English M.A. alumnus Michael Ferrari | Spotlight

Photo of Michael Ferrari.

A few words from Ferrari:

"My time spent at CSULA was invaluable. Having studied at half a dozen universities both large and small over the years, I can truly say my instructors at CSULA were some of the finest and most knowledgeable teachers I’ve found anywhere.

I owe a debt to all of my CSULA English Department instructors, and recall with particular fondness Professors Alfred Bendixen, Elaine Osio, my creative writing teacher Mary Bush, and my advisor and friend, Steven Jones."

From thesis to juvenile fiction,
this story is ‘Born to Fly’

CSULA alumnus Ferrari’s first novel goes Random House,
then earns Delacorte Yearling Prize

Originally composed as his master’s thesis at Cal State L.A. and now out as a World War II spy story for middle-schoolers, Michael Ferrari’s Born to Fly was published by Random House this July.

Image of the Born to Fly book cover.

The story, according to one librarian’s review, “speaks of history, friendship, sacrifice and many other valuable messages.” The book received a Delacorte Yearling Prize for a first middle-grade novel.

Ferrari joins best-selling crime novelist Joseph Wambaugh, renowned poet Michael S. Harper, and others among the successful authors and creative writers who had their literary start and/or earned their degrees at Cal State L.A.

Categorized as juvenile fiction, Ferrari’s first published novel tells the story of an 11-year-old girl who dreams of being a fighter pilot and a Japanese-American boy who is a California refugee from the internment camps.

According to Ferrari, he got the idea for Born to Fly at a World War II air show, where he overheard a boy telling his little sister that “girls can never be fighter pilots.” Ferrari said he wrote the story for the little girl, and for his daughters.

Born to Fly received several positive reviews. Publishers Weekly called it “a high flying, nail-biting historical adventure that is uplifting and just good fun.”

Ferrari was born in Columbus, Ind., and grew up in Avon Lake, Ohio. He earned his M.A. in English from Cal State L.A. and his B.F.A. in film from Ohio State University. He currently teaches screenwriting and film at Oberlin College and Cleveland State University.