marvin terban

marvin terban

Marvin Terban is a long-time teacher and best-selling, award-winning children’s book author. Called “a master of children’s wordplay” by ALA Booklist and “Mr. English for Kids” by the Children’s Book-of-the-Month Club, he has written thirty-eight books for young readers and teachers, most of them about the English language. He is also Scholastic’s “Professor Grammar.”

For over fifty-two years (and still counting!), Marvin has taught English, Latin, Public Speaking, Computer, Theater, and other subjects at the Columbia Grammar and Preparatory School in New York where he developed teaching games that used humor to help students understand and enjoy the mystifying idiosyncrasies of the English language. Those games grew into the highly original series of funny books on English for which he is known. His Scholastic Dictionary of Idioms has been translated into Japanese and Korean. Two of his books were turned into early computer games. Three of his Scholastic books, Checking Your Grammar, Dictionary of Idioms, and Dictionary of Spelling, have sold well over one million copies each.

In 2005, the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, an international organization of over 20,000 creators of books for young readers, voted Marvin their Member of the Year for his contributions to the world of children’s literacy. For many years he has been a popular speaker at schools, colleges, and educational conferences in the United States, South America, Europe, China, Japan, and Israel. He is well known for his lively, engaging, and fun presentations to teachers.

Marvin and his wife Karen, a former special education teacher, live across from Central Park in New York. Check out his website for kids at

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