Born and raised in Port Angeles, Washington, Sharon Bushell moved to Alaska in 1977. She has been a features writer and columnist for the Anchorage Daily News for many years. Bushell has received numerous awards for her writing, including the Pacific Northwest Excellence in Journalism Award. In 2003 she was honored with the Alaska Governor’s Award for the Arts and Humanities for compiling and editing first-person accounts of hundreds of Alaskan old-timers. The Trouble With Bernie has been selected for Alaska's Battle of the Books program for 2005/2006. The Trouble With Bernie and Bernie Jones and the Blazing Bandits are listed on the national Accelerated Reader and Scholastic's Reading Counts! programs.

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In 2004, Bushell and her husband, John aka Johnny B. created The Bernie Jones Assembly. This all-school elementary program is about the joy and importance of reading. The dynamic couple leave their home of Homer, Alaska at the beginning of each school year and return home in June. To date over 50,000 students around the West have experienced the presentation as will many more. The couple are planning on a cross-country tour for the '07-'08 school year.

Sharon Bushell’s dream is quite specific: for children, parents and grandparents to enjoy the Bernie stories together, to discuss their meaning, and to share their own stories with each other, preferably while sitting close and sipping cocoa.