Linda Leopold Strauss


Linda got her first library card when she was four – according to family lore, her six-year-old sister had taught her to read — and Linda’s been carrying books home by the armload ever since. Her first publication was a poem about spring in AMERICAN GIRL magazine when she was in fifth grade. Reading and writing – she was hooked!

Linda’s first stories appeared in magazines such as CRICKET, SPIDER, LADYBUG, ASTRAPI (a French children’s magazine), and SCHOOL (an Australian children’s magazine). Now, after eleven books, her published work has been translated into French, Italian, Swedish, German, and Russian.

Her most recent books are A Different Kind of Passover (Kar-Ben, 2017), Best Friends Pretend (Cartwheel Books, 2013), and Preschool Day Hooray! (Cartwheel Books, 2010) and Linda’s picture book, Numbers Everywhere! (Holiday House, 2021). Her newest, Everybody’s Book, the Story of the Sarajevo Haggadah is now on the shelves.

Awards include the Sydney Taylor Honor Award; the Anne Izard Storytellers Award; Bank Street Best Book Award; and New York Public Library “Best Books for the Teen Age.” Numbers Everywhere has recently been selected as a 2023 Mathical Honor Book

In addition to working on her own books, she has taught writing for children at the Institute of Children’s Literature and Cincinnati’s Mt. St. Joseph University, as well as in many workshops and seminars. Her visits to school classrooms inspired a how-to book for middle school youth about writing, entitled Drop Everything and Write! (now an ebook at

Linda lives with her husband in Cincinnati, Ohio



Everybody’s Book – The Story of the Sarajevo Haggadah.

How do books survive the ravages of time, use, and war? In the case of a certain lavishly decorated fourteenth-century manuscript, as Strauss shows, preservation required a combination of love and courage over many generations, as the volume traveled from Spain to escape the Inquisition, to Italy, and then Bosnia, acquiring wine stains and childish scribbles along the way. It was hidden from the Nazis by a Muslim museum curator who stuck it in his trousers, rescued from a library destroyed by Serbian bombs in the 1990s, and at last given to a conservator and put on display in the Bosnian National Museum with equally revered artifacts representing the country’s other major religions. “The Sarajevo Haggadah is everybody’s book,” she concludes. There are only a few glimpses of the treasure in Smart’s informally brushed scenes, which go more for images of people of diverse faiths and cultural backgrounds gathering together for Passover seders or a museum visit—but the author’s note comes with a pair of photos to give viewers a hint of the Haggadah’s visual riches. (Booklist, January 2024)

Numbers Everywhere!

An eight is two circles, / One high and one low– / Like the jolly fat fellow / You build out of snow.” Rhyming quatrains describe the shape of each number and relate it to images in the mixed-media illustrations, whose casually diverse cast of dynamically exaggerated adult and child figures picnic, bike, whale watch, and go trick-or-treating in a vibrant retro palette. (Horn Book Online, June, 2021))