Mark I. West is a professor of English at UNC Charlotte, where he has taught since 1984. He regularly teaches courses on children's and young adult literature. He has written or edited 21 books, the most recent of which is "Theodore Roosevelt on Books and Reading." His articles have appeared in various national publications, such as The New York Times Book Review, Publishers Weekly, Americana, and British Heritage, as well as many academic journals. Before entering academia, he worked as an early childhood educator and professional puppeteer.