Mary Oluonye


About Me:

I was born in Cleveland, Ohio. By the age of six months, I was making the first of many trips between Nigeria and America. In fact, by the time I was five, I had already traveled back and forth about three times. My elementary and middle school years were spent some years in America, and other years in Nigeria. I graduated from Walt Whitman High school in Bethesda, Maryland, USA, and from the University of Windsor in Ontario, Canada. After university, I returned to Nigeria where I worked for a while at a major university, got married, and later moved back to America. I currently live in Ohio, USA.
I come from a family of voracious readers. For as long as I can remember, my parents made sure that every home in which we lived, had a library stocked with “good reads.” The long months of the Nigerian rainy season (March to mid-October, with a month long break from the rain in August) would find me, my four sisters and one brother, each in our own bedroom happily reading all day. This, I must say, is one of my favorite memories.
As a Nigerian-American, living in two different countries and cultures was a great way to grow up. It made me very interested in learning about different people and places, and respectful of people and their cultures and traditions. Even as a young person, I realized that when people are not informed, they can often develop wrong, or pre-conceived beliefs and attitudes about people and customs different from themselves. So, it is no surprise that the first book I wrote was about Nigeria, followed by books on South Africa and Madagascar. Then I took a long break from writing books, but continued writing articles and book reviews. In 2008, I wrote a biography about African-American inventor, Garrett Augustus Morgan, Garrett Augustus Morgan: Businessman, Inventor, Good Citizen, and in 2010 co-wrote a book with Virginia K. Schoelch, The Day The Library Didn’t Open, about Daylight Savings Time. Madam C.J. Walker: Inventor, Entrepreneur, Millionaire, published as an ebook in 2014, is my latest book and the first book in my A Notable Life series.
Nowadays, I work as a children’s services associate at the Shaker Heights Public Library in Ohio, and because I love reading so much, I frequently review children’s and young adult/teen books and audiobooks for School Library Journal.
And of course, I continue to write ….

Smashwords Interview

Where did you grow up?
I grew up in both Nigeria and the United States and have always lived among people of different cultures, nationalities and ethnic backgrounds. I would say that growing up the way that I did accounts for my global perspective and the keen interest I have in people, places, cultures and traditions.
When did you first start writing?
One of my favorite and earliest memories is that of reading stacks of books and writing short stories in my bedroom during the long rainy season in Nigeria. I've always loved reading ... anything - fiction and non-fiction. Writing seemed to happen naturally.
Read more of this interview.

Where to find Mary Oluonye online


Madam C.J. Walker: Inventor, Entrepreneur, Millionaire
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 1,960. Language: English. Published: March 25, 2014. Categories: Nonfiction » Children's Books » Biography & Autobiography / Cultural Heritage, Nonfiction » Antiques & Collectibles » Americana
This volume in the "Notable Life Series" presents a concise, easy to read biography of Madam C.J.Walker's life, as well as the events occurring during her lifetime that influenced her choices and inventions, thus presenting a fuller picture of the woman and her times. Bibliography/Further reading and official website resource included. Reading Level: Grades 2-4

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