Writer/author Marilyn Tower Oliver has published over 500 articles in newspapers and magazines including the Los Angeles Times and Valley magazine where she was a contributing editor for 18 years. She has published 9 books for teens published by Enslow Publishers and Lucent Books.  her 2003 biography of the prophet Muhammad was listed as an outstanding book for teens by the New York Public Library.  For the past 10 years she has been theater critic for two local papers in Los Angeles, the Los Feliz Ledger and the Larchmont Ledger.
   Born in Long Beach California, she attended Stanford University where she was graduated with distinction with a major in Spanish.  She also received a Master's degree from Stanford and received a Stanford Board of Trustees scholarship.
   A longtime resident of the Silver Lake district of Los Angeles, she is a widow with 2 adult children. Her hobbies include fine jewelry design and fabrication, collecting antique dolls, valentines and paintings and opera.  She produced and co-hosted "Opera!Opera!Opera," a cable tv show airing in Los Angeles.
    ON WRITING
     "My early attempts at getting published were poetry, and I was lucky in that the first three pieces I sent out were accepted.  Since that time, like all writers, I have had my share of rejection. I think that if you're never rejected, you're probably writing without testing your edge.
    "As a free-lance writer I have written articles on antiques, collectibles, real estate, leisure activities, ethnic concerns and some celebrity profiles.  Writing has led to many new friendships and some interesting adventures.
    Writing for young readers is a demanding discipline because you have to explain a complicated subject in an interesting way without sacrificing accuracy.  I've learned that the most important thing is to respect the reader's intelligence and to write in a way to encourage the reader to come to his or her conclusions."
            
    BOOKS
    "Natural Crafts"
     "Gangs Trouble in the Streets"
     "Drugs: Should They Be Legalized?"
     "Prison Issues"
      "Alcatraz Island in American History"
      "Gay and Lesbian Rights"  (I'm not gay, but i               believe all people deserve rights, a legacy              from my attorney dad. The book won a prize.)
     "Muhammad"
      "Henry VIII"
      "Attilla the Hun"
 
       WHAT THE CRITICS SAY
        "Oliver writes in a sstraight forward, objective style, presenting both sides of some emotionally charged topics."  School Library Journal

    "A solid and balanced look at the prophet.  The author includes controversial episodes of Muhammad's life...and carefully posits the other side of the story." School and Library Journal

    "Oliver's attention to the inner workings of gangs and the difficulties young people have when they want to leave one are especially useful"  Book List
    
    "Oliver gives an overview of the history of European and American prisons..and presents the arguments of critics from both sides of the issue before asking readers to decide."  The Horn Book
    
    "The book by Marilyn Oliver was really great to research with on my class project! It had all the info i need in one great book!  a reader from Amazon.com

    "Timely and forthright.  Concise and well documented, this title (Gay and lesbian Rights) provides a good introduction to a current and controversial issue"
    
    This title (Alcatraz) is well researched and documented.  Great for reports as well as for leisure reading.  School and Library Journal

    Oliver piques readers' ;interest both emotionally and intellectually. Book List
    
    "Quotes from both primary and secondary sources make this (Attila the Hun) a valuable resource.  School and Library Journal