This biography of a living person needs additional citations for verification. (February 2015)
|Born||May 5, 1950|
New York City, New York, United States
|Pen name||Morton Rhue; T. S. Rue|
|Alma mater||Beloit College|
|Period||1979–present (as writer)|
|Genre||Children's and young adult fiction, novelizations, romans|
|Notable works||Fallout, The Wave, Price of Duty, Give A Boy A Gun|
Todd Strasser (born May 5, 1950) is an American writer of more than 140 young-adult and middle grade novels and many short stories and works of non-fiction, some written under the pen names Morton Rhue and T.S. Rue.
Strasser was born in New York City. He studied literature and creative writing at New York University and Beloit College, then earned his living as a reporter for the Middletown Times Herald-Record newspaper, and as a copywriter for Compton Advertising in New York City. His first novel was Angel Dust Blues (1978). He is the father of two children, and an avid tennis player and surfer. In Germany, under the pen name Morton Rhue, he is the best-selling author of such novels as Die Welle, Dschihad Online, Ich knall euch ab!, Boot Camp, No Place, No Home, Ghetto Kidz, Asphalt Tribe, and a number of other titles. In 2008, The Wave (the movie version of Die Welle) starring Jürgen Vogel, debuted at the Sundance Film Festival and went on to become a box office success in many European countries. In November 2019 Netflix released a world-wide series, We Are The Wave, inspired by Strasser's novel.
Strasser's newest novels are Price of Duty (In Germany, American Hero) and Summer of '69. Price of Duty shows how the military uses promises of heroics, teamwork, and excitement to entice young people to enlist despite the life and death risks. The book has received uniformly outstanding reviews and was named an Amazon Young Adult Book of the Month for July, 2018, as well as a 2018 New York Public Library Best Book for Teens.
Summer of '69 is Strasser's autobiographical novel/memoir about his life during the summer of Woodstock, the war in Vietnam, and the first man to set foot on the moon. It was written for adults and mature teens and explores the culture, drug use, sexual mores, and music of the 1960s, as well as his own problems with the military draft and the rupture to his family caused by a nearly forgotten tragedy many years before. Reviewing for Booklist, Ilene Cooper wrote:"Drugs, sex, and rock 'n' roll, those hallmarks of the summer of 1969, are all here, but there's so much more... The story captures the mood and spirit of the times …The best part transcends eras: Lucas' introspection as he contemplates his place in the world.”
Strasser often writes about timely themes like nuclear war, Nazism, bullying at schools, homelessness, and school shootings. His novel The Wave, written under the pen name Morton Rhue, is a novelization of the teleplay by Johnny Dawkins for the 1981 television movie The Wave. Both the novel and the television movie are fictionalized accounts of the "Third Wave" teaching experiment by Ron Jones in a Cubberley High School history class in Palo Alto, California. The novel has been translated into more than a dozen languages and is read in many schools around the world.
His 2014 novel, Fallout, is part memoir and part speculative fiction featuring nuclear war that results from the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. A review in The New York Times called it "Exciting, harrowing ... Superb entertainment ... It thrums along with finely wrought atmosphere and gripping suspense."
Strasser's works have sometimes proved to be controversial. Recently, his novel American Terrorist was withdrawn from publication in the United States after an uproar about it caused by a brief description of the book which appeared on Goodreads. The novel has been published in Germany under the title Dschihad Online, and in France with the title Djihad Online.
Strasser is the author of the Time Zone High trilogy, How I Changed My Life, How I Created My Perfect Prom Date, and How I Spent My Last Night on Earth. How I Created My Perfect Prom Date was adapted for the feature film Drive Me Crazy, starring Adrian Grenier and Melissa Joan Hart.
Other novels for young adults include The Accident, which became the television movie Over the Limit, as well as Angel Dust Blues, Friends Till the End, and A Very Touchy Subject. The latter also became a television movie, entitled Can a Guy Say No? Another novel, Workin' For Peanuts, was adapted to a television movie with the same title.
A trilogy of mystery thrillers for older young adult readers includes Wish You Were Dead, Blood on My Hands, and Kill You Last.
Strasser has also written a number of young adult series, including Impact Zone (about surfing), Drift X (about drift car competitions), and Here Comes Heavenly (about a punk nanny with magical powers).
His books for middle-graders include CON-fidence, The Diving Bell, and Abe Lincoln for Class President. His series for middle graders include the 17-book Help! I'm Trapped... collection, as well as the Don't Get Caught, Against the Odds, and Camp Run-A-Muck books. He wrote Is That a Dead Dog in Your Locker?, Is That a Sick Cat in Your Backpack?, Is That a Glow-In-The-Dark Bunny in Your Pillow Case?, Is That an Angry Penguin in Your Gym Bag?, and Is That an Unlucky Leprechaun In Your Lunch?
His Kids' Books series of E-books includes The Kids' Book of Gross Facts and Feats (two volumes), The Kids' Book of Weird Science, The Kids' Book of Stupendously Stupid Stunts, The Kids' Book of Really Dumb American Criminals, The Kids' Book of Amazing Sports Facts and Feats, The Kids' Book of Funny Animal Jokes, and others.
Strasser has published articles and short stories in The New Yorker, Esquire, and The New York Times.
Awards and honors
- 2014 American Library Association Best Fiction for Young Adults 
- 2014 American Library Association Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers 
- 2014 National Council for the Social Studies Notable Tradebook for Young People 
- 2014 International Reading Association Young Adults' Choice 
- 2014 Bank Street Teacher's College Best Children's Books of the Year 
No Place (2014)
- 2015 National Council for the Social Studies Notable Tradebook for Young People 
If I Grow Up (2009)
- 2010 National Council for the Social Studies Notable Tradebook for Young People 
Boot Camp (2007)
- 2008 American Library Association Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers 
- 2015 American Library Association Popular Paperback for Young Adults 
Can't Get There From Here (2004)
- 2005 American Library Association Best Fiction for Young Adults 
- 2005 American Library Association Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers 
- 2006 International Reading Association Young Adults' Choice
- 2010 American Library Association Popular Paperback for Young Adults 
Give A Boy A Gun (2001)
- 2002 International Reading Association Young Adults' Choice 
- 2006 American Library Association Popular Paperback for Young Adults 
Wish You Were Dead (2009)
- 2011 American Library Association Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers 
- 2011 Tayshas (Texas Library Association): Summer Reading List
- 2012 New York Public Library: Books for the Teen Age.
- 2012 Illinois: Abraham Lincoln H.S. Book Award
- 2012 Voice of Youth Advocates Summer Reading List
Help! I'm Trapped
- Help! I'm Trapped in My Teacher's Body (1993)
- Help! I'm Trapped in the First Day of School (1994)
- Help! I'm Trapped in Obedience School (1995)
- Help! I'm Trapped in My Gym Teacher's Body (1996)
- Help! I'm Trapped in the President's Body (1997)
- Help! I'm Trapped in My Sister's Body (1997)
- Help, I'm Trapped in Obedience School Again (1997)
- Help, I'm Trapped in Santa's Body (1997)
- Help! I'm Trapped in My Principal's Body (1998)
- Help! I'm Trapped in the First Day of Summer Camp (1998)
- Help! I'm Trapped in My Camp Counselor's Body (1998)
- Help! I'm Trapped in an Alien's Body (1998)
- Help! I'm Trapped in a Movie Star's Body (1999)
- Help! I'm Trapped in My Lunch Lady's Body (1999)
- Help! I'm Trapped in a Professional Wrestler's Body (2000)
- Help! I'm Trapped in a Vampire's Body (2000)
- Help! I'm Trapped in a Supermodel's Body (2001)
- Help! I'm Trapped in Summer Camp (2006)
- Help! I'm Trapped in the First Day of Camp (2011)
- Summers Promise (1993)
- Summer's End (1993)
- Wordsworth and the Cold Cut Catastrophe (1995)
- Wordsworth and the Kibble Kidnapping (1995)
- Wordsworth and the Roast Beef Romance (1995)
- Wordsworth and the Mail-Order Meatloaf Mess (1995)
- Wordsworth and the Tasty Treat Trick (1996)
- Wordsworth and the Lip-Smacking Licorice Love Affair (1996)
- How I Changed My Life (1995)
- How I Created My Perfect Prom Date (1998)
- How I Spent My Last Night on Earth (1998)
Rock 'n' Roll Summer
- The Boys in the Band (1996)
- Playing for Love (1996)
- Greasy Grimy Gopher Guts (1997)
- Mutilated Monkey Meat (1997)
- Chopped-Up Birdy's Feet (1997)
Against the Odds
- Grizzly Attack (1998)
- Buzzard's Feast (1999)
- Gator Prey (1999)
- Shark Bite (1998)
- Take Off (2004)
- Cut Back (2004)
- Close Out (1999)
Here Comes Heavenly
- Here Comes Heavenly (1999)
- Dance Magic (1999)
- Pastabilities (2000)
- Spell Danger (2000)
Don't Get Caught
- Driving the School Bus (2000)
- Wearing the Lunch Lady's Hairnet (2001)
- In the Girl's Locker Room (2001)
- In the Teacher's Lounge (2001)
- Slide or Die (2006)
- Battle Drift (2006)
- Sidewayz Glory (2006)
- For Money and Love (2007)
- Stolen Kisses, Secrets, and Lies (2007)
- Count Your Blessings (2007)
- Too Dark to See (2007)
- Too Scared to Sleep (2007)
- Too Afraid to Scream (2008)
- Wish You Were Dead (2009)
- Blood on My Hands (2010)
- Kill You Last (2011)
Crematory Mystery Romance
- Young Hearts Aflame (2022)
|Angel Dust Blues||Coward, McCann & Geoghegan, Inc.||1979||ISBN 0-698-20485-9/ISBN 978-0-698-20485-0||Todd Strasser's first novel.|
|Friends Till the End||Delacorte Press||1981||ISBN 0-440-02750-0/ISBN 978-0-440-02750-8|
|The Wave||Dell||1981||ISBN 0-14-037188-5||Novelization of the 1981 ABC television film The Wave; Todd Strasser's first novelization.|
|Rock 'N' Roll Nights||Delacorte Press||1982||ISBN 0-440-07407-X/ISBN 978-0-440-07407-6|
|Workin' for Peanuts||Delacorte Press||1983||ISBN 0-440-09401-1/ISBN 978-0-440-09401-2|
|Turn It Up!||Delacorte Press||1984||ISBN 0-385-29282-1/ISBN 978-0-385-29282-5||Sequel to Rock 'N' Roll Nights.|
|The Complete Computer Popularity Program||Delacorte Press||1984||ISBN 0-385-29352-6/ISBN 978-0-385-29352-5|
|A Very Touchy Subject||Delacorte Press||1985||ISBN 0-385-29378-X/ISBN 978-0-385-29378-5|
|Ferris Bueller's Day Off||Signet Books||June 1986||ISBN 0-451-14535-6/ISBN 978-0-451-14535-2||Novelization of the 1986 Paramount Pictures film Ferris Bueller's Day Off.|
|Wildlife||Delacorte Press||1987||ISBN 0-385-29560-X/ISBN 978-0-385-29560-4||Sequel to Rock 'N' Roll Nights and Turn It Up!.|
|The Mall from Outer Space||Scholastic||October 1987||ISBN 0-590-40319-2/ISBN 978-0-590-40319-1|
|The Family Man||St. Martin's Press||February 1988||ISBN 0-312-01427-9/ISBN 978-0-312-01427-8||Strasser's first adult fiction.|
|The Accident||Delacorte Press||1988||ISBN 0-440-50061-3/ISBN 978-0-440-50061-2||Adapted for television as an installment of the series ABC Afterschool Special (Season 18, Episode 5 "Over the Limit") (1990).|
|Cookie||Signet Books||1989||ISBN 0-451-15991-8/ISBN 978-0-451-15991-5||Novelization of the 1989 Warner Bros. film Cookie.|
|Pink Cadillac||Signet Books||May 1989||ISBN 0-451-16356-7/ISBN 978-0-451-16356-1||Novelization of the 1989 film Pink Cadillac.|
|Beyond the Reef||Delacorte Press||September 1989||ISBN 0-385-29782-3/ISBN 978-0-385-29782-0||Illustrations by Debbe Heller.|
|Moving Target||Fawcett Juniper Books||September 1989||ISBN 0-449-70324-X/ISBN 978-0-449-70324-3||Co-written with Dennis Freeland.|
|Home Alone||Scholastic||January 1991||ISBN 0-590-44668-1/ISBN 978-0-590-44668-6||Novelization of the 1990 20th Century Fox film Home Alone.|
|The Diving Bell||Scholastic||May 1992||ISBN 0-590-44620-7/ISBN 978-0-590-44620-4|
|Honey, I Blew Up the Kid||Scholastic||1992||ISBN 0-590-55362-3/ISBN 978-0-590-55362-9||Novelization of the 1992 Walt Disney Pictures film Honey, I Blew Up the Kid.|
|Home Alone 2: Lost in New York||Scholastic||November 1992||ISBN 0-590-45717-9/ISBN 978-0-590-45717-0||Novelization of the 1992 20th Century Fox film Home Alone 2: Lost in New York.|
|The Good Son||Pocket Books||1993||ISBN 0-671-86751-2/ISBN 978-0-671-86751-5||Novelization of the 1993 20th Century Fox film The Good Son.|
|Hocus Pocus||Disney Press||1993||ISBN 1-56282-373-6/ISBN 978-1-56282-373-3||Novelization of the 1993 Walt Disney Pictures film Hocus Pocus.|
|Super Mario Bros.||Hyperion Books||1993||ISBN 1-56282-471-6/ISBN 978-1-56282-471-6||Novelization of the 1993 Hollywood Pictures film Super Mario Bros..|
|Free Willy||Scholastic||July 1993||ISBN 0-590-46756-5/ISBN 978-0-590-46756-8||Novelization of the 1993 Warner Bros. film Free Willy.|
|Rookie of the Year||The Trumpet Club||September 1993||ISBN 0-440-40910-1/ISBN 978-0-440-40910-6||Novelization of the 1993 20th Century Fox film Rookie of the Year.|
|The Three Musketeers||Disney Press||1993||ISBN 1-56282-590-9/ISBN 978-1-56282-590-4||Novelization of the 1993 Walt Disney Pictures film The Three Musketeers.|
|Freaked||The Trumpet Club||October 1993||ISBN 0-440-40908-X/ISBN 978-0-440-40908-3||Novelization of the 1993 20th Century Fox film Freaked.|
|Addams Family Values||Pocket Books||December 1993||ISBN 0-671-88036-5/ISBN 978-0-671-88036-1||Novelization of the 1993 Paramount Pictures film Addams Family Values.|
|The Beverly Hillbillies||HarperPaperbacks||1993||ISBN 0-06-100710-2/ISBN 978-0-06-100710-1||Novelization of the 1993 20th Century Fox film The Beverly Hillbillies.|
|Walt Disney's Lady and the Tramp||Disney Press||1994||ISBN 1-56282-614-X/ISBN 978-1-56282-614-7||Novelization of the 1955 Walt Disney Animation Studios film Lady and the Tramp.|
|3 Ninjas Kick Back||Scholastic||March 1994||ISBN 0-590-48450-8/ISBN 978-0-590-48450-3||Novelization of the 1994 film 3 Ninjas Kick Back.|
|Walt Disney's Peter Pan||Disney Press||1994||ISBN 1-56282-640-9/ISBN 978-1-56282-640-6||Novelization of the 1953 Walt Disney Animation Studios film Peter Pan.|
|The Pagemaster||Scholastic||November 1994||ISBN 0-590-20243-X/ISBN 978-0-590-20243-5||Novelization of the 1994 film The Pagemaster.|
|Miracle on 34th Street||Scholastic||November 1994||ISBN 0-590-22506-5/ISBN 978-0-590-22506-9||Novelization of the 1994 20th Century Fox film Miracle on 34th Street.|
|Richie Rich||Scholastic||December 1994||ISBN 0-590-25092-2/ISBN 978-0-590-25092-4||Novelization of the 1994 Warner Bros. film Richie Rich.|
|Street Fighter||Newmarket Press||December 1994||ISBN 1-557-04224-1/ISBN 978-1-55704-224-8||Novelization of the 1994 Universal Pictures film Street Fighter.|
|Please Don't Be Mine, Julie Valentine!||Scholastic||January 1995||ISBN 0-590-48153-3/ISBN 978-0-590-48153-3|
|Man of the House||Disney Press||March 1995||ISBN 0-7868-4040-4/ISBN 978-0-7868-4040-3||Novelization of the 1995 Walt Disney Pictures film Man of the House.|
|Tall Tale: The Unbelievable Adventures of Pecos Bill||Disney Press||April 1995||ISBN 0-7868-4011-0/ISBN 978-0-7868-4011-3||Novelization of the 1995 Walt Disney Pictures film Tall Tale.|
|Free Willy 2: The Adventure Home||Scholastic||July 1995||ISBN 0-590-25227-5/ISBN 978-0-590-25227-0||Novelization of the 1995 Warner Bros. film Free Willy 2: The Adventure Home.|
|The Amazing Panda Adventure||Scholastic||August 1995||ISBN 0-590-55205-8/ISBN 978-0-590-55205-9||Novelization of the 1995 Warner Bros. film The Amazing Panda Adventure.|
|Jumanji||Scholastic||December 1995||ISBN 0-590-67910-4/ISBN 978-0-590-67910-7||Novelization of the 1995 TriStar Pictures film Jumanji.|
|How I Created My Perfect Prom Date.||Simon & Schuster||September 1996||ISBN 0-689-80482-2/ISBN 978-0-689-80482-3||Originally published as Girl Gives Birth to Own Prom Date; later adapted into the film Drive Me Crazy (1999).|
|Hey Dad, Get a Life!||Holiday House||October 1996||ISBN 0-823-41278-4/ISBN 978-0-823-41278-5|
|A Horse Called Farmer||1997|
|Abe Lincoln for Class President!||1997|
|Home Alone 3||Scholastic||December 1997||ISBN 0-590-95712-0/ISBN 978-0-590-95712-0||Novelization of the 1997 20th Century Fox film Home Alone 3.|
|Byte Barkley: Secret Agent K-9||1999|
|Drive Me Crazy||1999|
|Give a Boy a Gun||Simon & Schuster||2000||ISBN 0-689-84893-5|
|Thief of Dreams||Putnam Juvenile||2003||ISBN 0-399-23135-8|
|Can't Get There from Here||Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing||2004||ISBN 0-689-84169-8|
|Slide or Die||Simon Pulse||2006||ISBN 1-4169-0581-2|
|Is That A Glow-in-the-Dark Bunny In Your Pillowcase?||2007|
|Is That a Sick Cat in Your Backpack?||2007|
|Is That A Dead Dog In Your Locker?||2008|
|If I Grow Up||2009|
|Is That an Angry Penguin in Your Gym Bag?||2009|
|Is That an Unlucky Leprechaun in Your Lunch?||2009|
|The Beast of Cretacea||2015|
|The Case of the Murderous Young Millionairess||2016|
|American Terrorist||2016||ISBN 1-481-46133-8/ISBN 978-1-481-46134-4||Fictional story about two brothers divided against each other during an FBI sting operation. Removed from print.|
|Price of Duty||2018|
|Summer of '69||2019|
|The Good War||2021|
- "Young Adult Books: Stalking the Teen." Horn Book Magazine, vol. 62, no. 2 (1986, Mar.-Apr.), pp. 236–239.
- ^ "Todd Strasser". Scholastic. Archived from the original on 2020-04-04. Retrieved 2015-02-26.
- ^ "Todd Strasser". Toddstrasser.com. Retrieved 2015-02-26.
- ^ "Todd Strasser". Fantasticfiction.co.uk. Retrieved 2015-02-26.
- ^ "Todd Strasser Author Page". www.elmhurst.edu. Archived from the original on April 26, 2009.
- ^ "Biographical facts: Todd Strasser aka Morton Rhue". fantasticfiction.com. Retrieved 2019-06-06.
- ^ "Todd Strasser Discovers 'man Who Thinks of Idea for Dirty Fortune Cookies Will Clean Up' – Vol. 11 No. 15". People.com. 16 April 1979. Retrieved 25 August 2017.
- ^ "Todd Strasser author of Fallout, The Beast of Cretacea, The Wave, and many YA and middle-grade books". Toddstrasser.com. Retrieved 2015-02-26.
- ^ "Amazon.de: Morton Rhue: Bücher, Hörbücher, Bibliografie, Diskussionen". Amazon.de. Retrieved 25 August 2017.
- ^ "Netflix Announces Third German Original Series, The Wave". www.comingsoon.net. 18 April 2018. Retrieved Jul 25, 2019.
- ^ "Teen & Young Adult @". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2019-07-24.
- ^ "Best Books for Teens". Best Books for Teens. Retrieved Jul 25, 2019.
- ^ Summer of '69, by Todd Strasser. | Booklist Online.
- ^ "Nuclear Families". The New York Times. 10 November 2013. Retrieved 25 August 2017.
- ^ a b "Search results - YALSA Book Finder". booklists.yalsa.net. Retrieved Jul 25, 2019.
- ^ "Notable Social Studies Tradebooks for Young People 2014". National Council for the Social Studies. May 17, 2017. Retrieved Jul 25, 2019.
- ^ http://www.literacyworldwide.org/docs/default-source/reading-lists/young-adults-choices/young-adults-choices-reading-list-2014.pdf[dead link]
- ^ http://d2mguk73h8xisw.cloudfront.net/media/filer_public/filer_public/2014/06/05/2014nine-to-twelve.pdf[bare URL PDF]
- ^ "Notable Social Studies Tradebooks for Young People 2015". National Council for the Social Studies. May 17, 2017. Retrieved Jul 25, 2019.
- ^ "Notable Social Studies Tradebooks for Young People 2010". National Council for the Social Studies. May 17, 2017. Retrieved Jul 25, 2019.
- ^ "2008 Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers". Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA). Jan 15, 2008. Retrieved Jul 25, 2019.
- ^ "2015 Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults". Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA). Jan 26, 2015. Retrieved Jul 25, 2019.
- ^ "Best Books for Young Adults 2005". Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA). Jul 30, 2007. Retrieved Jul 25, 2019.
- ^ "2005 Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers". Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA). Jul 30, 2007. Retrieved Jul 25, 2019.
- ^ a b "IRA Young Adults' Choices Reading List | Book awards | LibraryThing". www.librarything.com. Retrieved Jul 25, 2019.
- ^ "2010 Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults". Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA). Jan 14, 2010. Retrieved Jul 25, 2019.
- ^ "Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults 2006". Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA). Jul 30, 2007. Retrieved Jul 25, 2019.
- ^ "Wish You Were Dead - YALSA Book Finder". booklists.yalsa.net. Retrieved Jul 25, 2019.
- ^ Noble, Barnes &. "2011 Texas Tayshas Reading List, Texas Tayshas Reading List, Books". Barnes & Noble. Retrieved Jul 25, 2019.
- ^ "Stuff for the Teen Age".
- ^ http://www.byron.lib.il.us/images/pdf/abelincoln2012.pdf[bare URL PDF]
- Official website
- Todd Strasser at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database
- Todd Strasser at Library of Congress, with 119 library catalog records
- Morton Rhue at Library of Congress, with 1 library catalog records
- Living people
- 1950 births
- American children's writers
- American male journalists
- Journalists from New York City
- Writers from New York City
- American male novelists
- 20th-century American novelists
- 21st-century American novelists
- 20th-century American male writers
- 21st-century American male writers
- Novelists from New York (state)
- 20th-century American non-fiction writers
- 21st-century American non-fiction writers
- Larchmont, New York
- Beloit College alumni
- 20th-century pseudonymous writers
- 21st-century pseudonymous writers