Meet the authors
Gary and Justin VanRiper are a father-and-son writing team residing in Camden, New York. They spend many summer and autumn days with their families at camp on Fourth Lake along the Fulton Chain of lakes.
The Adirondack Kids® began as a writing exercise at home when Justin was in third grade. Encouraged after a public reading of their piece at a Parents As Reading Partners (PARP) event at school, the project grew into a middle-reader chapter book.
When 2000 copies of their first book sold out in just three months, they began another story and for 17 years now have released one Adirondack Kids book in the series per year.
It was while working on The Adirondack Kids® #4 – The Great Train Robbery when Justin handed his mom, Carol VanRiper, a photograph of the conductor at the Upper Hudson River Railroad and urged her to try drawing for the series. Upon seeing the results, he “hired” her on the spot. Carol has drawn all of the black and white interior illustrations ever since, making The Adirondack Kids® even more of a family affair.
The fifth book in the series, Islands in the Sky, won the 2004-05 Adirondack Literary Award for Best Children’s Book and volumes in the series are used in schools throughout New York state.
The first Saturday of every October marks the annual Adirondack Kids Day™ held in Inlet, New York, and recently received Honorable Mention for Most Authentic Adirondack Event from the Adirondack Park Agency.
To date, more than 150,000 copies in the series have been sold and what began as a fun family writing project has evolved into a small publishing company.