Rob Sanders is a teacher who writes and a writer who teaches. He is known for his funny and fierce fiction and nonfiction picture books and is recognized as one of the pioneers in the arena of LGBTQ+ literary nonfiction picture books. Rob’s nonfiction work continues to break new ground, including the first picture books about the Pride Flag, the Stonewall Uprising, a transgender Civil War soldier, a gay presidential candidate, and the first gay marriage in America. His work also continues to introduce readers to heroes of the LGBTQ+ community—from Harvey Milk to Gilbert Baker, from Cleve Jones to Bayard Rustin, and more. His fiction explores friendship, relationships, standing up for others, and being allies. Blood Brothers, his first middle grade novel, written in powerful, raw verse released in July 2022 and was selected as a 2023 NCTE Notable Novel in Verse. Other 2022 releases included THE MOTHER OF A MOVEMENT MOVEMENT: JEANNE MANFORD, ALLY, ACTIVIST, AND CO-FOUNDER OF PFLAG illustrated by Sam Kalda (Magination Press) a 2023 Orbis Pictus Recommended Book from NCTE, and SONG FOR THE UNSUNG: BAYARD RUSTIN, THE MAN BEHIND THE 1963 MARCH ON WASHINGTON co-authored with Carole Boston Weatherford and illustrated by Byron McCray (Henry Holt Books for Young Readers), nominated for a Lammy Award.
A native of Springfield, Missouri and a graduate of Missouri State University, Rob has lived and worked in Texas, Alabama, and Tennessee. After earning a B.S. in Elementary Education and a Master’s Degree in Religious Education, Rob worked for fifteen years in children’s religious educational publishing as a writer, educational consultant, editor, editorial group manager, and product developer.
In 2006, Rob moved to Florida and began working as an elementary school teacher. Soon he was serving as a district writing trainer and resource teacher. But most of the time he could be found in fourth grade classrooms teaching students about books and words and reading and writing. He took early retirement in December 2020 to focus on his writing career.
And Rob pays it forward. He is a frequent speaker, teacher, mentor, coach, and critiquer. Rob is also a member of the SCBWI Impact and Legacy Fund Steering Committee.
Rob is represented by Rubin Pfeffer.