up to her son's expectations and, in 2004, published "Marie Plays Homeless." The book, based loosely on a real-life experience with Ross's daughter, features the character Marie who asks her father for a toy. When he won't buy it, 8-year-old Marie begs for money on the street. But after volunteering at a shelter with her big brother, Marie finds out what it really means to be homeless and changes her attitude.

"These are the kinds of stories that aren't funny when they happen, but when you look back on them, you laugh," Ross said. "They also teach an important lesson."

Indeed, "Marie Plays Homeless" - like the Shenanigans Series to follow-contain a clear, but gently told life lesson, vocabulary guide, as well as questions that provoke group discussion and written responses. Ross's subsequent works include "Foster the Mummy," "What's the Matter, Mr. Ticklebritches," "The Real Nitty-Gritty" and "The Blake Family Vacation."

Since unleashing her inner author, Ross has been invited to adapt her books for use in the Chicago Public School system. She also has been interviewed as part of WNUA-FM's "City Voices," a popular segment about Chicago's creative movers-and-shakers. Her books are now available for purchase online at Borders Books, Walden Books, Amazon and on www.shenaniganseries.com.

Despite growing attention to her artistry, Ross will never forget the disappointed little voice that got her started.

And readers will never forget the lovable, mischievous Shenanigans Series.

For more information about artist Gwendolyn Pruitt... www.artangelproducts.com.