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Lynn Garthwaite was raised in the idyllic suburb of Bloomington, MN. An avid reader, Lynn began writing her own stories while still in elementary school and pictured herself as a professional writer from a very young age. After college she attended several screenwriting workshops and began writing screenplays in earnest. Several years and seven screenplays later, she put that ambition on the back burner to pursue other interests. When the urge to write hit again, she found that her passion had changed to children's literature, and the "Dirkle Smat Adventure Books" were born. Now she has added a history book ("Our States Have Crazy Shapes") to her accomplishments and the genres are starting to fall like dominoes. Lynn's other interests include family, law enforcement (she's a retired police reserve officer in Bloomington) and gardening. She volunteers in the public schools, at church, and dabbles in local politics. She enjoys being the visiting author at elementary schools and structures her presentation to match the age group of the audience. The best part of author visits, she claims, is the question and answer session. "Kids ask the BEST questions!" in 2013 Lynn founded a 501(c)(3) non-profit called Books on Wings® whose mission is to help close the achievement gap by getting books into the hands of kids who are at-risk of falling through the cracks. The organization provides curriculum approved books to schools that serve that community, and when the lessons are completed in the classroom each child goes home with a book as a permanent gift. Visit her websites:,, and:

Our States Have Crazy Shapes is a book that describes in layman’s terms the behind-the-scenes decisions that caused our leaders to carve odd shapes on our map.

  • Who decided that Michigan should have the Upper Peninsula when that landmass is actually attached to Wisconsin?

  • What’s up with that bootheel, Missouri?

  • Why did the shapes of our states get noticeably square as we moved west?

  • Why are some of our states so big and others so small?

"Our States Have Crazy Shapes" answers these questions and more. Bonus chapters describe border battles that continue to this day, as well as how Mother Nature has played a part in creating our map outlines.


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