Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  John McNally  

Pen Name: None


Audience: Children; Children;

Born: Chicago, Illinois

-- Website --
-- John McNally on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection

John is from the southwest side of Chicago.

Biographical and Professional Information

John McNally, Associate Professor of English and Director of Creative Writing at Wake forest University, is author of three novels, two story collections, and a nonfiction book. His next book, Vivid and Continuous, a collection of essays on craft, will be published in the spring of 2013. His writing has appeared in over one hundred magazines, newspapers, and textbooks, including Washington Post, the Sun, Virginia Quarterly Review, and Chicago Tribune.

Published Works

  • Troublemakers, University of Iowa Press, 2000 (Reprinted in 2008)
  • The Book of Ralph, The Free Press, 2005
  • America's Report Card, The Free Press, 2006
  • After the Workshop: A Memoir of Jack Hercules Sheahan, counterpoint, 2010

Selected Titles At Your Library

The book of Ralph :
ISBN: 0743257774. OCLC Number:

Free Press,. New York :. 2005, ©2004.

All of us need a Ralph in our lives. Chicago, 1978. Hank Boyd, a solid B+ student, a good kid, wants eighth grade to be his special year. But when Ralph, an oddball troublemaker who ' s been held back twice, gets the idea that he and Hank are pals, Hank's year devolves into an odyssey as frightening as it is hilarious. John McNally, acclaimed author ofTroublemakers, deftly portrays the astonishing, sometimes terrifying world of adolescence in 1970s America: The adult world becomes increasingly untrustworthy, the economy plummets, and families seem to be falling apart, yet the two boys manage to create their own small moments of transcendence. At once wary and full of wonder, Hank and Ralph will win your heart with their outrageous, poignant, and occasionally scary antics -- and they will teach you something about the ties that bind us together, hold us back, and redeem us.

America's report card :
ISBN: 0743256263. OCLC Number:

Free Press,. New York :. ©2006.

Having written a scathing essay about her disgust with the government's standardized testing process, Jainey skips her final weeks high school, during which part-time test scorer Charlie reads Janey's essay and recognizes her as a person needing help.

After the workshop :
ISBN: 158243560X. OCLC Number:

Counterpoint :. Berkeley :. ©2010.

The satirical story of a writer who confronts the demons from his past while escorting those of his present.



Speaking Engagements

Speaking Engagement Availability (No)