About: Lisa Tortorello

Lisa TortorelloI am Lisa Tortorello a teacher and author from Chicago. I graduated from Purdue University with a Bachelor of Arts degree. After college, I taught in the Archdiocese of Chicago for 10 years. In 2000, I began teaching in the Chicago Public School system where I still work today. I currently enjoy teaching my favorites subjects of math and reading to my middle school children. After teaching for two decades, I branched out and began a second career as an author.

In addition to writing, I enjoy music a great deal and am currently a member of Musichorale. Musichorale is Chicago’s largest community choir that began back in 1947. We celebrate our love of singing twice a year with spectacular Christmas and spring concerts. http://www.musichorale.org/about.html

I have always had a love of reading, and I know that fostered my interest in writing.  After my grandfather’s sudden death, I used my writing to help me through the grieving process. Years later, I discovered that I did not just have a stack of memories; I had a book to be shared with others that shows how two ordinary people shared an extraordinary bond. In 2010, My Hero, My Ding- A Memoir of a Girl and Her Grandfather, was published. My grandfather was a very positive role model and made a lasting impression on me. He taught me many of life’s lessons that helped form the person I am today. In light of this story, in 2011, I became one of “Chicago’s Very Own” on WGN. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lFtae3XSSN0

My second book, The Moose at the Manger is a children’s Christmas story about Muse, a young moose, that accidentally wanders off from her family and gets lost. She luckily finds a friend in Star Bright, the brightest star in the sky, who leads her on a fantastic journey before reuniting Muse with her family. The Moose at the Manger adds a new twist to a story of old while still keeping Christ in Christmas.

My newest book, which will be released this summer, is Mark the Missing Moose. This story was actually inspired by, Sandi, a parent of a former student of mine. Unfortunately, Sandi lost her 21-year old stepson, Jimmy, last year when he took his own life. Jimmy was a good kid, but no matter how hard his family tried, they could never get Jimmy to open up to them about his feelings. I wrote this story in hopes that children see that it is good to communicate and share their feelings with others. In Mark the Missing Moose, the main character, Jimmy, suddenly loses his best friend, Mark. He is saddened and angry. You can follow Jimmy as he discovers that opening up and letting others in can really help him out.

I spend my time off enjoying reading, writing, music, and collecting moose. Above all, I enjoy spending time with my husband, Charlie.

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