Melissa Joy Adams received a BFA in Related Arts from Kutztown University and a MA in Literature from Hunter College. She is currently completing her MA thesis in Children’s Literature at Hollins University. Her research interests include 19th century literature, children’s literature, and gender studies. When she is not researching and studying literature from a critical perspective, she can be found writing her own YA novels.
Meagan Albright is a youth services librarian at the Alvin Sherman Library, Research and Information Technology Center, at Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Meagan holds a bachelor’s degree in English and Philosophy from the University of North Florida, a master’s degree in Library and Information Science from the University of South Florida, and is beginning classes towards an Ed.D. in Early Childhood Literacy at NSU. In 2007, her article, “The Public Library’s Responsibility to LGBT Communities: Recognizing, Representing and Serving” was awarded first prize in the Public Library Association’s annual article contest. Obsessed with books since her mother read her The Hobbit at age six, Meagan loves literature and sharing her favorite books.
Nancy Garhan Attebury holds an M.A. in Children’s Literature and Writing for Children from Hollins University. She has recently finished six nonfiction books for 4th, 5th, and 6th graders who use the Houghton Mifflin reading program. Two of those titles were Lift Off! and Turn Up the Radio. Several magazines credits are hers. Some include Highlights, Jack and Jill, Humpty Dumpty, The Friend, and Holidays and Seasonal Celebrations. Two of her critical children’s literature papers “Bridging the Gap in Children’s Literature for Asian-American Youngster” and “The Olympic Spirit in Children’s Literature” have been published in the international education journal produced by Delta Kappa Gamma. She critiques manuscripts for aspiring authors and has offered workshops on writing for various groups such as the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and the Oregon Library Association. She lives in Oregon with husband Rich. They have a daughter Rami who also reviews for Children’s Literature.
Ramirose Ilene Attebury graduated from Eastern Oregon University with a B.A. in history and a minor in Spanish. She earned a Masters in Library and Information Science from the University of South Carolina and is currently working on an M.A. in history from Central Washington University. Ramirose is employed as a graduate assistant at the CWU library and works in the reference and instruction, government documents, and archives departments. She volunteers in the archives and local history collection at the Ellensburg Public Library. Ramirose also enjoys working with children through the Youth Services Center in Ellensburg.
Traci Avalos is a middle school English and Spanish teacher in Phoenix, Arizona. An avid fan of science fiction and fantasy, in 2004 Traci participated in the National Endowment for the Humanities institute on J.R.R. Tolkien. She is also a proponent of multicultural literature, particularly relating to Spanish language materials. Traci is currently working on a Master’s Degree at Northern Arizona University.
Lisette Baez is an avid reader from childhood with a special love for children’s books and the way they evoke the imagination. She is an elementary/middle school teacher that thrives on making reading exciting for her students. She facilitated and created an After-School Book Club for her students that was a great success. She continues to look for exciting fiction and non-fiction books to enhance her classroom and teaching style, as well as maintain the motivation of the students. She has a passion for writing as well and aspires to be a part of the world of fascinating authors of children’s literature.
Nancy Baumann received a B.S. in Elementary Education from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, an M.S. in Special Education from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, and an MLS from the University of North Texas. She has been a classroom teacher, special education resource teacher, and school librarian in both middle and elementary schools. She was a 2010 member of The John Newbery Committee, recipient of AASL’s Innovative Reading Grant, and SLJ’s Giant Step Award. Presently she is an instructor in the School of Information Science & Learning Technologies at the University of Missouri.
BriAnne Baxley graduated in May 2011 from the University of South Carolina with her Masters in Library and Information Science. During her time at the University of South Carolina, BriAnne focused her studies on youth services. It was through these studies that her love for children and young adult materials was strengthened. Currently, BriAnne works as a Teen Assistant for the Spartanburg County Public Library System in Spartanburg, S.C. Here she makes her greatest impact by providing local teens a safe place to meet, where they can find resources they need – and, for a time, leave their worries behind them.
Julia Beiker is a graduate from Emporia State University with a Bachelor degree in Special Education and Elementary Ed and a Master’s degree in Learning Disabilities. She taught K-12 as both a regular and special teacher. Right now, she teaches special education in an inner city school in Topeka, Kansas. She been published multiple times in several magazines and newspapers and currently working on getting books published. As an avid reader, she has enjoyed reading fiction and nonfiction all of her life. She lives with her two school-aged children and husband outside Topeka.
Sheri Bell-Rehwoldt is an award-winning freelance writer and editor who enjoys writing about the arts, cool places, and out-of-the-box thinkers. She has written for American Profile, Family Circle, Go, Ladie’s Home Journal, and The Washington Post. She is a member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors(ASJA). Sheri also writes children’s fiction and nonfiction, and is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators(SCBWI). In June 2006, Nomad Press published Sheri’s activity book “Great World War II Projects You Can Build Yourself” and will follow it up un January 2007 with “Amazing Maya Inventions You Can Build Yourself.” Chronicle Books will publish Sheri’s picture book “You Think It’s Easy Being the Tooth Fairy?” also in 2007. Sheri’s juvenile fiction is being represented by Caryn Wiseman of the Andrea Brown Literary Agency. Please visit Sheri’s website at www.Bell-Rehwoldt.com
Kristi Bernard loved to read as a child and acquired her love of children’s literature by constantly surrounding herself with books from her local library. She earned her BA in English with minors in Education and Minority Studies from Wichita State University. She is a writer, blogger, book reviewer and member of the SCBWI. She currently works freelance and has produced Standard Operating and Procedures manuals for several corporations and city governments. She is currently working on study guides for authors and illustrators, as well as, informational guides for parents. She promotes literacy, authors and illustrators on her blog Kristi’s Book Nook.
Tracy Blood earned her Master’s Degree in English Secondary Education from the University of Phoenix. She works as a middle school teacher in Clayton County, Georgia, focusing on language arts and literature. A mother of three, Tracy also has a Pharmaceutical Specialty Certificate and has worked as a Pharmaceutical Specialist for the US Army in a number of locations.
Nanci Booher hated to read as a kid…and honestly she just didn’t get it. Read for pleasure? Surely you must be kidding. But with adulthood brought a new love and understanding. Now she spends her time reading as much as she can and she works with kids, to help them try and find what they love in a book. It isn’t always easy, reluctant and voracious readers alike give her a run for her money. Nanci currently works at the public library in Portland, Oregon and at a charter school. This gives her the unique perspective about what kids are reading.
Jean Boreen has loved young adult literature since taking a course with Annabelle Irwin (half of Hadley Irwin) at Iowa State University. Jean has a B.A. and M.A. in English and a Ph.D. in English Education. She taught at Iowa State and University of Iowa and currently teaches English Education methods courses at Northern Arizona University, where she is an associate professor of English and the Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Letters. Jean has taught in middle schools and high schools in Arizona and Iowa and has published in the areas of young adult literature and the mentoring of beginning teachers.
Mary Bowman-Kruhm, Ed.D is author of over 30 books for children and young adults. She is a member of the special education faculty, Johns Hopkins University and a contributing editor to Children’s Book Insider newsletter. Recent books for young adults are Margaret Mead: A Biography (Greenwood) and Careers in Child Care (Rosen). Books for young children include Busy Toes and Busy Fingers, multiethnic picture books written with Claudine Wirths and Wendie Old under the pen name C. W. Bowie. She is a member of the National Council of Teachers of English, the International Reading Association, the Author’s Guild, and the Children’s Book Guild of Washington and has presented at international, national, and local conferences and workshops. You can visit Mary at her website.
Nancy T. Braverman is currently the Media Specialist at the Chatsworth School in Baltimore County. In this capacity, Ms. Braverman works with over 400 elementary age students weekly recommending and purchasing books for their pleasure and enrichment. Prior to teaching in a school media center, she worked in the academic library at Towson University. Personally, Ms. Braverman loves to curl up with a good book and to read with her own kids!
Carolyn Briles holds a B.A. in English and Mathematics Education from Wichita State University and a Master’s Degree in Mathematics from Kansas State University. As a grown up, she taught mathematics at both the university and high school levels, and also worked as an engineer and intelligence analyst and Los Alamos National Laboratory. As a child, she read Little House books every chance she could and dreamed of growing up to be Laura Ingalls Wilder. She currently lives in Leesburg, VA, where she writes fiction and devotionals for children and teens.
Dr. Dawna Lisa Buchanan was born and raised in Canada. She has lived in several provinces in her own country and in many cities throughout the United States. She is currently a Professor of Literacy Education at the University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg, Missouri, where she teaches courses in literacy education. Buchanan has always been committed to issues of social justice and multicultural understanding. She is a published creative writer and the mother of two young adult children. She has presented papers in Ireland, Hungary, Scotland, and throughout Canada and the United States. Her scholarship includes international picture books; visual and aesthetic literacy; using multicultural books to promote critical thinking and cultural competence and the examination of international texts for cultural perspectives and understanding.
Naomi Butler is the Children’s/YA Coordinator for Western Maryland Public Libraries. She has a degree in English/History, a Masters of Science in Library Science from the University of North Carolina and an Advanced Graduate Specialist in Education from the University of Maryland. Her work background includes: school library media specialist, college Assistant Professor, School Specialist at the Division of Library Services at the Maryland State Department of Education, Instruction and Assessment Specialist at MSDE for the School Outreach Office, Training/Advocacy Coordinator for Western Maryland Public Libraries. Children’s/YA books and services and networking are her present concentration areas.
Hazel Buys is an artist and writer who works from home in Richmond VA. She grew up an “army brat” and had lived around the world by the time she was twelve. Hazel was educated in the United States and in Europe, completing a M.Ed. at the University of Virginia after attending the American University in Paris, France and graduating from Duke University in Durham, North Carolina. She remains a life-long student of French, German and Spanish. Before “retiring” when her son arrived, she worked in human services agencies as a counselor and in IT as a programmer and systems analyst. Hazel has also worked as an art teacher in a Montessori pre-school, a consultant for a Respite Resource Project and as an ESL instructor. Keeping her equally busy now are her husband, son and three dogs, who create a lively household. One of these dogs, a Samoyd, has an additional role as a “fiber” animal, keeping Hazel supplied with dog hair that she spins into yarn. Hazel reads voraciously in all genres, writes and illustrates picture books and writesYA fiction novels. Her fine art paintings are exhibited locally and nationally and are included in private collections in Europe and the United States.
Ann Cannon serves as a Reference and Library Instruction Librarian at Norfolk State University in the Lyman Beecher Brooks Library. She works with students and faculty to provide research assistance. She delivers library instruction, selects resources to improve the library’s collection, she is the liaison librarian for the School of Education and the School of Extended Learning. She received her Master of Science in Library Services from Clark Atlanta University and have worked in public, special and academic libraries for over 30 years. She has certification in Leadership and Management from the University of Notre Dame, Consumer Health Information from the Medical Library Association and she has Certification for Online Instruction (COI). She enjoys creating videos in Animoto and Camtasia.
Anne E. Carroll is a writer, editor, and tutor living in Greenbelt, Maryland. She earned a Ph.D. in English from the University of Maryland and taught composition and literature for 17 years at Maryland, Wichita State University, and Anne Arundel Community College. Her academic publications include the book Word, Image, and the New Negro: Representation and Identity in the Harlem Renaissance and a host of essays, book chapters, encyclopedia articles, and book reviews. She also has published articles in The Washington Post, The Shocker: The WSU Alumni Magazine, and the Greenbelt News Review.
Christine Cassello was born in Chicago, Il and still lives in the neighborhood she grew up in. She is a graduate of James H. Bowen and Olive-Harvey College having received an Associate in Arts degree. She worked for Chicago Title & Trust Company and Chicago Title Insurance Company for 20 years and is now retired. She is currently working on writing children’s stories with the Institute of Children’s Literature correspondance courses, and had her first short story The Catnapper published in the September 2009 issue of Knowonder Magazine.
Kristina Cassidy is a lifelong lover of children’s literature. As a child, she was rarely without a book, much to the consternation of her parents and eye doctors. She studied journalism and creative writing at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, where she also tutored elementary school students in reading. After graduating, she began a career in educational publishing. Kristina has written or edited hundreds of books in literature, language arts, history, economics, and science. Some of the clients she has helped include Scholastic, National Geographic, Glencoe/McGraw Hill, and Holt McDougal Houghton.
Michael Chabin writes stories, articles, and interactive animations to help kids explore the fantastic worlds of math and science. He has a degree in Computer and Information Science from the University of California at Santa Cruz. As an engineer, he has built systems to help astronomers find stars, help oceanographers map the ocean floor, and help researchers in education to understand how children learn. He taught at Cincinnati Country Day School in Ohio and at Holton-Arms, in Bethesda, MD, where he was also Director of Academic Technology. Michael has written about science for Astronomy Magazine, Mercury, The Universe in the Classroom, and Project STARS under contract with Science Weekly. Some of his animations can be seen at thecuriouswoods.com. His email address is email@example.com
Tina Chan is the reference services program manager and social sciences librarian at MIT Libraries. She provides reference, instruction, outreach, and collection services. She also collaborates with colleagues in the interdisciplinary areas of energy and the environment, as well as provide research assistance for two of the libraries. Tina decided to become a reviewer for Children’s Literature because of her love of reading and so she can be cool when speaking about the latest children’s and young adult literature with her seven nieces and nephews.
Cheryl Williams Chang has a Bachelor of Design in Architecture from the University of Florida and a Master’s of Science in Marketing from Johns Hopkins University. Fifteen years of her life has been spent organizing people, their work, and their events. This line of work requires a smile, good communication and organization skills, and strong attention to detail. She loves what she does, and has had the opportunity to proof read endless documents and proposals, write speeches, public service announcements, and newsletters. She craved more writing experience, but wasn’t sure where to get the material. Then, she became a mom. She didn’t have the time or the energy to write, so she jotted down ideas in one of the several notebooks she carried with the intention of writing as soon as her two children acquired regular sleeping hours. This didn’t exactly happen. By the time the children began attending school, she had acquired a lifetime of ideas and stories. She put pen to paper and created a blog, www.whenmommygrowsup.blogspot.com. With a desire to learn how to harness her creativity, she enrolled in a series of writing classes at Johns Hopkins University. This resulted in the creation of a manuscript for a chapter book. A second chapter book is under way. She enjoys writing as well as reading; perusing pretty much anything she can get her hands on. Aside from writing, reading, and managing her family’s lives, she is also an Event Manager for The Peabody Institute and Evergreen Museum and Library, both located in Baltimore, Maryland.
Margaret (Maggie) Chase is a professor of literacy at Boise State University. She holds a B.A. in English Education from DePauw University, a Master’s in Library Science and a Ph.D. in Language Education from Indiana University. She has been a school library media specialist/reading teacher for eight years, a classroom teacher for 13 years, and a school administrator for two years. Maggie currently teaches many reading and writing education courses, including children’s and young adult literature classes at the undergraduate and graduate levels. One of Maggie’s favorite pastimes is lying in her backyard hammock with an excellent book in hand.
Miriam Chernick is a children’s author based in Washington, DC. She has published A Kid’s Guide to Washington, D.C. and sold articles to Highlights and Fun for Kidz. Currently, Miriam is writing a series for for DisneyTravel.com. She also reviews children’s theater for DCTheatreScene.com. Miriam has a B.S. in Japanese Studies from Georgetown University and a Masters in Asian Studies from Yale University. She lives with her husband, three children, and pet dog, Sammy.
Heather Christensen lives in New Mexico and holds a Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science from the University of Illinois and a B.A. from the University of Wyoming. Her work for her Master’s Degree included a focus on children’s services and an independent study on children’s books reviewing. Heather’s five children have allowed her plenty of exposure to the world of children’s literature. Her love for the genre has grown as she has experienced the pleasures of reading alongside her children. Heather has volunteered in school libraries around her hometown and led the preschool story time in one of the schools for three years.
Erica Clark is an undergraduate student at McDaniel College in Maryland majoring in Spanish and Psychology with a minor in elementary education. A member of the Maryland State Teachers Association, Erica plans to become a public school Spanish teacher after graduation. Erica became fascinated by children’s literature after taking a course on the subject at McDaniel.
Bethany Miller Cole is a life-long reader, writer, and the mother of four elementary school-aged children. She holds a BA in English and publishes romance novels under a pen name. She lives in Nashville, Tennessee where she enjoys movies, outdoor adventures, scouting, and exploring used bookstores and antique malls.
Vicki Coleman graduated from Snow College with an Associate of Science degree. She then attended and graduated from the University of Utah, School of Medicine with a Bachelors degree in Medical Laboratory Science. She is married and currently living in Pleasant Grove, Utah where she is raising her two young children. She loves scrapbooking, crafts, reading, reading to her children, cooking, baking, camping, the outdoors, and doing most anything with her family.
Carol Raker Collins lives and writes in Towson, Maryland. She was the head of Proofreading Services at T. Rowe Price, an investment management company in Baltimore, Maryland. She received her B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. in English from the University of California at Berkeley, where she taught English for six years. In California, she managed a financial planning company and earned Chartered Financial Consultant and Chartered Life Underwriter designations. She was an Honor Student at Berkeley and received financial scholarships from The American College and the International Association for Financial Planning, as well as taught the financial planning course for the Life Underwriters Training Council. Since 1998, she has been a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and has written book reviews for Children’s Literature. Dr. Collins has also been a judge in the children’s literature contest for the Baltimore Writer’s Alliance. Her poems have been published in PKA’s Advocate and The Pegasus Review. She is currently writing a book about money for the middle reader. Dr. Collins enjoys all sorts of books, for children and adults, and is a language buff with knowledge of French, Italian, Latin, and Greek. Applying her expertise in critical and editorial analysis of literature to the review of children’s books continues to be an important aspect of her writing life.
Keri Collins is a writer and has been published in READ, Pockets, Listen, and Central Coast Magazine. She is part of the curatorial staff at Hearst Castle, a historic house museum designed by architect Julia Morgan for William Randolph Hearst, America’s first media magnate. Her first book, Faces of Hearst Castle, co-authored with Curator Jana Seely, will be published in September 2007. Ms. Collins holds a Master’s degree in Education, specializing in Literacy and Reading, and taught first grade for six years. Her book recommendation blog, www.KeriRecommends.com, includes favorite books for kids and adults. When not reading, she is working on a novel for young adults and various freelance magazine pieces.
Emily Cook is a full time mother of three young children and an aspiring writer. Before delving into full time parenting, Emily spent twelve years working for several major communications companies, including Discovery Communications where she worked as a publicist for Discover Channel Online and MCI Communications in various areas of marketing and communications. Emily has been writing on a freelance basis for several years as well as on a number of personal projects that include a children’s book and a feature length screenplay. Most recently, Emily has written reviews for the Rosebud Independent Film Awards which appeared in magazines such as Behind the Scenes, Script, iCom and The Washington Review. Emily loves to find new and exciting children’s books to share with her children and, admittedly, enjoys reading them as much for herself as she does for them.
Sue Corbett has been a staff writer at the Miami Herald since 1991 and a children’s book reviewer since 1996. She also reviews books for Publishers Weekly and People. Her first novel, 12 Again (Dutton), is a finalist for the California Young Readers’ Medal and an International Reading Association Honor book in intermediate fiction. Her second novel, Free Baseball (Dutton) will be published in Spring 2006. She lives with her husband and three children in southern Virginia.
Susan Cotter enjoys travelling, fine dining and leisurely strolls on uncrowded beaches. Since she rarely gets to do any of these things, she reads instead. When she can carve out a few minutes from her job as chief cook and bottle washer for her young family, she works as a Licensed Massage Therapist near Baltimore, Maryland.
Marilyn Courtot is the past editor and publisher of Children’s Literature. She has a degree in English literature from the University of Maryland, a master’s in library science from The Catholic University of America, and has been a lifelong reader of children’s books. Marilyn is a member of numerous professional organizations including the Association of Booksellers for Children, the Women’s National Book Association, and the Children’s Book Guild of Washington DC. In 1987, she was selected as one of the outstanding alumni of Catholic University.
Judy Crowder grew up in California (that explains a lot), becoming seriously addicted to books and reading at an early age. After earning a BA in journalism from Cal. State University, Fresno, I elected to “marry an academic and see the world,” –or at least many of the country’s cow colleges. Speaking of cows, I have lived in Wisconsin and Michigan, where I learned that “snow” is a four-letter word. I now live in Morehead City, North Carolina, national headquarters of the Bald Headed Men of America (I kid you not!). I taught preschool in the Midwest and North Carolina for a combined ten years. Teaching added a new dimension to my book addiction: a love for children’s literature. My husband, Larry, is Professor of Marine Ecology and Director of the Center for Marine Conservation at Duke University’s Marine Laboratory. We have three children: Emily, an elementary school teacher and prone to help herself to Mom’s books, Sean, a college student, and Elias, a high school senior. Three Scottish terriers lovingly add to the Crowder house chaos. I am a writer, working on humor, children’s books and an adult “comedic” mystery, sing in a choir, sew miniature as well as regular-size teddy bears and dolls plus share a passion for antique cars with my husband (We have a 1933 Plymouth Coupe and a 1949 Ford truck). I look for books that I would want to share or read aloud in any classroom.
Mandy Cruz is currently pursuing her bachelor’s degree in accounting and master’s degree in Spanish at the local university. She lives in a quiet suburb in Northwest Indiana with her husband and five children who share her indiscriminate passion for reading. Every November she participates in National Novel Writing Month and has even had a piece published in the zine Hip Mama. In her free time Mandy likes to play Rock Band, Castle Crashers, Wii Fit in the electronic world; and swim, blow bubbles and bake cookies in the physical world. Every fall her entire family caravans to Michigan to pick apples for homemade apple pies.
Lisa Czirr earned a Master’s in Library Science from the University at Buffalo, and a BA in Biology from Hamilton College. In the past, she’s worked in public libraries with a strong focus on youth services and technology. Currently, she’s a reference and instruction librarian at the State University of New York at Cortland. As the Teaching Materials Center Librarian, she develops the library’s curriculum materials collection, which includes children’s literature and other classroom resources. She serves as the liaison to the School of Education, providing information literacy instruction for these departments on a variety of topics and levels.
Judy DaPolito earned a B.A. in English and History and an M.A. in English at Bowling Green State University. She did further graduate study in English and Philosophy at Indiana University. She recently retired from teaching composition, literature, and fiction writing at Sinclair Community College in Dayton, Ohio, where she was Professor of English. Currently, Judy is finishing the manuscript of a medieval young adult novel. When she’s not reading, writing, or spending time with family and friends, she chairs the Faculty Selection Committee of the Antioch Writers’ Workshop. She belongs to a wonderfully quirky book club, a great writing group, the Jane Austen Society of North America, and is also an associate member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.
Kim Dare is a high school librarian in Northern Virginia. She earned her BA from the College of William and Mary and her MS in Information Science from the University of Tennessee. She is a longtime reviewer of children’s and young adult books for scholarly journals. She loves books and loves kids (her own and her horde of students) – so as she suggests great books to kids, she’s got the best of both worlds!
Karen Deans worked as a journalist and fiction writer before turning to painting full-time. For the past several years she has worked as a freelance illustrator and mural painter. She often funds herself working on illustration projects that involve children’s themes and children’s organizations. Her love of reading and writing extends to all types of books for children. Karen lives in Bethesda, MD with her husband and three children.
Jennie DeGenaro received a Bachelor of Science degree from Texas A&M – Commerce and a Master of Science degree from Indiana University. She has 31 hours in academic work beyond the master’s degree. She taught kindergarten through the university level and supervised programs for the talented and gifted as well as children with learning disabilities. She directed a program for school volunteers who helped children with reading problems. Professional experience was acquired in Maryland, Illinois, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and Japan. Her work has been published in national and regional pulications in reading, gifted education and in learning disabilities. She writes children’s books and educational material for parents. She is a member of various writers groups and has held office in these organizations.
Laura Dekle reads any book she finds, but especially enjoys the distinct genre of children’s literature. She is working on her BA in Special Education from Clemson University. She hopes to one day contribute her own material to the field.
Janice DeLong has been a teacher for more than thirty years. Her consuming interest in children’s literature began with enrollment in a correspondence course in 1973. Her classroom experience includes both elementary and middle school in public and parochial settings. For the past eighteen years she has been privileged to be children’s literature instructor at the university level. She has the pleasure of serving on the same college faculty as her husband, Robert. They are the parents of four children. Janice has co-authored Core Collection for Small Libraries, Contemporary Christian Authors, and Young Adult Poetry: A Survey and Theme Guide with colleague and friend, Rachel Schwedt, and is currently involved in a work-in-progress, Core Collection for Small Libraries, Volume 2. She and her husband have collaborated on two study guides for Progeny Press, Redwall, based on Brian Jacques’ animal fantasy, and Crispin: Cross of Lead, Avi’s Newbery Medal winner of historical fiction. She is a collector of Raggedy Ann dolls and books, and she finds relaxation in growing miniature violets, and, of course, reading.
Christy Devillier is a freelance copywriter and author of children’s nonfiction. Books are a major focal point in her professional life, and over the last two decades she has written, edited, sold, publicized, and marketed titles of all kinds. As an author, she loves crafting facts into colorful narratives about famous people, faraway places, animals and nature, American history, and everything fascinating in our ever-changing world. Visit Christy online at cdevillier.wordpress.com.
Kellie Deys earned her Ph.D. and M.A. in English from Binghamton University. She is an Assistant Professor of English at Nichols College where she teaches courses in writing, cultural and gender studies, and young adult literature. She has written on Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale and presented on topics including Adbusters, representations of masculinity in Axe and Old Spice commercials, and Dove’s “Campaign for Real Beauty.”
MaryJo Edwards is not an author, editor, illustrator, librarian or teacher. However, in 1987 she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing. Two weeks into her first Nursing job, her vision deteriorated (due to diabetic retinopathy) to the point where she had to cease working and needed several eye surgeries. The vitrectomies (eye surgeries) did not save her sight. In 1999 she received a kidney/pancreas transplant from an anonymous donor named Wesley and his generous family. The donor’s family and MaryJo have kept in touch via letter-writing, and must avoid identifying information. Since 1998 she has volunteered part-time for a local Hospice. She places bereavement calls and then types the reports on the computer and sends them on their way. MaryJo recently found out about writing book reviews from her mother, who’s friend is a children’s book writer. MaryJo and her Kurzweil Reading Edge machine are excited about joining the Children’s Literature reviewer team.
Sheilah Egan became a school librarian in 1969, delighting in sharing her own love of reading with students in preK through 7th grade. Reading aloud was a continuing part of her life as she raised four children. As a volunteer with Scouting programs, Sunday schools and at a variety of private and public schools in Northern Virginia she remained involved with children’s books. Even though she has retired from A LIKELY STORY CHILDREN’S BOOKSTORE (where she was the manager and “Story Lady” for 21 years), she is still committed to exposing children to the joys of reading. She gives presentations for parents and children as well as speaking to teacher training classes and in-service programs for established teachers. All of which allows her to keep a finger on the pulse of children’s literature. Ms. Egan is the Mid-Atlantic Sales Representative for The Children’s Literature Comprehensive Database. She also serves on the board of the New Atlantic Independent Booksellers Association. Her membership in The Washington Children’s Book Guild is another way she stays connected to the authors and illustrators who create the books she loves so dearly.
Joan Elste is the author of True Blue, the story of a close friendship between two animals and winner of the Children’s Choice Award. After graduating from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia with a degree in illustration, Joan studied as a glass apprentice with glass masters in New Jersey, where she soon started accumulating awards for her unusual glasswork. After working as a freelance illustrator for a number of magazines Joan shifted her focus towards children’s literature. Joan lives on small farm on a mountain in rural Pennsylvania with her husband, three dogs, and five chickens.
Justina Engebreston cannot remember a time when she did not love books. Some of her favorite memories as a little girl are nights laid snuggled up in bed while her mom or dad read her Little House on the Prairie. Along with a love for books, she also has a love for writing and hopes to someday write books for children. This past year she graduated from Liberty University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology, specializing in child and adolescent development. Next, she is pursuing a Master’s of Arts in Teaching through Liberty University. She has been a public school employee for five years, working as an educational assistant. She loves books, history, and most of all, her family.
Katie Engen is a lifelong educator (M.Ed.) who craves quirky mixes of high-interest content, thoughtful themes, and humor. She creates resources so students can enjoy reading and learning across the curriculum. Katie coordinates her writing life with running, Mom stuff, ice cream, & all-things-beach. For more of Katie’s work see: www.KatieEngen.com, the Crossing the Curriculum with Katie blog, or the CCK store.
Kathy Erskine enjoyed an interesting childhood growing up in the U.S. and overseas at a time when children were left to their own devices much more than they are today. She remembers spending all day in the woods as a second grader, and running around foreign city streets as a 10 year old, with no one worried about her whereabouts. Some of her adventures appear in her writing. Her love of travel-and writing about different countries-also comes from her upbringing. She graduated from The College of William and Mary in Virginia and obtained her law degree from The American University in Washington, D.C. She gave up the lawyer’s life to devote her time to her family and writing. She writes fiction for readers aged 8 to 18. Her first novel, Ibhubesi: The Lion, is set in South Africa, where she lived as a young child. She now lives in Virginia with her husband and two children. Her latest novel is Quaking (Philomel 2007). Website: www.kathyerskine.com
Ann Farina holds a Master’s Degree in Reading Education from Marywood University in Pennsylvania and a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts from Rosemont College. Since 2006 she has worked as a reading specialist in the Tunkhannock Area School District, helping 3rd and 4th grade Title I students in two schools. Ann also sits on the reading committee to help select annually a new reading series for the district.
Sylvia Firth earned a BS in Library Science and Education from Millersville University in Millersville, PA. She spent most of her career as an Elementary School Librarian. Retired for a number of years, she is still is active with the Pennsylvania School Librarians Association. Collecting autographed children’s books is one of her main hobbies. With the arrival of a new grandchild, she is now happily building him his own library. She is an avid fan of Harry Potter. Recently she went to Poland to teach English to children attending a summer camp. While there, she shared the video (in English) “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.” It proved to be a big hit with all the youngsters.
Jordan Fisher received a BA in English and a minor in Communications as well as a graduate certificate from the University of Denver’s Publishing Institute. She is currently working on a Master’s degree in English with a Children’s Literature concentration. Her interests include children’s and YA literature as well as comic books. She hopes to pursue a career in publishing. In her free time, she enjoys writing her own novels. She lives in North Carolina with her cat Matches Malone.
Marcie Flinchum Atkins is working on her M.A. in children’s literature from Hollins University. She teaches 4th grade, leads a book club for teachers who love to read children’s literature, and is working on a young adult biography and a picture book biography. She is interested in reviewing and writing nonfiction for children
Vicki Foote has been an elementary teacher and librarian in Nebraska, Kansas, and California. She has a Master’s Degree from the University of Nebraska. She taught second and third grades in elementary schools and then studied library science to become a Media Specialist in education. She has published articles and poems in newspapers and magazines. She is studying writing, belongs to a critique group, and is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. She is attending art classes in watercolor and acrylic painting. She enjoys reviewing books for children in preschool and the early grades, both fiction and nonfiction.
Carolyn Mott Ford found joy in reading as a child that has lead to her interest in writing stories for children, which have appeared in a number of juvenile magazines including Highlights for Children, Ladybug, Pockets, and Humpty Dumpty’s Magazine. Her early reader, Nothing in The Mailbox published by Richard C. Owen, Inc. is on the Reading Recovery List and two additional titles, Tides and The Brown Paper Bag, have been scheduled for publication. She also writes poetry and essays for newspapers, literary journals and general publications. She has six children and enjoys spending time with her grandchildren and volunteering in a reading program at a nearby elementary school.
Quinby Frank was the librarian at The Green Hedges School in Vienna, Virginia for many years. After a brief retirement she now works at The Green Acres School in Maryland. Previously she worked at The Norwood School in Maryland. She has also worked as a preschool teacher in Washington, DC. She has a BA in history from Wellesley College and an MLS from the University of Maryland. She and her husband have two grown daughters, both avid readers, and two grandchildren, avid listeners.
Elizabeth Fronk earned her library degree from the University of Michigan and began her library career working part-time as a children’s librarian. She is constantly amazed at the variety, imagination, wonder and craft that can be found in books for children as well as young adults. Currently, she serves at Chattanooga State Community College library as the reference and electronic services librarian. She is able to keep ties to children’s literature by adding to the library’s collection of children’s books. Chattanooga State shares some children’s books with Tennessee Technological University, a four-year school, and offers classes in early elementary education and children’s literature. She also tells stories to young children with the assistance of her dog puppet, Gertrude.
Karen T. Galenis received her undergraduate degree in English and Secondary Education from James Madison University and her masters degree in Library and Information Science from the University of South Carolina. She has taught high school English for twelve years and is currently the Library Media Specialist at Waynesboro High School in Waynesboro, Virginia. She is a member of the Virginia State Reading Association where she serves on the Virginia Readers’ Choice book selection committee for high school students, and she is a Regional Director for the Virginia Education Media Association. Karen is a proponent of free voluntary reading at the high school level and believes that putting the right book in a student’s hands can make all the difference.
Doris Gebel has worked primarily as a children’s librarian in public libraries as well as in elementary schools. She has taught both undergraduate and graduate courses in Children’s Literature, International Children’s Literature, and Storytelling. Gebel served on the 2006 Newbery Committee and the 2003 and 2014 Batchelder Committees. She is the editor of Crossing Boundaries with Children’s Books (Scarecrow, 2006) and is a past president of the United States Board on Books for Young People.
Avee Gee grew up in Jerusalem, Israel where she began her lifetime passion for children’s books. With years of experience as an early childhood educator, she now works with teachers to implement a Jewish literature based curriculum. She is a writer currently completing her first middle grade novel dealing with diversity, tolerance, and peace.
Leigh Geiger has been an avid reader since she opened her first Golden Book in kindergarten. After earning Master’s Degrees in both elementary and special education and a Ph.D. in educational research, she has enjoyed teaching reading and many other subjects to students of all ages from preschoolers in Head Start to graduate students and senior citizens. Her greatest pleasure has been introducing her grandsons to the joys of reading.
María E. Gentle is originally from Nicaragua where she graduated from high school. She received her BA from the University of Missouri at Columbia and her MLS from the University of Texas at Austin. Her specialty was Latin American Studies. She is married and has three daughters. María has worked for Austin Public Libraries, Harris County Libraries (Houston), Houston Baptist University Library and currently works at Arlington County Public Library. She has served in several ALA committees including the first Michael L. Printz and on the Margaret A. Edwards Award committees. Currently she is on the YALSA Board of Directors. María loves travel, food, wine, film and of course books either in print or in audio. Most of these activities she enjoys sharing with husband Jim.
Kasey Giard is an avid blogger and long-time children’s book addict. When not reading or spending time with family and friends, she writes web content and promotional materials for a small company near her home in Florida. She is a three-time finalist in the American Christian Fiction Writers Genesis contest and continues to pursue writing her own young adult novel.
Susan Glick graduated from University of Maryland with a B.A. and M.A. in English and a M.A. in teaching from Johns Hopkins University. Also a reading specialist and special educator, she teaches reading to high school students in Montgomery County, Maryland, where she lives and writes. Her most recent book is Jemma’s Got the Travel Bug, a picture book about Maryland’s state reptile, the Diamondback Terrapin.
Peg Glisson obtained an MLS from Syracuse University and was a Children’s Librarian in the Monroe Country Library System for 11 years. Currently Peg is a School Library Media Specialist at Mendon Center Elementary School, Pittsford, NY. In addition to Children’s Literature, Peg also reviews for School Library Journal and was the editor of Choices: A Core Collection for Young Reluctant Readers. Peg served as a member of the ALSC Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Award in 2004. She is also a member of Genesee Storytellers, a company of professional storytellers who focus on telling traditional folklore and the teaching of the art of storytelling to children and adults. For many years, Peg was part of the Planning Committee for the University of Rochester Storytelling Conference.
Ilene S. Goldman would rather curl up with a good book than do just about anything else. She writes picture books, creative nonfiction, and children’s poems. Some of her other writing and musings can be found at Culturebean.com and Charlottesjourneyhome.com. She has worked and published as a college professor and independent scholar specializing in film, video and mass visual media. She holds a Ph.D. in Radio/TV/Film from Northwestern University, an AB in Art History and French Civilization from Brown University, and a copy editing certificate from the University of Chicago.
Miriam (“Mim”) Gottschalk is a children’s librarian at Rancho Mirage Public Library, Rancho Mirage, CA. Her first professional position was in mainland China where she established a library at TEDA International School. Subsequent library positions include school librarian at a girls’ Catholic High School and a New Mexico middle school, children’s librarian at Los Angeles Public Library including a stint on the Inner City Bookmobile, and young adult librarian at Palm Desert (CA) Public Library. She has reviewed books for the International Association of School Librarians. She loves reading to children, especially her granddaughter who adores books.
Heidi Hauser Green currently works as a researcher and webmaster at a non-profit organization. In addition to a Bachelor’s degree from Niagara University, she has earned a Master’s Degree in English with a concentration on Children’s and Young Adult Literature from Illinois State University. She also has a Master’s in Library and Information Science from the University of Pittsburgh. In addition to book reviews, she has written several encyclopedia articles related to children’s literature. She resides in Pittsburgh, PA with her husband and son.
Elisabeth Greenberg loves reading, writing, kids, and travel. She can’t sleep at night without having one last read settled against her pillows and she greets the new day with a cup of coffee and a browse through the newspaper. Teaching overseas in Japan, Singapore, and Saudi Arabia led to a husband (and four wonderful children) and a life of adventure and discovery. Elisabeth writes for Cricket, Faces, and children’s and travel magazines in the UK, the Middle East, and Australia.
Emily Griffin graduated from George Mason University with a B.A. in English. A customer and story time participant since infancy, she managed A Likely Story Children’s Bookstore during college, where she realized she could turn her love of children’s literature into a career. Emily studied abroad (twice) in London where she worked at Peter Owen Publishers, in Earls Court. She was also an Editorial Intern at Candlewick Press in Boston. For several years Emily was the Publicity and Marketing Director for CLCD and Children’s Literature. At the end of 2012, she became the new owner of Children’s Literature. She lives in Washington, DC with her Puggle, Scout and Beagle, Zooey. You can follow her on Twitter at @clreviews_emily.
Lois Rubin Gross has been reviewing books for Children’s Literature since its formative days. Thanks to Children’s Literature, her reviews are frequently shown on Barnes and Noble’s website. Ms. Gross has also been a reviewer for the dearly departed Rocky Mountain News and the children’s media website, KidsFirst.com. She is an active blogger for AfterAfiftyLiving.com on issues effecting Baby Boomers in retirement. She has also blogger for WiseWomenNow.com and wrote on parenting issues for Hoboken Family Alliance and MetroMoms.com. While Ms. Gross thought she was going to be a TV personality (Temple University, BS in Communications), she instead spent four decades as a Librarian (MLIS, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA) getting just the right book into the hands of mostly adorable children. Her favorite job, however, was serving the needs of Colorado individuals with visual impairments and blindness, physical handicaps, and learning disabilities. Although most of her work with the Library for the Blind involved children, she was able to collect wonderful stories from the Greatest Generation and beyond from many, many elders she served. Ms. Gross firmly agrees with Jose Luis Borges’s quote, “I have always believed that Paradise will be a kind of a library.”
Stephanie Guerra is an adjunct professor of children’s literature and young adult fiction at Seattle University. She also teaches courses in creative writing to the women inmates of King County Jail. She earned her M.F.A. in creative writing with an emphasis in children’s literature from the University of Notre Dame and completed doctoral coursework in reading, writing, and literacy at the University of Pennsylvania. Her research interests include censorship and children’s literature, children’s responses to read-alouds, and using young adult fiction to teach incarcerated teens. Stephanie lives in Seattle with her husband and son.
Gina Hagler has spent her career straddling the business and literature worlds. After obtaining a B.A. from the State University of New York, Gina received an M.B.A. from the University of Connecticut. Since then Gina has worked for a number of different corporations while maintaining her interest in literature. A member of the National Books Critics Circle, Gina co-authors and reviews books for a blog dedicated to science and technology. She also writes nonfiction for children and young adults, some of which has been published in Odyssey and Faces. Gina currently works as a small business consultant and freelance writer.
Tonia C. Halley has an elementary education degree from Bethel University and a master’s degree in reading education from Western Michigan University. She has been an elementary school teacher for 27 years beginning in the inner city of Atlanta, Georgia and currently in her home state of Michigan. She has been a member of the Society for Children’s Writers and Illustrators and is currently a member of the 12×12 picture book challenge. She been writing stories for children since second grade and has dreams of publishing. Throughout her years of teaching, reading has been a favorite skill and pleasure to pass on to young children. Exploring the shelves, and discovering a story worth holding close is like a gold mine. With meaning making from story of high priority in the classroom, Tonia regards the duty of children’s book reviewing an important honor. She has hopes of promoting mentor texts that can be used in the classroom for growing children into life-long thinkers. In spare time, Tonia enjoys biking, gardening, reading, cooking, entertaining, and writing children’s stories, curriculum, and blogging about her autistic daughter “Goldi.”
Carlee Hallman is a graduate of Knox College in Galesburg, IL, and Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, DC. She is a retired United Methodist Minister. She wrote a column for Mature Years magazine for a year and a half and recently was part of a team to revise curriculum for “Toddlers and Twos” for the United Methodist Church.. Carlee has taken courses in poetry and in writing for children. Since retirement she has had work published in Spider and Hopscotch magazines. She has poetry published and takes part in poetry readings. Her poem won the Matt Clark Prize for poetry in 2006. From a family of artists, she was a docent for children for two years at the National Gallery of Art. Her book, “Abide with Me: Prayers for Life’s Eventide” will be published in September 2006. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), Women’s National Book Association (WNBA), Maryland Writers Association, and Word Works
Brittanny Handiboe is from Glen Burnie, Maryland. Brittanny enjoyed reading and looking at the wonderful illustrations that entertained and inspired her to start drawing as a child. Years later this inspiration drove her to earn a BFA in fine arts and illustration at Montserrat College of Art in Massachusetts. When she is not helping guests at the Walter’s Art Museum or hunched over inks and leatheroid batches in the lab, you can find her dancing in her studio aspiring to create that same inspirational entertainment with words, funny shapes, simple compositions, and silly characters. So what else does she do? She reads quite a lot and enjoys binding books too.
Eileen Hanning has more than 25 years of experience helping children become regular and passionate readers as a former children’s bookseller and director of curriculum and evaluation for a children’s literacy program. She earned her master’s degree from Trinity Washington University in Curriculum and Instruction. Eileen now has her own consulting company, Read, Learn, Reach, where she designs curriculum, evaluation systems and training, writes white papers and teacher resources, and curates lists of children’s books. She lives in Virginia with her husband, two sons, and two huge dogs.
Amy S. Hansen is an award-winning science writer who specializes in children’s publications. Her books include Bugs to Bugsicles: Insects in the Winter, (Boyds Mills Press, 2010), Powering Our World (a six-book series, Rosen, 2010), and How Things Work (Publications International, 2006). Her work appears in Ask, Click, Cricket, and Highlights for Children. When writing for adults, Ms. Hansen focuses on the National Science Foundation web site; previously, she was the senior writer and editor of their magazine, Frontiers. She has also served as a panelist for ALA and NASW. Ms Hansen holds masters degrees in Journalism and Natural Resources from the University of Michigan and is a member of Xi Sigma Pi, the Forestry Honors Fraternity. She is also the mother of two boys who appear frequently in her writing.
Leah Hanson has always had her nose in a book-whether it is Nancy Drew, Anne of Green Gables, or the latest Mary Higgins Clark. Her love of reading and passion for good literature prompted her to study English teaching at Brigham Young University, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts. After an adventurous year of teaching high school English and being on the teacher’s side of the desk, she moved to the east coast and received a Masters of Teaching in the Museum Education program at The George Washington University. She currently works as Coordinator of School Programs for Heritage Museums and Gardens on Cape Cod, Massachusetts.
Kayla Headlee is currently a senior at the University of North Texas, majoring in Interdisciplinary Studies with a certification in ESL. She started her student teaching in Grapevine-Colleyville ISD and will be working with first and fourth grade for the rest of the year. She has worked with children since she was fifteen and from a very early age, she knew she wanted to teach. Kayla is absolutely in love with children’s books and believes in integrating literacy in every subject.
Trina Heidt, formerly a bookseller and children’s department supervisor at a bookstore, is now a stay at home mother of six wonderful children. Trina has a bachelor’s degree in elementary education with a concentration in reading and literacy but has chosen to be a home schooling mom. Trina has always had a great fondness for children’s books both old and new and loves to share these with her children. She believes that children are never too young or too old to read aloud to and enjoys “story time” with all of her children. Besides searching for beautiful, well written books, Trina enjoys photography and the wide open spaces of her home state of North Dakota.
Eleanor Heldrich, wife of a pediatrician and mother of four grown children, published books, primarily about flower arranging, for twenty years under the banner of Prospect Hill Press. She has been the editor of Gardenews, the Official Publication of the Federated Garden Clubs of Maryland, Inc., since 1977. She is a volunteer tutor for the Dyslexic Tutoring Program in Baltimore and is a member of the Board of the Baltimore Conservatory Association. A member of the Movable Book Society, she is an avid collector of pop up books.
Dr. Suzanna E. Henshon finished a Ph.D. at William & Mary in May 2005 and teaches writing full-time at Florida Gulf Coast University. Her first novel, Mildew on the Wall, was published in 2004 by Royal Fireworks Press, and a sequel, Spiders on the Ceiling, is due out in December 2006. During the fall of 2006, the Center for Gifted Education at College of William & Mary will publish Dr. Henshon’s Notes from a Writer, a guide for talented young writers and their parents.
Bonita Herold received her BA in English and her MA in TESOL. While a mother, wife, and reader throughout the years, she often held a variety of other jobs, too: secretary, medical transcriptionist, playground supervisor, tech writer, freelance newspaper writer, and ESL/Spanish teacher. She likes to think of herself as well-rounded rather than flighty. As a member of SCBWI since 2010, she won first place in the Illustrated Fiction contest held by Southern Breeze that year. She hopes to parlay her love of writing into a prestigious role within the book industry–that of published author of one or more of her two dozen picture book manuscripts. If you’d like to read a collection of eclectic meanderings, check out her blog at http://tenacioustelleroftales.blogspot.com.
Stacey Hester holds a Master’s of Education from Sweet Briar College and a B.S. in English from Liberty University. Stacey currently works as a high school English teacher for Amherst County schools in Amherst, Virginia, where she teaches ninth and tenth grade general and advanced English classes.
Sharon M. Himsl was born and raised in Washington State, where she lives today with her husband. She has also lived in Idaho, briefly in the South and Southwestern United States, and Malaysia. Her experience in different communities and cultures, including an interest in American history/culture, has been the inspiration behind the fiction and nonfiction she writes today. She is published in the young adult educational market in pre-World II history. Her love of children’s literature and reading in general began at a young age, a love she is proud to have passed on to her two children. A University of Idaho graduate, her degree is in American Studies.
Greta Holt is a retired teacher who taught in the Wyoming City Schools near Cincinnati, Ohio. She obtained degrees from the University of Maryland and the University of Cincinnati. She is the recipient of two Ohio Arts Council Individual Artist Fellowships for fiction. Her stories have appeared in literary magazines and anthologies, including the Southern Indiana Review, YoYo online magazine, and What Mennonites are Thinking. Currently, she is working on a young adult novel about a Mennonite girl in the 1960s. Greta belongs to a writers’ group, some of whose members are associated with the Antioch Writers’ Workshop. She is an associate member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, and she enjoys gardening and singing alto in the Bach Society of Dayton, Ohio.
Megan Honeycutt has received a Bachelor of Science degree from Tennessee Wesleyan University, a Master of Arts in Teaching degree from Lee University, and is currently working to finish her School Library Media Licensure through the University of West Georgia. She is married with two little boys and a Bichon Frise. Her hobbies include reading, crocheting, watching the Atlanta Braves, and attending all her son’s athletic events.
Michelle Candace Hughes is a lifelong reader and lover of children’s literature who believes you’re never too old for a picture book. She is pursuing an M.A. in Children’s Literature at Hollins University and a Library Technology Degree at Santa Ana College in the hopes that she will someday get paid to surround herself with children’s books. She lives in Southern California where she pursues goodness, truth, and beauty with her husband and children.
Amanda Huneke focuses primarily on writing picture books with an educational appeal. She is the author of the Monster on the Loose series (ABDO) and first-place recipient of past SouthWest Writer’s awards. She received her B.S. degree in Psychology and Anthropology from Minnesota State University, Mankato, and has been fortunate to have spent nearly every moment of her life surrounded by children. Amanda has presented for both national and local organizations, sharing her experiences in writing for children with parents, grandparents, educators, and aspiring writers. She lives with her husband, son, daughter, and a farm-full of animals in rural southeastern Minnesota.
Carrie Hung currently works as a research associate and videotape evaluator and commentary author for the Ohio State University. After earning a B.A. in psychology from Scripps College in California, Carrie taught for the Milpitas Unified School District, where she received the Leo B. Murphy Award as the Weller Elementary School Teacher of the Year. Carrie later went on to receive a Master’s Degree in reading leadership and has continued to spread her love of children’s literature everywhere she goes.
Mary Hynes-Berry has spent decades paging through children’s books for her own pleasure and that of her children and grandchildren, as well as for professional reasons. She is on a never-ending search for high quality books that can be used as resources for oral storytelling in classrooms, for designing and implementing family literacy and school literacy programs in Chicago Public Schools and for teacher education classes and professional development workshops she does as faculty member at Erikson Institute for Early Childhood, in Chicago Illinois.
Leona Upton Illig formerly a linguist and analyst in the Defense Department, is a writer, photographer, and editor working in Gambrills, Maryland. She has published non-fiction in “Sky and Telescope” magazine and fiction in the e-zine, “Golden Visions.” Her photos have appeared in “MacLife” magazine and in local newspapers. In addition to serving as newsletter editor for the local chapter of a national civic organization, she has written advertising copy for local businessmen. She has a Master’s Degree in English Literature from the University of Maryland, and is a member of several writers’ organizations.
Louanna Jacobs is the Director of the Regional Inservice Education Center and as assistant professor in the reading program at Alabama A&M University. Louanne received a Ph.D. in educational leadership from the University of Alabama and has taught middle and high school. Louanne has three times been awarded the Outstanding Reading Teacher Award by the Alabama Reading Association and is a member of the International Reading Association. She is particularly interested in Holocaust education and continues to update and extensive annotated and cross-referenced bibliography of Holocaust and genocide texts, resources, and films appropriate for classroom use.
Suzanne Javid has over forty years of experience in the field of education including teaching at the preschool, early elementary and university levels, consulting, staff development, grant writing and founder of an early childhood consulting firm. She is the recipient of several honors and recognitions, including one special Tribute each from the MI House of Representatives and Govenor Jennifer M. Granholm and the MI State Senate and Govenor Jennifer M. Granholm in 2006 and a Celebrate Literacy Award for advocacy from the International Reading Association (IRA). Her most recent and proudest credential is that of Grandma to three wonderful childreen under age 3 (soon to be five as twins are on the way). This has involved her again in the wonderful world of (young) children’s literature and reinforces her passion regarding reading to children early and often.
Alison Johansen is a freelance writer who lives in Virginia with her husband and children. After spending several years as a journalist in Washington, D.C., Alison founded Mothernova.com: a parenting website that offers feature stories, interviews and tips about motherhood, food allergies, allergen-free cooking, pediatric sleep, and other topics that are close to her heart. As part of this outreach, she has written a children’s picture book about food allergies that is to be released this summer. She is a member of Kids with Food Allergies, Food Allergy Research & Education, Loudoun Allergy Network, Freedible and the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.
Suzan Johnson is currently a school library media specialist in an elementary school in the South Florida area. Although her experience is varied, in her teaching career, she has taught 6, 7, and 8th grade Reading, Language Arts, and Social Studies. Now, as the media specialist she collaborates with classroom teachers on literacy, research, and computer skills for her students. Over the past year she has written and reviewed test items, and published her second children’s book Sofie at Dance. She enjoys writing, traveling, dining, shopping, being with friends and family.
Kathie Josephs has a degree in Elementary education and a Masters Degree in Educational Leadership. She has taught grades K through 8, but her specialty is middle school reading and writing. She is a member in several professional organizations including being a member of the Board of Directors’ Southern Arizona Writing Project at the University of Arizona. She works on a variety of projects for the Arizona Daily Star, Newspapers in Education Department. Her responsibility with them is to write classroom curriculum for many of the Breakfast Serials and special inserts. She has finished writing her first book of classroom activities for teachers and is already working on her second one. She currently does professional workshops using the Six Points Six Traits of writing for different school districts. She has over 900-mystery books in her home and her two cats are called Agatha and Christy. Her favorite pastime, other than reading, is making Santas from around the world, using papier-mache.
Toni Jourdan is a mother, actress, writer, and avid reader. She has been a member of Screen Actors Guild’s BookPALS, a literacy program that had her reading to students and touring around her home state of Arizona. She earned both BookPAL and PencilPAL of the Year Awards. She loves to travel and has had the opportunity to see much of the world thanks to her husband who is a singer on cruise ships. She is a playwright with five produced plays and has written fifteen adaptations of classic books for an audiobooks program. On top of all this she is a Shakespearean actress who trained in Oxford, England at the British American Drama Academy.
Michael Jung received his Ph.D. in 20th century American literature from Arizona State University. He has written two books, The Amazing Acne of Sophie and The Readers of Oz. He has also written books reviews for The Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, feature stories for Arizona State’s Community Camera, and an original short story in Reader’s Digest. He is a member of the Screen Actors Guild Foundation’s storyteller group BookPals and has received the BookPal of the Year Award. A lifelong comic book enthusiast, Michael is currently preparing for a career as a children’s literature specialist and advocating the use of comic books in libraries and classrooms. Michael is now the Children’s Books Feature Writer for Suite 101, a popular online magazine. Read his interviews with popular children’s authors, articles on children’s literature, and other books reviews by visiting him http://childrensbooks.suite101.com.
Kathleen Karr writes historical fiction for middle school and young adult readers. She is the recipient of the 2003 Agatha for best mystery of the year for The 7th Knot, the SCBWI’s 2000 Golden Kite Award for Best Fiction for The Boxer, as well as ALA Notable and Best Books for Young Adults commendations for her other works. The Great Turkey Walk was chosen as Best Book of the Year by both Publishers Weekly and School Library Journal and was selected by more than 25 state lists. In translation, it has won several international awards and has been placed on the official Recommended Books List of the government of France. Her other titles include Born for Adventure, Worlds Apart, Exiled: Memoirs of a Camel, Man of the Family, Skullduggery, Bone Dry, and Gilbert and Sullivan Set Me Free. In pursuit of authentic historical plots, Kathleen travels extensively and researches at the Library of Congress and National Archives in Washington, DC. She is a member and former president of the Children’s Book Guild of Washington, D.C.
Phyllis Kennemer teaches courses for the University of Colorado on a continuing basis and for other Colorado colleges and universities intermittently. She has served on the American Library Association’s Newbery, Caldecott, and Notable Books for Children Committees and the Colorado Children’s Book Award Committee. She holds Bachelors and Masters Degrees from the University of Northern Colorado. Her Specialist in Education Degree and Doctorate are from the University of Colorado. She has been a classroom teacher and an elementary school library media specialist. In these capacities, she had extensive experience in integrating literature into curriculum units. Her book, Using Literature to Teach Middle Grades about War, is based in these experiences. She has also written numerous articles and book reviews for state and national publications.
Colleen Kessler has a Master’s Degree in gifted education from Kent State University and a B.S. in elementary education from Cleveland State University. A member of the Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and the International Reading Society, Colleen has worked for the Ohio public school system since 1999. Colleen has written a number of books, including Ecology and Conservation: Experiments, Games, Art and Writing Activities and Super Smart Science: 180 Days of Warm-Ups and Challenging Activities.
Wendy Kibler is an artist, freelance writer, editor, and proofreader. She has worked as a Special Collections Assistant in the Rare Books and Manuscripts Department at Princeton University’s Firestone Library. She also worked as a graphic designer and a copy writer for an advertising agency in Charlotte, NC; as a museum teacher, leading tours for fourth-graders at Historic St. Mary’s City in MD; and as an adjunct professor at The College of Southern Maryland, teaching writing, reading, and literature. Currently, she is seeking a publisher for her poetry collection; contributes book reviews to the blog pages turned (http://pagesturned.blogspot.com) and to Children’s Literature; and is working on two picture books, a novel, a play, and several essays. She earned a B.A. in English at Penn State, is married, has two sons, and resides in Southern Maryland.
Meredith E. Kiger recently retired after a career working with Head Start and teaching education at the higher ed level. She served on the publications committee of ACEI and continues to be involved in the field of early childhood education.
Heather Kinard grew up in the beautiful state of Utah and currently lives in Fishers, Indiana. She is an avid reader since childhood and has a particular passion for children’s literature. She attended Brigham Young University and returns yearly for their Books for Young Readers Symposium, where she was a presenter in 2010. She married her high school sweetheart and is the mother of four children. She loves collecting children’s books which she catalogs and organizes in her home library. She also loves jogging, history, sports, and talking about children’s books to anyone and everyone who will listen.
Sarah Knight lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and recently completed a Master’s Degree in English Literature from Duquesne University. Having studied numerous genres and literary writers, Sarah is drawn to the writings of female authors including Emily Dickinson, Mary Wolstonecraft and Mary Shelley. Sarah recently completed a thesis on the British Romantics titled “De-Romanticizing Motherhood: the Maternal Body as a Site for Romantic Anxiety”, examining the portrayal of the maternal body in eighteenth century British poetry, and how this depiction reflects societal attitudes towards the maternal body. Sarah currently works several part time jobs that offer a medium for artistic expression, including the designing and creating of fused glass jewelry, Irish dance instruction, and writing short vignettes. Kept busy with three children, two dogs and a husband, Sarah enjoys writing and reading literature.
Ann L. Kreske received a master’s degree in special education from Johns Hopkins University and a J.D. from American University’s Washington College of Law. She has taught special education to high-school students; edited monographs for a government contractor; tutored children of varying ages; worked as an academic counselor for law-school students, including law students with disabilities; and practiced special education and veterans’ law. Her love of reading and writing began as a child in Taiwan, where she read western classic children’s literature in Mandarin, and continued in the United States, where she re-discovered the same books in English. She and her family recently returned to the United States after living and working in Bangkok, Thailand, for the past two years.
Uma Krishnaswami who holds Masters’ degrees in Social Work and Counseling, is the author of several books for children, including Naming Maya (an IRA Notable Book for a Global Society), Monsoon (a Parents’ Choice Recommended title), and The Happiest Tree: A Yoga Story (a CCBC Choices title). Uma lives in northwest New Mexico, teaches in the Vermont College MFA Program in Writing for Children and Young Adults, and on-line through Writers on the Net. She is also co-Director of a local site of the National Writing Project.
Lisa Kuehne is a life-long reader, a member of Romance Writers of America, author of the 2011 published Young Adult series True Intentions, and the mother of three young children. She holds a Bachelors degree from Goshen College and works as a Registered Nurse Manager for a well-known Indiana hospital. When not working she enjoys spending quality time with her children, working on her next novel, participating in outdoor adventures, creating artwork, exploring antique malls, and relaxing at the lake. She can be contacted via her website www.lisakuehne.com.
Dr. Maria Lamattina has had a varied career, which accounts for her rather eclectic views on the nature of learning. In addition to considerable experience in school settings, Maria has also held managerial roles in corporate leadership development functions. The common thread running through her career has been her commitment to learning and personal growth. Maria has a doctorate from Teachers College, Columbia University, a Master’s degree from the Bank St. College of Education, and a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature from NYU. She has co-authored an article on leadership development for a professional journal, has written book reviews for professional publications, and has acted as a reviewer/rater for academic journals. Currently, Dr. Lamattina supervises Literacy and Math Coaches in the New York metropolitan area.
Debra Lampert-Rudman has a degree in English and is working towards her M.Ed. in Curriculum/Instruction-Children’s Literacy/Literature from Pennsylvania State University. She is an award-winning author and artist and is currently a Community Relations Manager for Barnes & Noble. Debra spends her spare time reading, creating dog-inspired children’s books, artwork and quilts, and raising and showing cocker spaniels.
Dr. Maria Lamattina has had a varied career, which accounts for her rather eclectic views on the nature of learning. In addition to considerable experience in school settings, Maria has also held managerial roles in corporate leadership development functions. The common thread running through her career has been her commitment to learning and personal growth. Maria has a doctorate from Teachers College (Columbia University), a Master’s degree from the Bank Street Graduate School of Education, and a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature from NYU. She has co-authored articles on leadership and professional development for professional journals, has written book reviews for such publications, and has acted as a reviewer/rater for academic journals and for readwritethink.org. Dr. Lamattina has also coached K-12 teachers and managed such coaching programs across the country. She is currently the English Language Arts Program Director for an enrichment program.
Patricia K. Landy has extensive experience as an educator and editor. Currently, she owns Crystal Publishing, LLC which publishes children’s literature, fantasy, and young adult fiction. One of her books received a 2015 Moonbeam Award. She is the author of an interactive textbook Latin Lives Today to be published by the National Social Science Press. She also served as a researcher for the British linguist and historian Andrew Dalby for his book Language in Danger. In 2008, Ms. Landy was selected as a Master Distance Educator by the Wyoming Distance Education Consortium. Ms. Landy is a member of the National Association of Professional Women and was recently selected as a VIP Woman of the Year. She is active in the Rocky Mountain Writers Group, Colorado Independent Publishers, NOCO Writers Group, and the Northern Colorado Authors and Narrators Workshop. She also works with a creative thinktank, Quid Novi, where her publications have won awards consistently. In her spare time, she writes grants for animal rescue organizations.
Karen Leggett is a free lance journalist specializing in education and children’s literature. She writes for numerous nonprofit organizations and government agencies, including Voice of America and the National Wildlife Refuge System. Her role as host, producer and writer for WMAL Radio in Washington, DC, garnered her many awards from the Chesapeake Associated Press Broadcasters and the Maryland State Teachers Association. Karen was educated at Brown University and has traveled widely or lived in Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Karen has reviewed children’s books in the New York Times and the Baltimore Sun and has also written for the Chicago Tribune and the Washington Post. Karen is a past president of the Children’s Book Guild of Washington DC.
Lara Beth Lehman received her Bachelor’s degree in English from East Tennessee State University where she minored in Appalachian Studies. While in college, she took a student job at the library and little did she know back then while shelving videos that she would fall in love with working in the library and make a career of it. Lara Beth now manages the Curriculum Materials Center and Youth collections at the Peabody Library at Vanderbilt University. She thoroughly enjoys her job; from cataloging puppets and other fun educational materials, to story times with campus childcare centers, answering serious reference questions, and last but not least–maintaining a collection of children’s YA literature. Lara Beth loves calling Nashville her home. In her free time, she loves football, paper crafting, crosswords, and of course–reading!
Jennifer Lehmann graduated with a B.A. in Liberal Studies for Elementary Education from Concordia University in Irvine, California, and earned an M.A. in Children’s Literature from Hollins University in Roanoke, Virginia. She currently works as an adjunct professor of English at Garrett College and a substitute teacher with the Garrett County School District. She taught 3rd grade for seven years in Arizona and California before moving to Maryland. She is a member of SCBWI and loves reading and writing children’s books.
Elizabeth Leis-Newman is a writer and editor living in Chicago, IL with her husband and several cats. She graduated from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism and currently works as a senior editor at McKnight’s Long-Term Care News. She is a founder of Walter Rescue, an animal rescue organization. Elizabeth became a bookworm at age 7, when a friend gave her “Ramona Quimby, Age 8.” She posts book reviews on her blog, www.elizabethsbooks.com, and you can follow her on Twitter @TigerELN.
Sharon Levin is a passionate reader and `pusher’ of children’s books. She writes a monthly column about children’s literature, printed in childrenslit.com, in school newsletters and in two university children’s lit courses. Sharon has given book talks at many schools and at the California state convention of Parent Participation Nursery Schools. She has taken numerous courses in children’s literature and hopes to pursue a master’s degree when her daughters, Elise and Sasha, need less of her time and energy. (She’s planning on being in the Class of 2021!)
Cynthia Levinson has taught early childhood education, middle school and high school social studies, and college and graduate students enrolled in teacher training programs. She has also conducted professional development in curriculum and standards for teachers and administrators. She worked on educational policy development at the state and national levels for over 15 years, focusing on strategic planning, curriculum design, and technology and telecommunications. She currently writes nonfiction for young people. She has published articles on a range of topics, including safe use of the internet, archeology in Peru and Bolivia, Mark Twain’s inventions, Swiss lace-making, Portuguese and Irish communities in Massachusetts, and glass houses. Cynthia and her husband, a Constitutional law scholar, have two daughters, two sons-in-law, and two granddaughters and live in two places-Austin, Texas, and Boston, Massachusetts.
Debbie Levy is the author of more than 15 children’s books, including nonfiction books about topics ranging from bigotry to the Berlin Wall to sunken treasure to the Vietnam War. Her latest projects include a collection of funny bedtime poems entitled Laugh Yourself to Sleep(Sterling Publishing), and Underwater, a middle grade novel (Darby Creek). Debbie’s fiction has also appeared in Highlights for Children, and children’s poetry is included in The Jungle Band and Other Poems (Waterford Institute). Debbie has worked as a newspaper editor and practiced law with a large Washington, D.C. law firm. She earned a bachelor’s degree in government and foreign affairs from the University of Virginia, and a law degree and master’s degree in world politics from the University of Michigan. Debbie lives with her husband, two sons, dog, and cat in Maryland, and likes to kayak, canoe, and fish in the Chesapeake Bay region.
Jody J. Little is a former middle school teacher with a B.S. in elementary education from Oregon State University and a M.S. in curriculum and development from Portland State University. Her first educational book, Just for Girls! Reading Comprehension was published by On the Mark Press in 2008. In addition, her short stories, articles, puzzles and games have appeared in numerous children’s magazines including Highlights for Children, On the Line, Shine Brightly, Boys Quest, Fun for Kids, Stories for Children, and My Friend. In 2007, her first novel named a finalist in the annual Delacorte Contest for first-time writers. She is currently working on Kira, Emma Jean Lazerus Fell out of Tree, and Violent Raines Almost Got Struck by Lightning. Jody lives in Portland, Oregon, with her husband and two children.
Carol Ann Lloyd-Stanger is a life-long reader who always visits children’s and young adult sections of libraries and bookstores before making her way to the adult stuff. She wants all children to enjoy reading because she believes books have the power to change lives. As a Literacy and Communications specialist, she works with children, youth, and adults to provide education and activities in reading, writing, and communications. She also works with children in Fairfax County public schools and holds a Master’s degree in Education with an emphasis in Reading from the University of Virginia, as well as degrees in English. A member of SCBWI, Carol Ann is looking forward to beginning a new life as a children’s book writer.
Anita Lock is a woman of many hats: a wife to a wonderful husband, a mother of three awesome children, a grandmother to an amazing, little granddaughter, and a long-time educator in varied degrees (pun intended!). Starting with a Bachelors degree in Music Education and a Masters degree in Library Science, she has chosen to use her skills to educate others, particularly youth. Whether a preschool teacher, home educator, teacher’s aide, tutor, music instructor, DJ, and now book reviewer, her goal remains consistent: it is imperative that she provide tools to help others succeed in life. One tool she has found to be most effective is books. Essential in building language skills for the very young, books are also replete with stories of self-awareness for all ages.
Mary Loftus wants kids to love reading as much as she does. To that end, she spent eight years in the Chicago Public Schools, teaching Reading to grades 6-8, and one year as a Fulbright teacher in Norwich, England. Currently, she puts her teaching expertise to work as a freelance writer for educational publishers. She is also working on her first novel for young readers. Mary earned her Master’s in Education from the University of Illinois at Chicago and her Bachelor’s in Journalism from Indiana University.
Sara Lorimer is the author of Booty: Girl Pirates on the High Seas (Chronicle Books, 2002; Seuil, 2002; Barnes & Noble, 2005; published in French by Seuil, 2002). She has a master’s degree in nonfiction writing from Columbia University, and works as a writer, reviewer, indexer, factchecker, copyeditor, proofreader, housewife, and full-time mom. Her current literary interest is figuring out which Richard Scarry books were written by him, and which are lowly imitations. After growing up in Finland, Denmark, Jamaica, Vermont, Massachusetts, and New York City, and traveling the world from Fiji to the Arctic Circle, Sara settled in Shoreline, Washington, where she spends her spare time sleeping.
Christie Lough received her B.A. in education from Fairmont State College and her M.A. in Special Education from Northern Kentucky University. She is currently working on her Reading Specialist licensure through Shenandoah University. While teaching special education for Loudoun County Public Schools, Christie tries to inspire children to learn to love reading. She is an avid reader, constantly searching for books at all levels that will inspire her students and her own two children.
Anita Barnes Lowen grew up on a small farm in Idaho and spent most of her time (according to her mother) with her nose in a book. After high school she attended George Washington University in Washington, D.C. earning a BA in psychology and biology. During that time she met and married a foreign service officer (the meeting was the result of a crank phone call!) and spent 15 wonderful years in Europe with her husband and daughters–living in Paris, East Berlin (life behind the Wall was a unique experience), Belgrade and Brussels. Returning to the United States, she earned M.Ed. in Special Education at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia and worked for several years at private school for students with severe behavioral and learning disorders. In 1997 she was honored to receive the Margaret Shepherd Teaching Award given annually by VAISEF (Virginia Association of Independent Specialized Education Facilities) to an outstanding special education teacher in a member school in the state of Virginia. Most recently, Anita has finished her first quilt and has had a story (finally!) accepted for publication in Ladybug magazine!
Kenneth and Sylvia Marantz have together written nine books on the art of the picturebook, plus numerous reviews and articles for many publications. Kenneth is professor emeritus of art education at Ohio State University. Sylvia Marantz is a retired school librarian who volunteers regularly in several local school libraries.
Sara Marcus earned her Ph.D. in education leadership from Touro University International in Cypress, California. She also holds a Master’s Degree in educational technology from the University of Missouri and a B.A. from the State University of New York. She is currently an adjunct assistant professor at the City University of New York, Queens College, and the University of Maryland. Sara has written reviews for Library Journal, ARBA, and Education Review. She lives in Flushing, New York.
Caitlin Marineau currently works as a library assistant at the University of Idaho Instructional Materials and Technology Center, where she helps to manage curriculum materials and children’s literature for the College of Education. Originally from Oregon, Caitlin studied history at Gonzaga University, before earning a Master of Science in Information dual specializing in Library and Information Services, and Archives and Records Management, from the University of Michigan in 2011. In her spare time Caitlin enjoys reading, sewing, video gams, and running. She is also an avid knitter and has recently begun learning to rock climb.
Chrystie Marino lives in northern New Jersey and is a graduate of Fordham University with a BA in Communications and Media and Visual Arts. She has worked as a Graphic Designer in New York City and is currently pursuing an MBA in Marketing at Iona College. In her free time she enjoys reading, writing, and loves to cook.
Melissa Rae Markgraf is currently a Master’s student at the University of Texas at San Antonio in the Environmental Science Program. Her thesis research looks at the soil conditions of milkweed in the Texas Hill Country and Coast Plains Sediments regions for Monarch butterfly conservation. She has always enjoyed children’s literature and believes it has the terrific opportunity to shape budding Americans. She values any opportunity to learn about what is new to the field, especially in areas of natural science.
Myrna Dee Marler completed her bachelor’s degree in English at Brigham Young University’s Hawaii Campus where she now teaches as a specialist in creative writing and young adult literature. She completed her Master’s and Doctoral Degrees at the University of Hawaii in American Studies with a literature emphasis. Her dissertation concerned young adult literature written by and for African Americans since the Civil Rights movement. She has published numerous short stories and several scholarly articles, and a book for Greenwood Press title Teen Reads: Walter Dean Myers. Her present projects include the completion and publication of a memoir called From the Teacher’s Eye: Notes from the College Composition Classroom.
JoAn Martin spent over 20 years teaching in Texas’s Goose Creek Consolidated Independent School District. JoAn holds a Master’s Degree as a reading specialist from the University of Houston and a B.S. in elementary education from Abilene Christian University. In addition to her teaching, JoAn has reviewed books for her local newspaper and the Lamar University newsletter. A published author, Joan is currently working on non-fiction picture book.
Michelle Martin is an Associate Professor of English at Clemson University in Clemson, South Carolina where she teaches courses in Children’s Literature, Young Adult Literature, Composition and Women’s Studies. She is the author of Brown Gold: Milestones of African-American Children’s Picture Books, 1845-2002 and the co-editor (with Claudia Nelson) of Sexual Pedagogies: Sex Education in Britain, Australia, and America, 1879-2000. Martin earned her Ph.D. in English Literature at Illinois State University in 1997, specializing in Children’s and Young Adult Literature.
Carol Kirkham Martin held positions as a social worker, first grade and special ed teacher, and a school psychologist for the public school system, after earning a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education and a graduate degree in school psychology. After thirty years she retired to explore her love of children’s literature and water painting. These days she hikes the trails around her new mountain home in the Shenandoah Valley, water paints, volunteers as a docent at the Shenandoah Valley Art Center and writes. You may have seen her work in Ladybug, Schooldays, Best Ever Activities for Grades 2-3, or Children’s Writer which awarded first place to her nonfiction story, “Stuck on Velcro.” Her book, Word Chunks, Activities for Learning Word Families, received the Teachers’ Choice Award.
Heather Mason is a graduate of University of Central Florida. She currently teaches seventh and eighthh grade reading at Jefferson Middle School in Merritt Island, FL. She is a National Board Certified Teacher and has worked with children in second, sixth, seventh, ninth, eleventh, an twelfth grades. She is an avid reader of both young adult books for use in the classroom and children’s book for use with her own children.
Karen McCoy works at Northern Arizona University’s Cline Library as the Academic Programs Librarian to the College of Arts & Letters. Outside of her library career, she has been writing full-time since 2008, including reviews for Library Journal. In January 2012 she published a feature in School Library Journal entitled “What Teens are Really Reading,” which led to P.A.L. membership in SCBWI. She is currently seeking representation for her YA sci-fi/fantasy novel Triskeleon, and is drafting two more books, including a YA paranormal. She also blogs at The Writer Librarian and can occasionally be found on twitter @WriterLibrarian.
Shelly McCoy works at the University of Delaware Library as the head of a department called the Student multimedia Design Center. In addition to her manager duties, she is the library selector for Area Studies in East Asian, African, and Middle Eastern Studies. She has a B.A. in English writing/public relations and English literature and a Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science from the University of Pittsburgh. Her two young sons assist her with book review content; she enjoys reading the books to them and seeing their interest and reactions.
Amy McMillan is a children’s library assistant in Alexandria, VA. She has a BA in Elementary Education from Utah State University and a MEd in Children’s Literature from Penn State. She has taught and substituted nearly every grade, from pre-school through high school in both private and public school systems. When she is not reading (to children or for her own pleasure) she enjoys traveling, scrapbooking, photography and watching movies or live performances of any kind. She is currently trying her hand at writing her own novel.
Paula McMillen is an Associate Professor at Oregon State University Library and also teaches multicultural children’s literature in the OSU College of Education. She has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology (Southern Illinois University–Carbondale) in addition to her MLIS (University of Washington), a combination which has served her well in co-founding and nurturing the Bibliotherapy Education Project, an online resource for those interested in learning more about the therapeutic use of literature.
Elizabeth McMunn-Tetangco, a graduate of UC Berkeley’s undergraduate English Department and the University of San Francisco’s Master of Arts in Teaching program is currently a graduate student in Library and Information Science at San Jose State University, and has previously worked as a high school English teacher. She loves reading, writing, running, and the general outdoors. A native of San Francisco, she currently lives in California’s Central Valley with her husband and young son, and works occasionally as a freelance writer.
Beverly Melasi is the published author of five books. She began her writing career over 20 years ago writing community newspaper articles. Shortly after college she became a writing instructor and speaker where she has happily helped others achieve their writing goals. Her workbook, “Writing for Publication” is a hit in every hands-on workshop she teaches. Beverly is also a ghostwriter for a popular children’s action/adventure publishing house. She stays active in her community and has been the President of the Business and Professional Women.
Rachel Miller is currently a Kindergarten Teacher and has been for 7 years. She thoroughly enjoys children, and reading books to kids. She learned her expertise at Westminster College where she obtained a bachelors degree in Education. At home, she enjoys reading, playing with her dog, Libby, and doing yard work. She is currently expecting her first child in October and looking forward to all of the adventures that a new child brings.
Naomi Milliner holds a B.A. in English and a Master’s Degree in screenwriting. She worked in Hollywood for the movie industry for five years, working mostly with screenplays and novels being developed for production. After moving back east she spent three years writing non-fiction as well as children’s fiction. After giving birth to her second son she decided to focus on her writing while being a stay-at-home mom.
Claudia Mills is the author of 35 books for children, including the Gus and Grandpa series for easy readers, and the chapter book 7 x 9=Trouble!, which was named an ALA Notable Book for 2002. Claudia has also written many middle-grade novels, including Losers, Inc., You’re a Brave Man, Julius Zimmerman, Standing Up to Mr. O., Lizzie at Last, and Alex Ran, Stop That! She holds a Ph.D. in philosophy from Princeton University and is associate professor of philosophy at the University of Colorado at Boulder, where she specializes in ethical theory and applied ethics. She is also the author of manny scholarly essays on children’s literature, which have appeared in the Children’s Literature Association Quarterly, Children’s Literature in Education, and the Five Owls. She lives in Boulder, Colorodo, with her husband and two sons. Read her blog at www.claudiamillsanhouraday.blogspot.com.
Julie Minnich is currently a senior at The Ohio State University. She majors in Human Development and Family Science and minors in Elementary Education. Her goal is to be a K-3 elementary teacher. Julie volunteers weekly as a teacher’s helper in a second grade classroom and loves working with children. She is especially fond of reading picture books and chapter books to children. She collects picture books and is particularly interested in multicultural picture books. Her favorite author/illustrator is Christopher Meyers. Julie is a member of the Sunrise Rotary Club in Westerville in Ohio and is on the club’s Youth Exchange Committee. Julie enjoys taking walks with her fiancé, Adam and her Sheltie puppy named Champ.
Marianne Mitchell is an award-winning author of eight children’s books, including the picture books Joe Cinders, Gullywasher Gulch, and Maya Moon. Her mid-grade mystery novels include Finding Zola and Firebug. She has also published over ninety stories and articles in national children’s magazines such as Highlights for Children and Pockets. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, Women Writing the West, and is a former bilingual elementary teacher. She is fluent in Spanish and holds a Master’s Degree in Spanish from the University of Louisville. She is also an avid reader of children’s books and often gives writing courses for adults and young authors. She lives in Colorado with her husband, James, the author of two adult private eye mysteries.
Heather L. Montgomery writes nature and science articles and books for children. She is published in Highlights for Children, Science World, and Ask among other magazines. Her books include How to Survive an Earthquake and three upcoming books on snakes, mummies and the human body. She has a B.S. in Biology and an M.S. in Environmental Education. Heather has taught science to children and teachers in the great outdoors for the past 15 years. Learn more about Heather at her website.
Jennifer Morrin is a graduate of Temple University, where she majored in elementary education. She is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in instructional technology at the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey. She teaches fifth grade at the Emma C. Attales Middle School in Absecon, New Jersey. Reading has been a lifelong passion for Jennifer, and young adult fiction is her favorite genre.
Cathy J. Morton teaches kindergarten in Layton, Utah. She has also worked as a Children’s Services Specialist for the Weber County Library system. She is a graduate of Utah State University as well as Westminster College. Once she learned how to read and obtained her first pet pug dog, life has been wonderful! She still loves to read, walk her dogs, and work with children and books.
Krisan Murphy grew up in Mississippi, but has lived in or traveled to most of the states in America. After living on three continents, she has finally settled with her family in Ocean, North Carolina. She holds a B.A. in English from the University of Texas at Arlington and works as a writer, teacher, and mom of four children. Her love of writing began decades ago in the fifth grade when she received accolades for penning a not-very-flattering sketch of her teacher who yawned behind her history book every afternoon. Krisan writes children’s literature, nonfiction, literary flash fiction, and book reviews, and has received awards and honors for her work. She is a member of Carteret Writers and Seascribes. Krisan believes a well-written children’s book never ages.
Rachel Myers is a public librarian in Anne Arundel County, Maryland. At the library she helps oversee branch library programming for all ages and loves to do reader’s advisory for children. Rachel has a Masters Degree in Library Science from Florida State University with a concentration in the Information Needs of Youth. She has always loved to read and looks forward to the many good books that lay in her future!
Sarah Nelson lives in Fredericksburg, Virginia where she teaches second grade at Hugh Mercer Elementary School. She is a graduate of William and Mary and the University of Virginia.
Shirley Nelson is an associate professor of English at Chattanooga State Technical Community College in Chattanooga, Tennessee. She has been teaching literature for children and literature for the adolescent for twenty years. Shirley has been an avid reader ever since she can remember and wishes she had had so much material to choose from back in the 1950s. Shirley’s great passion is exploring the wonderful world of modern children’s literature.
Chris Newsham lives in Alexandria, Virginia, and has worked as a library media assistant for the Alexandria City Public Schools for the past eight years. She has been a lifelong reader and passed that love of reading on to her two girls. Reading to them when they were young introduced her to children’s literature which she is now happy to share with elementary school children.
Joanne Nordin is the mother of two grown children. She grew up in the south suburbs of Chicago, IL and is currently a resident of Indiana. She has her Associate’s Degree in Early Childhood and is working on her Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood and Family Services at Purdue University. She is a Lead Teacher with the Head Start program. She loves to cook, bake, travel, cross stitch, and read to young children.
Ashley Nunn-Smith lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. She is a graduate student of Library and Information Studies at Dalhousie University (Halifax, NS) and of Children’s Literature at Hollins University (Roanoke, VA). She lives in an apartment by the sea, is fluent in English and French, loves to dance and dreams of being a children’s librarian once her degrees are completed. She has reviewed for Children’s Literature since March 2008.
Dianne Ochiltree is a children’s author of Cats Add Up!, Bart’s Amazing Charts, and Sunflowers Measure Up!, all titles in the ‘Hello, Reader’ series from Cartwheel Books by Scholastic. Her picture books include, Ten Monkey Jamboree, Pillow Pup, and Sixteen Runaway Pumpkins all published by Margaret K. McElderry Books/Simon & Schuster. They have appeared in several foreign language editions. Another picture book, Lull-a-Bye, Little One, is forthcoming in 2006 from G.P. Putnam’s Sons. A short story for YA readers, The Women’s House, appears in an anthology published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, titled Don’t Cramp My Style: Stories about That Time of the Month. Dianne is a member of Garden State Writers, a member of SCBWI, a member of Authors Guild, a member of the New Jersey Reading Association and a member of the Rutgers University Council on Children’s Literature. She has over 25 years experience as a professional writer.
Lisa B. C. O’Connell has lived in Mexico, Switzerland, and the United States. She attended four different high schools in three different countries! Lisa attended Webster College in Geneva, Switzerland, and the University of Delaware where she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Relations. Lisa and her husband Tom, who currently live in Maryland, have four children, two dogs, two cats, two fish, and a hamster named Napoleon! Lisa’s German shepherd Max, (June 5, 1992 – November 13, 2004), is the main character in her children’s book “Miracle Max… Missing in Maryland!” Lisa maintains her website, www.miraclemaxcorp.com, and interacts on a daily basis with members of the Miracle Max Mystery Club.
Lynn O’Connell serves as executive director of a national healthcare grantmaking organization. She also freelances as a writer, proofreader and a tour guide. Lynn holds a Master’s in Philanthropy with undergraduate degrees in Communications and French. Before entering the nonprofit sector, she had the opportunity to spend time overseas, working for the U.S. government as a diplomat and living in countries throughout Western Europe and Africa. She is quite involved in the arts, particularly theatre, and serves as a volunteer on boards of several arts organizations. She lives in Northern Virginia with her Dalmatian and Maine Coon cat.
Kimberly O’Meara’s earliest memory is sitting with her Grandmother, rocking in her chair. Warmed by the wood stove she listened to her read from Little House in the Big Woods, or from Uncle Remus and Brer Rabbit’s adventures. Books have always been a part of Kimberly’s life. When she was old enough to read chapter books, she would polish off a Judy Blume, sit down at the kitchen table, and with a stack of stapled lined paper commence re writing the book to suit her own ideas. Since then, Kimberly’s life has been filled with education, her own and that of the children she teaches. She has a Master’s of Science Degree in Special Education. For the past eight years Kimberly has been teaching children with a variety of cognitive and emotional disabilities in a small rural town in West Michigan. Kimberly have a beautiful daughter, wonderful husband and two Labradors who keep her busy. Looking towards the future for both her students and daughter, she hopes they develop an understanding for and love of reading to unlock their imaginations, their voice, and their futures.
Sheryl O’Sullivan teaches courses in children’s and adolescent literature at Azusa Pacific University in Azusa, California. She has published numerous articles in the areas of literature and literacy, as well as several stories for children. Dr. O’Sullivan also has a special interest in Irish children’s literature, especially literature about Celtic Mythology.
Margaret Orto received her MFA in Children’s Literature from Hollins University in 2013. Prior to pursuing her Masters, she worked for over 15 years in various managerial positions in book publishing in the areas of publicity, marketing and sales. She is a member of SCBWI. Margaret lives in Bethesda, MD with her husband and two daughters.
Nancy Partridge was born in Newton, Massachusetts. Her father was a classical musician with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and her childhood summers in the Berkshires played a profound role in shaping her future love of nature and art. After writing music and singing in the Boston area, she married and started her family of four children, now ages 5-17. She has traveled throughout much of Europe and India, living for one year in Rajasthan while writing for the Crafts Council of India about traditional Indian handicrafts with her artist husband John. Nancy has earned a Harvard degree, and hopes to enter a master’s program in children’s literature at Simmons College in Boston. Trained and experienced as a Montessori teacher, Nancy began to integrate her love and knowledge of children with her desire to write. She has written for newspapers in India, as well as human development articles in international yoga journals. Nancy lives in a lively household with her husband, four children, a dog, and two rabbits in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Laura Pastuszek resides in the suburbs of Philadelphia. Since the age of nine, Laura wanted to be a teacher and a writer. She has written about seventeen journals. She believes in life-long learning having graduated with a BSED and MA plus many more various additional graduate credits. She has taught all grades from kindergarten through high school. Since August of 2010, she has been an adjunct professor at Towson University. Writing is always on her mind. You can find her poems in “Reflect and Write: 300 Poems and Photographs to Inspire Writing” used to creatively teach writing to middle and high school students. Her other writing interests include a self-published story about the Roseate Spoonbill. She also enjoys blogging, publishing essays on “This I Believe” and as a guest blogger for writer and political cartoonist Rick Marschall. As an avid world traveler, she has been to twenty-one countries and all fifty states. Other interests besides writing, traveling and education include painting, swimming, biking, and listening to people’s stories. Someday she plans on writing about her backpacking stories to ten countries, bread-baking in an Austrian castle, working as a camp counselor in the Appalachian mountains and many more adventures.
Mary Pearl is a Library Programs Associate at the Denver Public Library in Denver, Colorado. She is also active in the Colorado Libraries for Early Literacy on the Steering and Communications Committees. Additionally, she is completing her Masters Degree in Library and Information Science from San Jose State University and is looking forward to a career as a librarian. She has a strong passion for Early Literacy and children’s literature and loves sharing good books with children and their families.
Robert Perret has an undergraduate degree in Journalism from the University of Colorado and a Master’s degree in Library Science from the University of Denver. A lifelong library lover, he now works as a librarian in north Idaho. An omnivorous reader, he enjoys nonfiction of all kinds (even almanacs) as well as fiction in every genre. He is always on the lookout for amazing children’s books to feed his daughter’s mind.
Phyllis J. Perry is an author of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry for children and adults. A graduate of the University of California, Phyllis holds a B.A. in English, a Master’s of Arts Degree from California State College at San Francisco, and a doctorate from the University of Colorado. She taught in elementary schools and junior colleges in California and was for many years a teacher and administrator in the public schools of Boulder, Colorado. She now devotes herself full time to writing and making school visits. Perry is the author of more than sevety books. Among the most recent titles are: It Happened in Rocky Mountain National Park, Images of America: Rocky Mountain National Park, and The Field Guide to Ocean Animals. She currently resides in Boulder and invites you to visit her website at http://phyllisperry.home.att.net.
Jodie Peters has been an Instructional Literacy Coach in Alexandria, VA for the past eight years. She currently coaches and provides staff development to teachers at Francis Hammond Middle School and teachers across Alexandria City Public School. Her deepest interests lie with boys and literacy, as the co-founder of Club B.I.L.I., Boys in Literacy Initiative at Hammond for the past six years. She presents locally and nationally on the great need for systems to continue to speak to male literacy across alll school levels. In her spare time she enjoys reading non-fiction, staying fit, and cooking
Joella Peterson is a Graduate Assistant in the Center for Children’s Books at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She will graduate from UIUC with her MLIS in May of 2007. Joella worked for three years as a children’s librarian in Provo, Utah. She has earned a B.A. in English from Brigham Young University. Joella enjoys crocheting, storytelling, cooking, and bicycling.
Nicole Peterson resides in Arlington, Virginia. She is the Director of Finance, Events & Membership for the Association for Enterprise Integration. She has a B.A. in Communications Studies and Geography from Brigham Young University and an MA in Organizational Management from George Washington University. She was a teaching assistant at Brigham Young for 4 years. Nicole has extensive computer knowledge, is a co-author of two books and is fluent in Portuguese. In her free time she enjoys traveling, photography and quilting. She is the oldest of eight children.
Jeanne K. Pettenati has been reviewing children’s books for eight years. In 2002 Jeanne signed a contract with Charlesbridge Publishing for her first children’s book. Her nonfiction picture book will be published in 2006. Jeanne is an adoptive parent. She is the mother of two elementary school children, who share her enthusiasm for children’s books. Jeanne is an elementary school volunteer and second grade girls’ soccer coach. She has a Master’s degree in Italian Literature from Catholic University in Washington D.C., and a J.D. from the New England School of Law in Boston, Massachusetts. Prior to reviewing children’s books, Jeanne worked as an attorney, a policy analyst on publishing issues, and a freelance writer for newspapers, magazines, and newsletters. She and her husband, daughter and son live in Bethesda, Maryland.
Ann Phillips received a Master’s degree in Russian Literature from Harvard University, taught college literature and writing courses, and has published cartoons and articles. She also has a Master’s degree in Counseling and practiced as a therapist for 15 years. Her interest in introducing children to the natural world emerged during the years that she volunteered as a public educator in the Reptile Discovery Center of the National Zoo. She currently writes middle-grade and young adult fiction
Tamra Pica is currently a graduate student working towards a Master’s Degree in Children’s Literature at Hollins University. She spent most of her adult live working in television and film. She has worked in writer’s offices in New York and Los Angeles and major studios, including NBC, FOX, ABC, and TBS as a producer and development executive. After a four year break from the entertainment industry, during which time Tamra worked as an elementary school teacher and wrote a monthly newsletter about children’s literature for parents and educators, Tamra now works in casting. She manages a database of over 140,000 actors for www.nowcasting.com, where she is the Vice President of the Player’s Directory Online division. Her true passion, however, remains with children’s literature.
Norah Piehl has written articles and book reviews for numerous print and online sources, including Brain, Child, Literary Mama, Publishers Weekly, Skirt!, and The Horn Book. Norah is a former children’s bookseller, responsible for compiling a monthly list of recommended books to distribute to customers. While completing the coursework for her Master’s degree in English from the University of Illinois, Norah wrote extensively on the history and criticism of children’s and young adult literature. After working in the publishing industry for several years, Norah is now pleased to be a freelance writer, editor, and mother.
Sue Poduska writes middle grade fiction and nonfiction and is active in the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI). As yet unpublished, her current project is Megan’s Solution, a novel about a twelve-year-old math geek. Sue received a B.A. in social work from the University of Iowa and a B.S. in mathematics from Buena Vista University. Having grown up in the Midwest, she now lives in Maryland with her husband. Her two grown children live close by with their families. She was a stay-at-home mom and student for ten years and an actuarial consultant for over twenty years.
Wendy Pollock-Gilson is a librarian and teacher who currently resides in New Jersey. She received her Masters in Library Science with a specialty in Youth Services from Rutgers University. She worked as a children’s librarian in the Jefferson Township Public Library and is now an elementary school media specialist at the Normandy Park School in Morristown, NJ.
Dr. Enid Portnoy is a retired Associate Professor of Communication Studies and Gerontology with degrees from Northwestern University and West Virginia University. She is a popular program presenter, actress, and director. In college she worked with Children’s Theatre productions, and enjoys sharing literature with her own adult women’s book group, and four grandchildren. She taught Creative Drama/Dance for children, and currently ushers for concerts and theatre productions. She is an Oasis teacher and tutor, and the author of Make Their Day, encouraging communication activities with and for senior citizens. She also works with medical students and professionals to improve their communication skills. Enid is a creative writer and an enthusiastic advocate for reading aloud from literature.
Mary Quattlebaum is the author of 15 children’s novels, picture books, and books of poetry, including Jackson Jones and the Puddle of Thorns (Marguerite de Angeli Prize, Parenting Reading Magic Award) and Sparks Fly High, a lively re-telling of a Colonial American folktale. Family Reunion features 15 poems in various forms (sonnet, haiku, villanelle, free verse) to help expand young people’s experiences with poetry. Mary writes frequently for the Washington Post, covering events and programs of special interest to families. Her children’s book reviews for Washington Parent have received several gold and bronze medals from Parenting Publications of America.
Leslie Greaves Radloff has been a teacher/ librarian in both parochial and public schools for over thirty years. She has written reviews and articles about children’s literature for a variety of publications and also curriculum and teachers’ guides for history projects. Interests include reading, particularly historical fiction, history and poetry for both children and adults. Other interests include music (singing with two choral groups and solo), cooking and travel. When not reading or singing she can be found at concert halls, museums, or at the perfect campsite…generally with a book in hand. Or, when there is a solar eclipse long enough to savor, she and her husband can be found traveling to view that spectacular sight. She and husband, Max, a profession pianist, live in one of the Twin Cities suburbs of Minnesota with two Himalayan cats, St. Cecelia and Lucia de.
Candice Ransom explains, “My love of children’s books has led me on adventures beyond my wildest childhood dreams. I am the author of 70 books, including picture books, fiction for all ages, nonfiction, biographies, and even the Boxcar Children series. Through my work, I have traveled back in time, relived my own past (and fixed the awful parts!), and explored every corner of my home state. I wouldn’t trade my life with anyone else’s!” Some of her books include The Promise Quilt, Danger at Sand Cave, and One Christmas Dawn.
Sue Reichard is a 7th grade reading teacher who is currently pursuing her Master’s Degree in Library Science and Technology. She has been a reviewer for 7 years and writes a column on writing for children at Suite 101.com. She loves children’s literature and is currently working on several books herself. She lives in beautiful Bradford County Pennsylvania with her husband and four cats. Her four children are grown, thankfully, and working on their own futures.
Joyce Rice is a retired media specialist with experience in the classroom and the library. Her 22 years of library experience includes public and private schools, public libraries, 2 year and 4 year colleges, and two special state libraries. Joyce received a B.S. from Troy State University in English Education and then obtained a Master’s in Education/Library Science from Auburn University. Among her major accomplishments are the initiation of Internet service at a community college; participating in start up programs for state libraries; automation of 2 middle school libraries on a minimal budget, and success at obtaining multiple grants for library related projects. Joyce is a member of local and state library organizations, and continues to be active in her profession through book reviews and her own personal writing projects.
Vanessa A. Richardson, originally from Colombia, South America, received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Illustration from the University of the Arts in 1996. She then did a year toward her Master’s in Art Education with a concentration in Art Therapy and teacher-assisted and taught in inner-city Philadelphia middle schools and Senior Centers shortly thereafter. Vanessa moved south to Miami to be closer to her father and began working in the television industry for several years. Following in the “family business” of Post Production for television, Vanessa has worked on Television Production and in Post in both Miami and the Washington, DC area. A Member of the SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators) since 1999, Vanessa continues to show her work at Galleries, paint murals, illustrate for various small publications and is creating a new line of children’s clothing. She is also the mother of a two year old son and has been concentrating on her Illustration and Voiceover career, as well as Motherhood – fueled by passion and love for her family and her art -for the past few years.
Barbara Roberts is a columnist who resides in Baltimore, Maryland. She received a B.A. in English from Oakland University. In the past she has worked as a medical records supervisor at a hospital, a secretary at a school for children with learning disabilities, and a sales associate. Her writing has been published by the Jewish Press, Advance Magazine, and Horizons Magazine, among others.
Barbara Carroll Roberts spent 15 years as a marketing writer before leaving the full-time workforce to be home with her children. That’s when she developed her abiding love for children’s books. She holds a degree in English from Occidental College and enjoys having the chance to finally use what she learned in college in her reviews for Children’s Literature. One of her short stories, Justin’s Buddy, recently won a Magazine Merit Award from the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. She’s presently at work on a middle-grade biography of Eleonora Randolph Sears, a sports star during the early 1900s.
Rosa Roberts is a sixth grade Language Arts teacher at Discovery Canyon Campus in Colorado Springs, Colorado. She has taught both English and reading in the secondary level for over thirteen years. She is an avid reader who enjoys bringing new and engaging literature to the classroom. She is currently pursuing a library information science degree and has a master’s degree as a reading specialist.
Paula Rohrlick received her MLS degreee from McGill University in 1979, and she is currently the Library Director and Upper School Librarian at The Fessenden School, a K-9 independent school for boys, in West Newton, MA. Paula was for many years an editor and reviewer for KLIATT magazine, which reviewed materials for young adults, and she also worked for the consumer group Action for Children’s Television as Research Director and at the Boston Public Library as a Reader and Information Services Librarian.
Greg M. Romaneck is the District Director of Human Resources in Batavia School District #101 in Batavia, Illinois. He was the principal of Wallace K-6 Elementary School in Sterling, IL, assistant principal at Kendall Alternative School, adjunct professor of special education at Elmhurst College, and Director of Special Education in DeKalb, IL. Greg is also a writer with numerous articles and six books to his credit. He holds a B.A. in history and German from Elmhurst College, a M.A. and C.A.S. in European and Russian history, and a M.S.Ed. in special education with K-12 certification in LD, BD, EMH, and supervision and approval as a vocational coordinator and director. Greg received his M.S.Ed. in educational administration and a Ed.S. in curriculum and supervision with cognate fields in special education and counseling from Northern Illinois University. Greg’s most recent publications feature two volumes of poetry, a Civil War novel, and a backpacker’s guidebook for Isle Royale National Park. Greg resides with his wife, Jane, and their three children in DeKalb, IL.
Debra Rook teaches English and creative writing to middle and high school students at Northeast Academy for Aerospace and Advanced Technologies in rural Northeast North Carolina. With sixteen years of classroom experience, she loves connecting students to books. Debra is an avid reader and writer of all genres of children’s literature. She is currently finishing her MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults at Vermont College of Fine Arts.
Janet Rose has worked as the library media specialist at the Colorado School for the Deaf and the Blind for 27 years. Before that she taught science and math to blind middle and high school students for eight years at the same school. Besides reading she enjoys bicycling, hiking, skiing, camping, and traveling. She has been to all 50 states plus a variety of countries including China, Australia, Vietnam, Ecuador, Thailand, Nigargua, France, Germany, and Greece. Janet recently retired as a librarian and now leads volunteer trips around the world for Global Volunteers and volunteers herself building trails, being a ranger for the BLM, and various other community projects.
Amie Rose Rotruck holds a B.S. in electrical engineering and a B.A. in English writing for children from the University of Pittsburgh and a Master’s Degree in Children’s Literature from Hollins University. She has worked professionally as an engineer and instructed courses in adult writing for children. A member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and the International Association of the Fantastic in the Arts, Amie enjoys sewing, hiking, mountain biking, and Renaissance Faires. She also volunteers for Greyhound Rescue and sings in the Montgomery Women’s Chorus.
Leslie Rounds, a Massachusetts native, spent the first 25 years of her adult life as a Navy wife, moving from place to place. After beginning a career as a children’s librarian in 1997 in St. Mary’s County, Maryland, she obtained a Master of Library Science degree from Southern Connecticut State University. In 2004 she became Assistant Director and Head of Youth Services at the Wells Public Library in Wells, Maine, and in 2006, Executive Director of the Dyer Library and Saco Museum in Saco, Maine. She is a member of Maine’s Cream of the Crop Committee, sharing responsibility with five other librarians for the selection of about one hundred twenty books per year that represent the best new literature for children and young adults. She lives in, and works hard on, a 1762 center chimney cape in Arundel, Maine. Her hobbies are quilting, gardening, knitting, and, of course, reading!.
Dr. Judith L. Rowen is Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, Texas where she is actively engaged in research on infectious diseases in early infancy. In addition to her medical career, she is raising two children, volunteers at her church, and is an avid reader of children’s books. Dr. Rowen wrote a monthly column, “Ask Dr. Judy,” which appeared in several parenting publications and on the Children’s Literature web site.
Laura Ruttig resides in Columbus, Ohio and is currently working on her Masters in Children’s Literature through Hollins University. She obtained her undergraduate degrees from the University of Pittsburgh, in the fields of English Literature and Chemical Engineering. Since becoming employed by Scholastic Box Fairs, she has become particularly addicted to all kinds of children’s books, although she has always been an avid reader.
Donna Sabis-Burns is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Florida, where she also earned a Master’s Degree in elementary education and a B.A. in education. She has published articles for Language Arts, The Gainesville Sun, and North Florida School Days and has worked as a children’s book reviewer for Peachtree Publishers and Hyperion Publishers. She enjoys traveling, reading, computer graphics design, and listening to wide variety of music. She lives in Florida with her husband and three children.
Sharon Salluzzo is a children’s literature specialist who has worked as a children’s librarian, a Children’s Consultant for the Monroe County Library System in New York, and the library grant coordinator for Connecting Resources for Literacy and Kindergarten Success. She has taught children’s literature as a visiting instructor in the Department of Graduate Studies at Nazareth College (NY), and was the associate editor of Choices: A Core Collection for Young Reluctant Readers Vol.3. Sharon has worked extensively as a professional storyteller. She was the storyteller-in-residence for the Language Enriching Research Program at the Norman Howard School. She has told stories at the Rochester Memorial Art Gallery, elementary and high schools, and the Edenderry Primary School in Banbridge, Northern Ireland. Sharon has presented classes and workshops on the art of storytelling to adults and children, and was on the planning committee for the University of Rochester storytelling conference. Sharon is a member of the Children’s Book Guild of Washington DC and Capital Choices.
Ann Sanger retired from teaching in 2003 after 32.75 years in the public schools. She graduated from Appalachian State University in 1971 with a degree in Home Economics. Later, she earned another degree in Early Childhood Education from UNC-Charl tte. In 2001 Ann becme a National Board Certified Teacher in Middle Childhood Generalist. She has two adult children.Her son Kurt is pursuing a career in sales. Her daughter, Kristen is married to Steven, the man of her dreams. They have one child, Brayden, who will be three years old soon.
Elizabeth D. Schafer has a M.A. in children’s literature from Hollins University, where she won the Shirley Henn Memorial Award for Critical Scholarship of Children’s Literature, and is completing her thesis for a M.F.A. in creative writing of children’s literature at Hollins. She also earned a M.A. and Ph.D. in history from Auburn University. Her publications include the essay, “I’m Gonna Glory in Learnin’: Academic Aspirations of African American Characters in Childrenâ’s Literature,” African American Review; several nonfiction books for adults; articles in Cobblestone, Calliope, Odyssey, Footsteps, Faces, and AppleSeeds ; entries in the Cambridge Guide to Children’s Books and other reference books; and literary criticism of children’s and young adult books. She enjoys reading and writing historical fiction, nonfiction, and mysteries and is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, Children’s Literature Network, and the Children’s Literature Association.
Maggie Schrock joined Children’s Literature as a book reviewer in August, 2011. Maggie is first a wife to her husband, Jed, and a mother to two little girls, Norah and Lenah. As an avid reader, she will read anything, but loves reading young adult novels. She feels strongly that this better prepares her for her day job teaching 7th graders. A middle school English teacher since 2005, Maggie gets to work everyday with students with individualized learning needs. Maggie received her Master of Education degree from George Mason University in 2008. It was during that program that she made it her goal in life to find the one “gateway book” that will kindle a love of reading in each of her students.
Jeanna Sciarrotta is a graduate of the College of New Jersey where she majored in English Education with a concentration in young adult literature. She currently resides with her husband in South Jersey where she teaches English at Lenape High School. She has been an avid reader since she can remember and is addicted to young adult literature. One of her favorite parts of teaching is sharing her crazy passion for the genre with her students. She coaches both field hockey and track for the high school.
Amalia Selle grew up in the Green Mountain state of Vermont. She moved to the south to attend Covenant College on Lookout Mountain, Georgia, where she graduated with a degree in middle grades education with concentrations in English and History. Since her graduation, Amalia has remained in the Georgia area teaching seventh grade language arts. She is currently working towards and M.A. in Children’s Literature from Hollins University in Roanoke, Virginia.
Shelly L. Shaffer is a Ph.D. candidate in English at Arizona State University. She holds a Master’s of Education in curriculum and instruction from the University of Phoenix and a B.A. in English from the University of Arizona. She currently teaches middle school English in Arizona for the Mesa Unified School District. She enjoys playing and watching sports, reading, writing, sewing, and volunteering.
Susan R. Shaffner is a first grade teacher in the DuBois School District in Pennsylvania, where her strengths are phonics, puppetry, and children’s theater. She is a 1978 graduate of Houghton College, and has written for the local newspaper, small-circulation magazines, and her classroom. Sue enjoys travel, gardening, and reading. She blogs about teaching, nature, and mountain living on one hundred acres at theshaffners.blogspot.com.
Kirsten Shaw is currently working on a Master’s degree in Library Science and Information Services along with an Education Specialist degree while staying at home with her three young children. She also works as a graduate assistant for the James C. Kirkpatrick Library at the University of Central Missouri. While Kirsten enjoys reading anything, Young Adult fiction is her favorite. She hopes to someday share her love of reading as a high school librarian.
Pat Sherman lives in Cambridge, MA. Her first picture book, The Sun’s Daughter, was publishd by Clarion in 2005. Her second, Ben and the Proclamation of Emancipation, will be release by Eerdman’s in 2009. As well as writing for children, she has worked as a library professional and archivist in a variety of universities and museums.
Judy Silverman is a former children’s librarian, current author and book reviewer living in Chevy Chase, Maryland. Judy is a graduate of Pratt Institute Library School and has a particular interest in Judaica, history, young adult, and science fiction books. She currently volunteers one day a week in her temple library. Judy’s most recent book is Rosie and the Mole.
Jacquie Skurla enjoys living in Barrington, Illinois in the Village of Tower Lakes. Jacquie has taught Elementary and Elementary Gifted classes for twenty-four years in nine states, as well as serving the last five years as a school librarian, renovating and re-imagining the library and its curriculum. She completed graduate studies in School Librarianship in the MLIS program at Rutgers after receiving a BA in Education from UNC at Chapel Hill. Jacquie recently stepped down as a Library Trustee at Rachel Kohl Community Library in Delaware County, PA. to effect a move to Illinois. When not reading, walking in downtown Chicago, or becoming reacquainted with old friends, she loves to paint large canvasses and play with her nine (adorable) grandchildren.
Annie Laura Smith was born in Ocala, Florida, and received a B.S. in education and a Master’s of Education in science and math education from the University of Florida. She has taught at the University of Florida, University of Texas at Dallas, University of Alabama at Huntsville, and the Institute of Children’s Literature. She has published over 185 works, including fiction and nonfiction, curriculum materials for children, inspirational articles, and book reviews. She currently lives in Alabama where she is a member of the Huntsville Literary Association, the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, and the National League of American Pen Women.
Wendy Smith-D’Arezzo is an assistant professor of reading education at Loyola College in Maryland. She teaches children’s literature courses at both the graduate and undergraduate level, as well as courses in reading methods and reading research. She received her PhD in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in reading education from the University of Wyoming. She prefers to read books written at the intermediate level about disability, abuse, adoption and other current issues faced by children in the 2000s. In addition to children’s books, Wendy devours books of all genres written for adults, with a slight preference for mysteries.
Brenda Sowry, as a child, could be found under the dining room table, in a corner behind a living room chair, under a desk or in a closet, reading. She believed she had a passion for reading, but now realizes knowledge is her passion and reading is the path. Reading has enabled her to become a well-rounded individual, developing both the logical and creative sides of her brain. Brenda holds a B.A. from Syracuse University. She feels that “to compete in the 21st century global economy our children will need to be creative, innovative and technologically savvy. Reading stimulates a child’s imagination in a way TV and computer games can’t.” As an advocate for reading, it is Brenda’s mission to make sure that there are quality books to stimulate the imaginations and creativity of today’s children. To this end, she is reviewing children’s books and working as a Virtual Assistant to provide creative entrepreneurs with the administrative help needed to get their books out into the world, via print and/or digital publishing.
Gwynne Spencer is hopelessly in love with children’s books. She owned children’s bookstores in Albuquerque and Santa Fe for many years, has written children’s books, books about children’s books, hundreds of articles for parents to help make reading fashionable, and is now involved in a project to provide signed DVDs of children’s books to parents of deaf babies (Onceuponasign.org). Both her children learned to read before kindergarten from having hundreds of kid books read to them, and she continues to promote the idea that reading isn’t the most important thing…it’s the ONLY thing. Gwynne is the author of What’s Cooking in Children’s Literature, Recipes for Reading, Have Talent Will Travel Guides to Authors, Illustrators and Storytellers who visit Classrooms, and now writes and teaches about children’s books from her secret rebel base in Mancos, Colorado.
Jeannine Stickle has a B.A. in English from Lewis and Clark College and a Masters of Library and Information Science from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, BC. She lives in Portland, Oregon where she works as a Reference Assistant. She has always loved reading more than anything else and loves books for kids of all ages.
Elizabeth Sulock received a B.A. from St. Joseph’s University and an M.A. from Arcadia University-both in English with a concentration in writing; she also studied at L’Universite de Strasbourg, in France. She has worked for an online restaurant review guide, a PR firm, multiple magazines, and as a writer for NFL Films. She lives in Reston, Virginia with her husband Gordon.
Kristy Lyn Sutorius received her B.A. degree in Psychology from Saint Mary’s College and her Certificate in German Languages and Literature from the University of Notre Dame in 2001. She also received a Masters in Library Science from Indiana University in 2005 and a Masters in Children’s Literature from Hollins University in 2006. After teaching English for a year on the Austrian Fulbright Teaching Assistantship, she interned for Dial Books for Young Readers in their Editorial Department. Since January, she has been working as the coordinator of the Children’s Homework Center at the Monroe County Public Library (MCPL) in Bloomington, Indiana. She is currently working on a translation of Renate Welsh’s book, Dieda oder Das fremde Kind. Her interests include translated children’s books and realistic fiction.
Elizabeth Swartz has undergraduate degrees in Elementary Education and Library Science from Marywood University. She holds a Master’s Degree in Reading Education and an MFA in Writing from VCFA. She taught in elementary classrooms for several years, served as a Reading Specialist and then as the Elementary Librarian in two different schools. For eleven years, she wrote the columns, Green Pages and Parent Connection for the magazine Teaching PreK-8. She served on the advisory board of Time for Kids and has written for the educational markets for Essential Learning Products and Words & Numbers. She is active in SCBWI and is working on several freelance projects.
Barbara L. Talcroft holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Carnegie-Mellon University, an M.Ed., and an M.A. in International Children’s Literature from Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio. She has studied children’s literature with Dr. Mary Lou White in a number of international study tours to Canada, England, and European countries. Ms. Talcroft has worked extensively in the classroom with children and books as well as teaching children’s literature at Wright State and at Antioch University in Ohio. She has reviewed international children’s books for several journals, given presentations and in-service workshops on writing and children’s literature, and is the author of Death of the Corn King (Scarecrow Press, 1995), a study of themes in the work of noted British writer, Rosemary Sutcliff. Ms. Talcroft now lives in Sonoma County, California, where she continues to pursue her interest in history and the arts, and to write, edit, do research, and review children’s books.
Pat Trattles is a children’s writer and has published two books for beginning readers; Flying Butter, from Children’s Press, and Emperor Penguins, from Lerner Publications, as well as several magazine articles for various children’s magazines. She is currently hard at work putting the finishing touches on a book tentatively titled. Blue Stars, Junk Drives, Gardens and More: Voices of America’s Children during World War II. Pat graduated from Michigan State University with a BS in Social Science, and a Master’s Degree in Labor and Industrial Relations. She worked in the Human Resources field for several years before becoming fed up with corporate America and “retiring” to spend more time with her family. Since leaving the rat race she has at various times worked as an Avon lady, teachers’ aide, and editing and publishing a monthly neighborhood newsletter. She also did software reviews for a now defunct children’s educational software review company. She currently works at the public library in Holland, Michigan in the children’s department where she is constantly surrounded by her passion – books.
Leila J. Toledo is a former children’s bookseller and owner of a children’s book business, Bucket of Books. She was the first African American woman to run for mayor in Norwalk, CT. Her platform included the goal of forming a working relationship with educational institutions to insure that Norwalk children were prepared for 21st century challenges. She recently relocated to Miami and has published her first children’s book, Little Peter and Sela.
Rebecca Tolley-Stokes is an academic librarian and associate professor at East Tennessee State University. Her MLIS is from University of North Carolina at Greensboro and she has a BS in Studio Art and an MA in History from ETSU. She has worked in public, academic, and special libraries in every capacity except as a systems administrator. She spent her childhood reading books and volunteering in the children’s collection at her public library. She is eternally grateful to Dolly Parton for giving books to Tennessee’s children, one of whom is her almost-two-year old daughter, Elsa.
Candice M. Tucker is an alumnus of the University of Michigan for her Bachelor’s degree and Eastern Michigan University for her Master’s degree in Children’s Literature. For over a decade she has taught for the University of Phoenix in general education and humanities, and for seventeen years she has instructed part time at Jackson College. She also teaches for the Prison Education Initiative in the English and Communications departments. She has been married for over 20 years and has 4 children.
Nicola Turner holds a Master’s Degree in education from the University of Tennessee and a B.A. in social anthropology from the University of London. She currently teaches fifth and sixth grade in the Minnesota public school system and has also taught in Tennessee, Poland, and England. She speaks Mandarin Chinese and French and lives in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Shae Uden is passionate about children’s literature. As a child, she devoured every available book in the tiny children’s section in her hometown Mississippi library. She secretly hoped that it would rain at recess, so that she could stay inside to read. She especially remembers the excitement of discovering Little House on the Prairie and Anne of Green Gables. After many recesses spent reading, she obtained a Bachelors in Psychology and English and a Masters of Science in Nursing. After working as a nurse practitioner in neonatal and pediatric critical care in Nashville, Tennessee, she became a mother and began her greatest life work—instilling a passion for reading in her three children.
Ashleigh Vanada received a B.A. in English from Gordon College in Wenham, Massachusetts. Her love for young adult literature began with an independent study on the topic as an undergraduate and led to her writing book reviews for the KLIATT journal. She currently works as a catalog copywriter for a book distributor. She enjoys reading memoirs, discussing best-selling fiction with her community book club, and writing. She and her husband live outside Boston.
Jennifer Waldrop graduated from George Mason University with a B.A. in English. At George Mason she was on the staff of the Broadside, the university’s student-run newspaper. She was a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars and has served as an intern at Preemie Magazine. She lives in Annandale, Virginia.
Paul Walter has been working as a seventh-grade English and reading teacher in Slinger, Wisconsin for the past seven years. After earning an educational B.A. from the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh and an educational M.A. through Marian College of Fond du Lac, Paul enrolled in a creative writing masters certificate program through the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh. An avid writer of poetry, Paul often writes along with his middle school students, proving, “Those who can, teach.” With a two-year-old daughter and infant twin sons, Paul has recently shifted his literary focus to children’s books, sharing his love of books with his young children.
Jill Walton has always preferred reading to any other exercise. A graduate of St. Edwards University in Austin with a degree in English Studies along with graduate work in education from Texas State University, she lives with her husband on a ranch in central Texas. She is retired from teaching American Literature, British Literature and Reading, and she still prefers to read for exercise. Fascinated for decades by authors and their books for children and young adults, she will use any excuse to be current in the literary world and will travel many miles to listen to authors, acquire autographs, and collect books.
Sarah Webb holds a B.A. in Spanish and an M.S. in Information Science from the University of Tennessee, as well as an M.A. from Hollins University. During her studies, she worked at the Center for Children’s and Young Adult Literature where she reviewed everything from board books to young adult novels. She has had the honor of presenting both her critical research and creative work at conferences. In 2015, her thesis manuscript won the Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Award. She is currently at work on a young adult novel.
Ellen Welty is an academic librarian whose subject expertise is in children’s literature despite her B.A. in Spanish and a Master’s of Library Science. She really wanted to be a children’s librarian, but her first job was in academia and she has discovered that it is possible to read all the children’s books that she wants to while being an academic librarian! She has worked at the Polytechnic campus library at Arizona State University since it opened in the fall of 1996. She has reviewed books for The Shy Librarian and KLIATT. In addition to reading children’s books she enjoys riding trains, spending time with family and friends and living in Arizona.
Brandon West is the Online Instruction/Instructional Design Librarian at the State University of New York at Oswego. Aside from developing online teaching initiatives, he is also liaison to the School of Education. He teaches future teachers about teaching resources, including literature for children and young adults. As a former elementary school teacher, Brandon has a strong understanding and respect for children’s literature and its artistic and educational merits. He is particularly interested in examining the portrayal of cultural values embedded in international titles.
Jamie West is currently working on her Master’s Degree in children’s literature from Hollins University. She earned a B.A. in communications with an emphasis on print journalism and public relations from Flagler College. She served as an editor for The Gargoyle, the newspaper at Flagler, and has written articles for a number of magazines, newspapers, and blogs. She currently lives in Roanoke, Virginia.
Barbara Wheatley is an elementary library media specialist for Rappahannock County Public Schools in Virginia. She received her BS in Elementary Education from Mississippi University for Women in 1985, an MEd in Education with a reading emphasis from Wichita State University in 1987, and an MS in Educational Technology with a LMS certification from Indiana State University in 2005. Through the many moves with her Air Force husband, Barbara taught in six school districts as a regular classroom teacher in grades K-4 from one coast of the country to the other. She became the first reading specialist at Rappahannock and helped design the remedial reading program and enhance the school wide reading program. She served as a Technology Leader and interim Technology Specialist for many years. Barbara received her National Educational Technology Standards for Teachers certification (NETS*T) in 2005. Currently, Barbara is the LMS for over 500 PreK-7th graders. Barbara and her husband have taken advantage of the many moves to travel across the country and sightsee with their three daughters. When Barbara isn’t reading or traveling, she spends her free time at her daughters’ athletic and academic events.
Cathi White has a BS in Psychology from Liberty University and a Master’s in Special Education from the University of Phoenix. She is currently a Special Education teacher. She has taught both in a general education setting as well as special education for a total of 22 years. Her hobbies include photography and reading. She collects children’s books such as old readers, children’s classics, and Nancy Drew books. She lives in Waldorf, MD with her husband, who is a pastor. Her married daughter, son-in-law and their dog live nearby.
Summer Whiting is a lover of books and has been since her parents began reading to her at a very young age. She earned a degree in English from Liberty University. She has also completed graduate work at Old Dominion University and Shenandoah University. Currently she teaches third grade, and she hopes to earn a Master’s Degree in Children’s Literature. Her goal is to help young people everywhere discover the joys of literature.
Alison Wilber is an Autism Specialist with Prince George’s County Public Schools in Maryland. Prior to this position, she had been working as a Speech-Language Pathologist in the same county, enjoying each year of a caseload of children with Autism, ranging in age from three through twelve, and worked closely with their families and receiving school teams. She has experience working with children in a range of educational placements, from self-contained special education classrooms to fully inclusive placements. She earned her Master of Speech-Language Pathology degree from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA, and also her B.S. in Health Sciences from the same institution.
Susie Wilde is a book reviewer, commentator and teacher who lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English and a master’s of education in reading from Tulane. Susie reads widely, writes book reviews for eight publications and has been a commentator for WUNC. Her current interest has expanded to reviewing children’s multimedia and software. She has contributed extensively to the Children’s Literature database.
Danielle Williams is the Periodicals Library at the University of Evansville in Evansville, Indiana. She has a Bachelor’s of Art degree in History from Oklahoma State University and received her Masters in Library Science from the University of Missouri, Columbia. Danielle enjoys reading every chance she gets and has been known to read any type of publication set in front of her, no matter the topic. She has been a reviewer for Children’s literature since 2001.
Jessica Williams has been a writer for over two-thirds of her life. She started writing at age ten when she fell in love with poetry, then later continued on to receive a B.A. in English from Western Carolina University. She has worked in fields surrounding Early Childhood Development and family health in various positions, from preschool teacher to social worker for a local non-profit. She is currently a wife and stay-at-home-mom, caring for her one-year-old, and is an active member in her local community of Hiram, Georgia.
Jill K. Woodward has a Master’s degree in Slavic Languages and Literatures from the University of Chicago. After five years of teaching English as a Second Language in adult literacy programs and community college, she stopped working to raise her three sons, two of whom are now teenagers and one of whom is in elementary school. She has been successfully painting children’s portraits for commission for the past four years, and has published work in children’s illustration in years prior to that. She is still happily married to the same man she’s been with for 22 years, and lives in Baltimore.
Charles Wyman is a retired computer systems analyst for the U.S. Senate. In addition to his interest in computer technology, Charlie has traveled extensively around the world and lived for more than 10 years in the Far East. He enjoys reading books pertaining to that part of the world and biographies. A graduate of Carleton College and the University of Illinois, Charlie has a bachelor’s and a master’s in physics.
Della A. Yannuzzi earned her B.A. Degree from Kean College in Union, NJ. She majored in Early Childhood Education. She enjoys traveling, reading history and biographies, nature, gardening, and hiking. Della has written several books and numerous articles for magazines. She describes herself as a dedicated reader, writer, and preschool teacher. She has been a member of a writers’ critique group for fourteen years. Scholastic published her book,Gregor Mendel – Genetics Pioneer. Her most recent book on Marie Curie is due out in September 2006 by Morgan Reynolds.
Elizabeth Young is a Technical Services librarian at SUNY Oswego. She also works as a reference librarian at Liverpool Public Library, Liverpool, NY. Elizabeth has been a substitute teacher while her children were in elementary school and is glad to be in a library full time. She teaches the Picture Book library component to a Children’s Literature class offered at SUNY Oswego. Elizabeth lives in Phoenix, NY with their family, including three cats and a misbehaving dog.
Deborah Zink is an award-winning freelance writer who specializes in children’s literature. She teaches elementary school in Taylor County, Florida, and continues to reviews children’s books. She has been Special Projects Editor for WorldCity Business Newspaper and the managing editor of South Florida Parenting Magazine. Deborah recently opted to relocate from the frenetic pace of Miami, and now resides in Perry, Florida, in a sweet and peaceful cottage nestled in four and a half acres of pine woods. She believes the former owners of the house may have been a kindly family of bears, Papa, Mama and Baby.
Dr. Judith Zorfass has been involved in numerous aspects of children’s literature and reading development for over four decades. Her background spans teaching, publishing, curriculum development, research, and teacher training. She has also authored four books for educational publishers. Early in her career, she was a 3rd grade teacher, a 4th grade reading teacher, a reading specialist, and a special education teacher in public schools. She also taught reading at a private school for the deaf. Later, she worked for an educational publisher contributing to the development of a basal reading series and its accompanying software. Beginning in 1986 at Education Development Center, she directed federally-funded projects that focused on designing instructional materials and studying ways to improve elementary and secondary reading development, with an emphasis on helping teachers succeed with struggling readers. She often led workshops, presented at national conferences, wrote numerous articles, and was the lead author of a book for teachers, Helping Middle School Students to be Active Researchers. Turning her attention to writing for children, she is the author of Bella Lost her Moo, Mortimer Mole’s Wagon, Sign Online, and Our New Neighbors. She received her doctorate in reading and language development from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. However, the aspect of children’s literature that she enjoys the most is reading to her six grandchildren.
Bruce Adelson is the author of 13 books for children and adults about sports and American History, including: William Howe – British General and David Farragut Union Admiral (Chelsea House, 2002); The Composite Guide to Softball (Chelsea House, 2001); Brushing Back Jim Crow The Integration of Minor League Baseball in the American South (University Press of Virginia, 1999); Grand Slam Trivia and Touchdown Trivia (Sports Trivia Series for Children – Lerner Books, 1998); and The Minor League Baseball Book (Macmillan, 1995). Bruce has been a commentator for NPR’s Morning Edition and CBS Radio’s Major League Baseball Game of the Week and editor of The Four Sport Stadium Guide (Random House, 1994). Bruce Adelson’s work has also been published in such publications as: The Washington Post; Atlanta Journal-Constitution; Baseball America; Lingua Franca Magazine; and USA Today’s Baseball Weekly. Bruce is a lawyer and lives in Maryland with his wife and son.
Anamaria Anderson has an MA in Romance Languages and Literature from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Her doctoral dissertation had to do with the retelling of stories. She has taken courses in children’s literature from Vermont College and Anastasia Suen, and has read widely within children’s literature.
Andrea Sears Andrews is a graduate from Bucknell University with a Masters degree in Reading Development from George Washington University. Reading children’s literature has always been a passion; she is grateful to have three young daughters with whom to share it. Andrea teaches pre-kindergarten and volunteers at her church and daughters’ school. Her favorite thing to do is to curl up with a good book (and a daughter!) and get lost in a great story
Samita Arora is a Children’s Library Associate at Morrisson-Reeves Library in Richmond, Indiana. She graduated from George Mason University with a degree in psychology, and then obtained certificates in early childhood and early childhood special education from Wichita State University. Samita has taught early childhood and early childhood special education for five years. Several of her teaching ideas have been accepted by The Mailbox magazine. Samita is very interested in incorporating literature into the school curriculum and is currently pursuing a master’s. She has a particular interest in craft and holiday books.
Marilyn Bagel is a book author, freelance feature and script writer, and advertising copywriter residing in Bethesda, Maryland. A graduate of the University of Maryland, she completed her bachelor’s degree in education with honors. Marilyn and her daughter are avid readers of children’s books, and particularly enjoy those with humor and beautiful illustrations.
Elizabeth Bagg is a retired school and public librarian who lives in Gaithersburg, Maryland. Betty, as she is known, enjoys both poetry and nonfiction and has reviewed for other well known children’s publications. She majored in English literature and also has a master’s degree in library science from the University of Pennsylvania.
Marianne Baker is an assistant professor in reading education at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, VA. She teaches children’s and adolescent literature as well as literacy acquisition courses and graduate courses in reading. Marianne is a member of both Virginia Readers Choice and Capitol Choices: Noteworty Books for Children.
Jan Barley earned a bachelor of science in journalism degree from Bowling Green State University. After working as women’s editor of a daily newspaper, she served as an information services officer in the USAF. She continued her career as a self-employed writer and editor and is author of the book Winter in July: Visits with Children’s Authors Down Under. She has always loved children’s books and has gone on a number of international Story Tours where she has met many children’s authors and visited sites connected with their books. She has two young grandchildren who give her a good “reason” to buy children’s books.
Betsy Barnett is a Media Specialist and coach in the Eads, Colorado school system. Betsy’s responsibilities on the job are many and varied as she heads up two libraries, is the Rocky Mountain regional coordinator for the International Reading Association’s (IRA) Teacher’s Choices Project, and coaches Junior High and High School girls sports. She is also the sports reporter for her community newspaper and writes a book review column for the newspaper twice a month. Betsy has recently begun reviewing children’s literature and has been published in The Reading Teacher, Colorado Libraries, and The School Library Journal among other publications. She is also a member of the Kiowa County (CO) Historical Society as well as the Colorado Historical Society and is planning a collaborative project between her community school, library, and museum to digitize historical artifacts and documents within their holdings. Barnett is married and has four children.
Judith A. Bean taught middle school English for 31 years. She started an enhanced program at her Colorado middle school, adding books to the curriculum that students would want to read – not just pretend to read. Her favorites were Freak the Mighty, Brian’s Winter, Shadowmaker. Out of the Dust, I Know What You Did Last Summer, and The Fear Place. Like most middle school students, she enjoys realistic fiction the most; however, she has read much about World War II and the Holocaust. She also reads and writes poetry, and in recent years, she has become very interested in wildlife. She is a birdwatcher and nature lover.
Jessica E. Becker lives in Columbus, Ohio. She has a B.A. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is fluent in French and German and completed a year abroad at the University of Aix-en-Province and another at Kaiser Wilhelm Gymnasium. Jessica has extensive community experience including facilitating hands-on workshops for children in schools throughout Columbus, creating an environment-education program for elementary school classes and volunteering for Habitat for Humanity. She is a photographer and has exhibited a collection of her personal travel photographs in Gallery 997 in Columbus. Her vast multi-cultural experience includes extensive travel to Europe, North Africa, the Middle East, Mexico and Central America.
Shiela Barry is the coordinator of the after-school program at Crossway Community in Kensington, Maryland. A certified elementary teacher with a Bachelor of Science in Teaching from Mankato State University, she has taught third grade and continues to work closely with children outside of the classroom.
Mary Blandin Bauer has been published in the Washington Post, the School Library Journal, and in Selecting Materials for Children with Special Needs. Mary has worked as a trainer and consultant to writers, parents and library systems. She participated in the Community Relations Advisory Committee, increasing understanding within diverse population, and has been the recipient of two National Association of Counties awards. Mary has facilitated state-wide training conferences and problem-solving meetings for public and university libraries. She also worked in the Library of Congress, Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped in Washington, D.C.
Yumiko Bendlin teaches at a private Japanese High School in New York. Her specialty is ESL classes for grades 9-11 and employs a literature based curriculum. A graduate of Colorado University with a degree in teaching she had an opportunity to take classes in children’s literature ranging from picture books to young adult novels. Fluent in Japanese, Yumiko has read numerous books by Japanese/American authors as well as those from and about other Asian cultures.
Seth Berg is an elementary school teacher living in Colorado. He received his Undergraduate and Masters degrees from the University of Northern Colorado, and currently instructs children in history, math and english. A fan of fantasy books, he prefers an imaginative book to a cutsey one.
Jennifer Chambliss Bertman received an MFA in Creative Writing from Saint Mary’s College in Moraga, CA. She worked as a production editor for McGraw Hill Higher Education and taught writing at Front Range Community College. Currently, she works as a freelance editor and writer and as a subsitute teacher. She has been a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators since 1999 and currently volunteers her time as the local speaker coordinator in the rocky mountain region. Jennifer is currently working on a YA novel and lives in Colorado.
Verónica E. Betancourt is currently an editorial assistant for National Geographic Children’s Books, otherwise she is a student at Swarthmore College who is active as a peer editor in the Writing Associate Program. In the summer of 2003, she enjoyed the opportunity to read over 100 submissions for the Young People’s Literature category of the National Book Award. Besides being an avid reader, she is also a lover of language, and fluent in Spanish.
Renee Biermann holds a B.A. in English from the University of Iowa. She worked at National Geographic School Publishing/Hampton-Brown Publishing in Chicago for six years, where she specialized in creating core and ancillary products for PreK-12 ESL/ELA state adoptions. She is currently working from her home office in Iowa as a freelance editor. Just out of college, she worked in the Children’s and School & Library departments at Powell’s Books in Oregon, where she fell in love with children’s literature. While she has had her own poetry and stories published, her true passion is reading the works of others. She is an active member of the International Reading Association and the Iowa Reading Association.
Kit Bloom has worked in the field of children’s literature since 1986. Kit began her career at Carroll County Public Library presenting storytimes for pre-schoolers. Earing an MLS in 1990, Kit has worked for several Maryland county systems as a children’s librarian, Kit’s favorite job was being the children’s librarian for the Maryland State Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped. In addition, Kit has been a free lance storyteller since 1991; she’s given hundreds of storytelling performances throughout the state of Maryland. Her audiences ranged in age from 9 months to 101 years! Kit presently lives in the historic village of Uniontown, Maryland with her family. Two teenagers, a husband, two cats and a dog make up her household.
Marnie Boren graduated from the University of New Mexico in 1999 with a BS in Education with a dual license in Special Education. It is now her fourth year of teaching. Melanie teaches 5th grade students in the special education department. Now working on her first children’s book Melanie has been taking courses relating to children’s books and their illustrations.
Ellen Braaf , MS, free-lance writer, educator, children’s book reviewer, has published juvenile and adult fiction, nonfiction, and humor. A frequent contributor and columnist for ASK (Arts and Sciences for Kids) published by the Cricket Group in partnership with “Smithsonian Magazine,” she serves as Mid-Atlantic Regional Advisor for the society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. Ellen teaches for The Writer’s Center in Bethesda, MD, and serves on its Board of Directors.
Janet Braccio received her Masters in Secondary Education from Colorado University in Boulder. Her main reviewing interest lies with YA books.
Darcy Bradley teaches Children’s Literature courses at Western Washington University located in Bellingham.
Gwendolyn Bradley is a current Doctoral Candidate in English at Rutgers University in New Jersey. Holding degrees from Bryn Mawr College and Temple University, she has planned and taught several courses on writing and has also written questions for standardized tests. She currently resides in Bethesda, Maryland.
Ellen R. Braaf has published fiction, nonfiction, and humor for juveniles and adults. She holds a BS in Bacteriology, an MS in Biology, and is a columnist and feature writer for ASK(Arts and Sciences for Kids), published by the Cricket Group and Smithsonian Magazine. Ellen is the advisor for the Mid-Atlantic Region of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. She is an instructor for the Writer’s Center in Bethesda, Maryland where she serves on their Board of Directors and co-chairs Northern Virginia Writers, a special committee of the Writer’s Center. Ellen also teaches for Fairfax County Public Schools (ACE).
Debra Briatico is a stay-at-home mother of twin boys. She has a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and a masters degree in Gifted and Talented Education, both from the University of Connecticut. She has worked as a nursery school teacher, network director, newsletter editor and writer, book editor, freelance writer and proofreader, and newsletter designer.
Kearsley Briggs is a freelance editor with over fifteen years of experience in editing and production. She has provided editorial services to magazine and book publishers, nonprofit organizations, government and private industry. Much of her editorial work has been in high technology disciplines. Early in her career, she worked for the Peace Corps as a staff assistant for training. Kim has a bachelor’s in sociology from Wheaton College, a certificate from the Publication Specialist Program at George Washington University and has participated in the Graphics Arts Management Program at Northeastern University.
Andrea Brott is an attorney and poet and enjoys reviewing children’s poetry. Andrea obtained an undergraduate degree in Jewish studies from Harvard and then went to New York University where she studied law. She currently works as a civil rights attorney and shares child rearing responsibilities with Armin Brott.
Melissa A. Brown has been teaching high school English for the last fourteen years. She earned her BA in English from Virginia Intermont College and recently her M Ed. with a certificate in School Library Media from Longwood University. Her two favorite books to teach remain Animal Farm by George Orwell and That Was Then, This is Now by S.E. Hinton. Mrs. Brown is the mother of Taylor who loves Froggy and Bernstain Bears (this week).
Bonnie Bruneau has been writing her whole life, putting much effort into developing her writing career. Not only does she enjoy writing but reading as well. Her expertise includes the following areas: poetry, horror, children’s books, autobiographies, short stories, and how-to books. Bonnie’s poems have appeared in two compilations Dusting Off Dreams Volume VII and Last Good-Byes.
Armin Brott is a writer and father of two children. Among his most recent publications are The Expectant Father: Facts, Tips, and Advice for Dads To Be, The New Father: A Dad’s Guide to the First Year, and A Dad’s Guide to the Toddler Years. Armin is a graduate of San Francisco State and also has an MBA from the American Graduate School of International Management. The New Father: A Dad’s Guide to the First Year was recently named one of the best parenting books of 1997 by Child Magazine.
Donna T. Brumby is a Materials Selection Specialist for Gwinnett County Public Library. In this capacity she selects juvenile materials (books, videos, spoken word, and music CDs and cassettes) for the Easy, Juvenile, and Teen collections of the nine-branch system. Children’s and young adult authors and illustrators Donna particularly enjoys include William Sleator, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Lewis Carroll, Cynthia Rylant, and Barry Moser. Donna received a master’s in librarianship from Emory University, a master’s in education for middle grades language arts from Brenau University, and a Bachelor of Arts in communications from Shorter College, where she graduated magna cum laude.
Debby Buchanan is the author of several award winning books including This House Is Made of Mud which is a Reading Rainbow selection, Lizards on the Wall, and It Rained on the Desert Today. She spends her time writing and talking to students in elementary schools. Debby and her family currently reside in a house built of redwood in the forest area of Ranier, Oregon, a small town on the Columbia River.
Michelle Negron Bueno holds a B.A. in Anthropology, and M.A. in Religion and is working on her M.F.A. in Children’s Literature at Hollins University. She was born in Spain and lived there as a teenager. She has lived in El Salvador since 1996, working as the Publications Director of a community development organization. Her children, Jack, and twins, Ela and Grey, were born in El Salvador and are beginning readers in both Spanish and English. Michelle is currently working on a novel for middle grade readers.
Barbara Allen Burke is a freelance writer who earned a B.A. in English and an M.A. in Counseling Psychology from Lewis and Clark College. While working as a community college counselor, she also taught introductory writing. She has written a middle grades novel. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, and volunteers to provide Art Literacy at the elementary school level.
Adjoa Burrowes has illustrated 17 books for children including My Steps, a Child magazine Best Book of the Year. She is the author and illustrator of three picture books including Grandma’s Purple Flowers, winner of the Paterson Prize for Books for Young People and the recipient of two state awards. Adjoa is a graduate of Howard University’s College of Fine Arts and currently resides in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area
- Darren Butler has published hundreds of reviews, stories, poems, and articles. He has managed a publishing company, Pyx Press, since 1990. Magic Realism Magazine, Pyx Press’ flagship serial, was ranked as the seventh best in the short-fiction market in North America on the recent Writer’s Digest “Fiction 50” list. Since 1984, he has taught karate and jujitsu to thousands of children and adults. His other special areas of interest include folklore, myths, psychology, history, fantasy, science fiction, dark fantasy, and children’s literature.
Dori H. Butler is a children’s author with eight books published, the most recent of which is The Great Tooth Fairy Rip-Off. In addition, she has written numerous magazine stories and articles and prepares a monthly book review column for her local newspaper. Dori is a member of the Iowa Teen List committee and enjoys reviewing and selecting books for this age group.
Ellen Butts is a writer who teams with Joyce Schwartz to write nonfiction books. Ellen has worked for a major New York publishing house as well as with a Washington-based literary agency and now serves as a part-time librarian in the Montgomery County system. She lives in Chevy Chase MD and with her writing partner has produced three books including May Chinn: The Best Medicine, Eugenie Clark: Adventures of a Shark Scientist and Carl Sagan. Ellen is a member of the Children’s Book Guild of Washington, DC.
Kara Byrne has been an elementary and middle school teacher, with experiences from remedial through gifted instruction. She is currently pursuing her M.A. in English and beginning a career as a college professor. She has enjoyed reading since childhood. Among her favorite books are Tuck Everlasting, Dandelion Wine, Jane Eyre, and The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle. Treasured authors include Joan Aiken, Natalie Babbitt, Charles Dickens, Langston Hughes, and Jan Karon. Her favorite books are those that include a theme of overcoming odds, and she loves a happy ending! She considers writing for children or becoming a children’s librarian some day. Currently, she enjoys a busy but contented life with her husband, two cats, and dog.
Marguerite E. Caines has been in elementary education since 1987. As an elementary teacher, she has taught third through fifth grade students in Montgomery County, Maryland. Aside from teaching students, she has worked as a school-based curriculum support teacher, and as a writer and editor of math assessments. Marguerite is also a freelance curriculum writer and has recently joined Children’s Literature as a book reviewer. She enjoys reading biographies and exposition.
Dr. Judith Campbell is a pediatrician at Baylor College of Medicine and enjoys children’s books as much as her son Matthew. She is particularly interested in Christian children’s books and those by or about African-Americans.
Mary Ann Cappielo received her B.A. in Religion from Haverford College, and her M.A. and Ed.M. in English Education from Teachers College, Columbia Unversity. A doctoral candidate at Teachers College, she has taught both Adolescent Literature and Children’s Literature as an adjunct instructor in New York City. Currently, Mary Ann teaches ninth grade, Creative Writing, and Children’s Literature at Pleaseantville High School in Pleasantville, New York, and is the author of an unpublished young adult historical novel.
Cindy Carolan holds a B.A. in Political Science/International Studies from Luther College and a Master’s Degree in Telecommunications (International) from George Mason University. After spending 7 years working in the legal end of the bustling commercial real estate world in Washington, D.C. she made the decision to become a full time stay at home mom (and has never regretted it). An active church, sports and school volunteer (particularly in libraries), she enjoys traveling, cooking, singing in a band, spending time with outdoors her family and reading.
Laurina Cashin is one of the partners of We Love Childrens Books, a consulting business to the childrens book industry. She has a twenty year history of working with libraries and childrens books, primarily in marketing and collection development. She is an active member of ALA and has served on ALSC committees, including the Newbery Committee. Picture books brought her into the childrens book field, and she is also an avid reader of YA fiction.
Melissa A. Caudill has an Elementary Education teaching credential from the University of New Mexico. She recently moved from California to Colorado.
Joan D. Carris is the author of more than a dozen children’s books and has recently completed a master’s in children’s literature at Hollings College. Joan has always loved books and states that writing them feels natural to her, even though it’s tough work. To her, the best book is a funny one, because “laughing is the healthiest thing you can do.” Joan visits schools often and has also prepared teaching guides to accompany several of her books.
Rosemary Chase has her undergraduate degree in the History of Art from George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia and her Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies (music, film, and anthropology) also from Mason. Her “day job” is University Copyright Officer which keeps her busy giving presentations to faculty, staff and students about copyright issues in higher education: fair use, plagiarism, and file sharing. She has published several articles in a trade journal (In-Plant Graphics) on the topic. She is also a charcoal portrait artist and a former ballet teacher and children’s choreographer. She collects children’s books, mostly for beautiful illustrations, but also for good stories offering life lessons. Her husband, Barry, teaches sixth grade in a GT (gifted and talented) center in Northern Virginia. They hope to write and illustrate a history book for young children in their retirement years. They have five children living in four states, and a golden retriever living at home
Judy Chernak has taught language, music and arts and crafts. In 1988 she was commissioned by The Jewish Publication Society to produce an audio cassette, Five Stories from the Aleph-Bet Story Book and has also produced the K’tonton in Israel Read-Along Book & Cassette Series. Judy has published a book and continues to be interested in books that focus on Judaica, music and religion, although she loves children’s books and reads just about anything.
Diana Arlene Chlebek recieved her Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from Cornell University. She is fluent in French, Polish, and Spanish. She is Associate Professor of Bibliography at the University of Akron Libraries for the areas of literature and language.
Chrissy Christoferson is a second grade teacher in Santa Rosa, California who is interested in books on the elementary school level.
Stacy Clark resides in Santa Rosa, California and teaches the fourth and fifth grades. She has a BA from San Luis Obisbo and is currently working on her Masters at Sonoma State.
Ginjer L. Clarke specializes in writing nonfiction beginning readers about animals, especially extreme or unusual animals, that make learning about science entertaining and engaging. Her books have been favorably reviewed in Booklist, Horn Book, School Library Journal, Children’s Literature, and regional newspapers and magazines, and featured in Scholastic Book Fairs. Her book Platypus! was awarded the 2005 Maryland Library Association Blue Crab Young Reader Award for Nonfiction and selected by the National Science Teachers Association as recommended classroom reading. Ginjer’s books, most of which are part of Grosset & Dunlap’s All Aboard Science series, have sold a combined total of more than 500,000 copies worldwide. She is an experienced and lively school, library, and conference presenter (www.author-illustr-source.com/GinjerClarke.htm) and a freelance book editor (www.elephanteditorial.com). She is a graduate of James Madison University and lives in Richmond, Virginia, with her husband, young son, and menagerie of pets.
Julie M. Cohen received a master’s in children’s literature from Simmons College and has an undergraduate degree from Smith College in English and Studio Art. While at Simmons she completed two publishing internships at Candlewick and Little, Brown. These programs gave her an opportunity to follow the development of a book from manuscript to beautifully designed final product. Formerly a bookseller at Waterstone’s in Boston, Julie wrote reviews for their magazine. Now Julie writes reviews for the Brookline Booksmith website.
Bethany Cole graduated from Ball State in 1997 and majored in English Literature and hopes to teach English at the college level. She is a mother of four and resides with her family in Greenfield, Indiana.
Jamaica Johnson Conner teaches ninth graders English and Advanced English at Amherst County High School nestled in the mountainous county of Amherst, Virginia. She has taught English at the middle and high school level in private and public institutions since she graduated from Liberty University in 1998. In June of that same year, Jamaica married her high school sweetheart, Terry Conner. She and Terry live on a farm with their two dogs: a golden retriever named, Bear, and a toy poodle named, Shadow, two cats: Daisy and Spike, two horses: Alladin and Aslan Jeremiah, and three cows. They both share a love for family, gardening, reading, theatre, movies, and popcorn. In the April/May 2006 edition of educational journal Library Media Connection, Jamaica published an article entitled “Library Research Takes Flight: An Adventure in Taking Risks.” Along with teaching ninth graders literary concepts, effective writing skills, and the basics of English grammar, Jamaica encourages her students to follow their dreams. Jamaica’s dream is to one day publish a children’s book of her own. She is currently pursuing a Masters of Education degree in Curriculum and Instruction at Liberty University.
Michael L. Cooper grew up in southeastern Kentucky. He now lives in Baltimore, Maryland. Cooper is the author of 14 books and numerous magazine and newspaper articles. He is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, Author’s Guild, PEN, the Children’s Book Guild of Washington, D.C., and the Organization of American Historians.
Michele Coulombe has been working in the field of elementary education for several years. She has both taught elementary school and worked as a literacy trainer for Children’s Literacy Initiative in Philadelphia, helping urban school teachers improve their reading and writing programs. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from Columbia University and her Master’s Degree in Elementary Education from Teachers College. In recent years, she has been the recipient of two fellowships. For The Council of Basic Education, she completed a study on the mother figure in recent award-winning adolescent fiction and she studied classic American and British children’s literature as a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellow.
Robin Cox is a writer/librarian living and working at Fort Hood, Texas. A graduate of Florida universities with advanced degrees in education and library science, she has worked as a classroom teacher and librarian for over 16 years. She has published various articles relating to children and reading, and carries a unique burden for reluctant readers. Serving military families with parents deployed in dangerous parts of the world, her goal has been to support military children through diverse library programs. As the mother of five readers, she looks for stories with meaning that matter.
Victoria Crenson has written over 30 children’s books including Discovering Dinosaurs, Bay Shore Park: Death and Life of an Amusement Park, Birds of the World, How and Why Wonder Book of Sea Creatures, and The Senses. In addition she has developed text and activities for three multimedia series, scripts for children’s television, and interpretive materials for nature centers and outdoor education groups. Victoria has a BA in English from Washington College and is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and the Editorial Freelance Association. She currently resides in Baltimore, Maryland.
Martha Cunningham is a children’s librarian, freelance writer/editor and has been reviewing books as a teacher-librarian for the Toronto District School Board for two years.
Denise Daley is a Library Media Specialist at a public elementary school in a suburb of Buffalo, New York. She possesses a Master of Library Science degree and a Master of Public Relations degree. Denise has enjoyed children’s literature ever since she herself was a child and she shares her enthusiasm for books and reading with all of her students and her three year old son. She also enjoys boating, jogging, and gardening.
Gilda R. Daniels is a native of Louisiana-not New Orleans. She loves to cook, read, and spend time with her husband and young daughter. She loves African American literature, Christian texts and quilting. Gilda is a graduate of Grambling State University and New York University School of Law, and has been a civil rights/human rights attorney for the last 14 years
Jennifer Davenport teaches eighth grade Algebra. She is an avid reader and has always wanted to write. Her children are grown and she has a thirteen-year-old grandchild. She resides in Lake Waccamaw, North Carolina
Sally J. K. Davies has a graduate diploma in illustration from Sheridan College in Canada, where she majored in book illustration. Sally has illustrated picture books, chapter books, an anthology of folk rhymes, several book jackets, cookbooks, magazines, menus, and has contributed to many children’s educational books. She has worked as a graphic designer and calligrapher at advertising agencies in England and North America. In 1997, Carolrhoda Books/Lerner Publishing Group published a picture book entitled Why Did We Have to Move Here? that Sally wrote and illustrated. That same year Sally obtained her private pilot’s license and gave birth to her first child. Sally Davies is the recipient of the Early Literacy and Reading Award from the Association for Childhood Education for her latest book, When William Went Away.. Also, it was chosen as a Storytelling World Award Honor Title. Sally is a member of the Children’s Book Guild of Washington, DC.
Gwendolyn Davis recently returned from living for many years in London and Amsterdam. She brings an extensive knowledge of British, Irish, Canadian, Australian, and Belgian books to Children’s Literature. Gwendolyn has extensive academic credentials and undertook post doctorate work at two Dutch universities. Dr. Davis states that books are her lifeline. She currently resides in Durham, North Carolina where she is consulting and undertaking freelance reviewing.
Tracy Defina is the holder of a Bachelor of Arts in French and International Studies from the University of Richmond in Virginia. A Candidate for Masters in Elementary Education at Cabrini College, Tracy is currently a teacher at the Agnes Irwin School in Rosemont, Pennsylvania. A resident of Strafford, Pennsylvania, she enjoys bird watching and cooking in addition to reading and writing children’s literature.
Candace E. Deisley was a Children’s Librarian at the Albany Public Library for over eighteen years before becoming Curriculum Librarian (Librarian in the School of Education) at the College of Saint Rose, also in Albany. Prior to working at Albany, she was a school librarian in a rural elementary school. She recently retired from Saint Rose, but still serves as President of the Children’s Literature Connection ( www.childrensliteratureconnection.org), and chairs the Bookdates children’s book discussion group. A member of the 2003 Caldecott Committee, Candace has reviewed for Childrenslit.com since 1999.
Lulu Delacre grew up in Puerto Rico and now lives in Silver Spring, Maryland with her husband and two children. Lulu has written and illustrated many books including bilingual books such as Arozzo con leche: Popular Songs and Rhymes from Latin America; Las Navidades: Popular Christmas Songs from Latin America, and Vejigante Masquerader, which was the winner of numerous awards. Among her more recent books are Golden Tales: Myths, Legends and Folktales from Latin America and Señor Cat’s Romance by Lucía M. GonzáGonzaacutelez. An active member of the Children’s Book Guild, Lulu has served in numerous capacities including that of President.
Janice DeLong has been a teacher for more than 30 years. Her consuming interest in children’s literature began with enrollment in a correspondence course in 1973. Her classroom experience includes both elementary and middle school in public and parochial settings. For the past fifteen years has been privileged to be children’s literature instructor on the university level. She has the pleasure of serving on the same college faculty as her husband, Robert. They are the parents of four children. Janice has co-authored Core Collection for Small Libraries, Contemporary Christian Authors, and Young Adult Poetry: A Survey and Theme Guide with colleague and friend, Rachel Schwedt. Her most recent work, a cooperative effort with her husband, is a study guide for Progeny Press based on Brian Jacques’ Redwall. She has recently become a collector of Raggedy Ann dolls and books, and is a novice grower of orchids.
Paula DeMichael is a bookseller specializing in children’s literature. Her prior positions included technical writing and editing, and administrative management in several liturgy offices. Paula was a Park Ranger/Usher and coordinated volunteers at Wolftrap Farm for the Performing Arts. She most recently has been volunteering her time at WETA public radio and television. At this time Paula is studying video and studio production. She already has a bachelor’s in English and vocal music from Notre Dame College and a master’s in English from Trinity University.
Susan Denning resides in Portland, OR. She holds a B.A. in English Literature from the University of Oregon. She is a freelance book reviewer and editor of Caffeine Destiny, an online magazine. Susan has had book reviews published in several local and national publications.
Jessica D. Deutsch is a freelance writer and consultant to nonprofit organizations that focus on issues of urban education, child well being, and family development. Jessy’s experience includes holding staff positions at Crossway Community, the Institute for Educational Leadership, and the Academy for Educational Development-all in Washington, DC. She also taught first grade at the Sheridan School and completed a practicum at the Harvard Literacy Lab. Jessy holds a Masters degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and an A.B. in English and American studies from Princeton University. She lives in New Jersey with her husband and two children.
J.H. Diehl has a B.A. in English from Yale and an M.F.A. in fiction from the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Her writing received awards from the Maryland State Arts Council and the James Michener/Copernicus Society. She has lived in London, Warsaw, Jerusalem and Buenos Aires. After early work in print and radio journalism, she taught undergraduate literature and creative writing, and high school English, and served on the board of directors of her children’s Montessori school. She is currently at work on a YA novel and lives in Chevy Chase, Maryland
Barbara B. Disckind has her own business that provides marketing, public relations, and editorial services in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. She is a member of several professional associations including Washington Independent Writers and Women in Advertising and Marketing. Barbara loves fables, fairy tales and animal stories, particularly those about horses.
Patricia Dole has a MLS, from UNC Greensboro, specializing in Children’s and young adult services. She has had two hardcover books published. She has been reviewing for School Library Journal for many years. She loves to travel. She has visited India, West and North Africa, including Egypt, Isreal, Europe (twice to Russia), Thailand, Japan, Galapagos, and Chile.
Angie Dooley – “I am from Cincinnati, OH. I am married and have three children, 12, 7 and 4. I earned my Bachelor’s Degree in Secondary English Education from The Ohio State University. In addition, I have earned a Master’s Degree from Xavier University in Special Education. I have been a teacher for the last 8 years. Currently, I am an Intervention Specialist in the English Department at Winton Woods High School. I began a great interest of children’s literature during my studies at Xavier University. I was excited to have a new world open to me. Being a teacher at the high school level, I have learned to appreciate the valuable uses of children’s and young adult literature in my classroom. Becoming a reviewer of children’s and young adult literature is an honor to me. I am thrilled to have a part in the shaping of young people’s minds.”
Joanna Draper has been a teacher for the past 20 years and is currently a member of the Idaho Technology Portfolio Assessment Team. In the summer of 1999, she began training in the Teaching with Technology program. Part of the requirement of this preogram was for her to write lesson plans for other teachers in her district to use to integrate technology into the classroom. She is a published author. Currently she is hosting the Astronomy for Kids site for WebSeed Publishing. She has also written website reviews for Family Wonder, and contributed material for Glencoa Publishing.
Terri Hoover Dunham’s first picture book, The Legend of Papa Noel, will be released by Sleeping Bear Press in the Fall of 2006. She is a book reviewer for the Baton Rouge newspaper, The Advocate, Magazine Section. Her work has also appeared in Victoria, Backwood Homes, St. Anthony’s Messenger, The Annals of St. Anne De Beaupre’, Louisiana Review, Whispering Wind, and Cappers and Grit. She is currently pursuing her degree in Liberal Arts and lives in Baton Rouge with her husband, Ronald, and two sons, Ryan and Brett.
Tina Dybvik holds a B.A. in Journalism from the University of Minnesota, and an M.Ed. from St. Mary’s University of Winona. Teaching and writing credits include Show What You Know® Publications and ECS Learning, Inc. She is a member of The Authors Guild and The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI).
Renée Englot is a stay at home mom of two. She is also working part time on her Master of Arts in Children’s Literature through Hollins University. Before her first child was born she taught Language Arts to middle grade students. Nowadays she reads a lot of board books and picture books.
Susan Epling resides in Cartersville, Georgia while finishing her dissertation for a Ph.D. from Ohio State University. She has a degree in English from the University of Georgia and a master’s in library and information science from the University of Tennessee. Currently, she teaches children’s literature part-time at the University of Tennessee and stays home raising her three-year-old son.
Stacey Evers is a resident of Falls Church, Virginia, where she lives with her husband and two dogs. She has been a tutor and a reporter and loves to read.
Beverly Fahey is currently a media specialist at Sanders Corner Elementary School in Ashburn, Virginia. In addition to over 15 years as a school media specialist, she worked for 20 years for the Monroe County Library System (Rochester, NY) as a children’s librarian. She is a former member of the Genesee Storytellers, has taught a graduate course in children’s literature at Nazareth College in Rochester, NY, and conducted workshops and in service training for teachers, librarians, and parents. In 1997, she saw the publication of Volume 4 of Choices: A Core Collection for the Reluctant Reader, an annotated bibliography for parents and educators which she compiled with the help of a colleague.
Stephanie Farrow is the owner of Creative Quill, ink, a writing/editorial service. In addition to freelance assignments, she writes curriculum and children’s fiction. Formerly a teacher in Africa and Latin America as well as the U.S., Ms. Farrow currently teaches creative writing and poetry to young people. The great loves of her life are poetry and beekeeping.
Rhenda Fearrington is currently the manager of Barnes & Noble, Inc. in Wilmington, Delaware. Holding a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Pace University in New York, Rhenda currently resides in Broomall, Pennsylvania with her two sons and a cat. She formerly worked as the Children’s Department Manager for Barnes & Noble in Broomall. A sought after public speaker and storyteller, Rhenda is currently writing her second book and seeking publication for her first, The Heart of Out Home.
Emily Ferren has been working in libraries for over 10 years and is currently the Director of the Charles County Public Library in La Plata, Maryland. She holds degrees from Baldwin-Wallace, Case Western Reserve, and Notre Dame Universities. She is the recipient of the Bell Atlantic/ALA Family Literacy Grant in 1992 and 1993 and believes that having libraries equipped with all the tools necessary for servicing the population is essential to increasing literacy.
Anne Field has taught children Nursery through third grade. She is a wife and a mother of two children.
Janis Flint-Ferguson is a professor of English and education at Gordon College in Wenham, MA. She attended North Central College in Naperville, IL, and did her doctoral studies at Illinois State University. For 19 years she has taught courses in middle school philosophy, advanced composition and adolescent literature, while also supervising student teachers. A member of NCTE and ALAN, she is also a middle school consultant for the New England League of Middle Schools. She facilitates the Northeast Alliance Book Study, a group of about 30 teachers and librarians who meet monthly to discuss young adult literature and its use in the classroom. When she is not reading books, she is following the Indy Racing League and makes a pilgrimage to the Indianapolis 500 every year.
Scott S. Floyd is a Gifted and Talented Coordinator for grades 6 to 8, and also teaches seventh grade language arts. Scott is a two-time “Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers” recipient as well as the 2004 ATPE Texas Secondary Teacher of the Year winner. He uses trade books extensively in his classroom. Scott works hard to get kids excited about literature and uses technology extensively throughout his curriculum to accomplish that. He uses both his three year old son and his wife, also a teacher, to identify books that kids of all ages will be excited about.
Kathleen Foucart is a graduate student at Hollins University. She is currently working on her MFA in Children’s Literature as well as several writing projects, including a YA fantasy novel. She received her undergraduate degree from Virginia Tech in 2005 and currently lives in Christiansburg, VA.
Susan Hoyle Fournier graduated from Bucknell University with a Bachelor’s of Science in elementary education. She began teaching first grade in Landover, Maryland and then taught first and second grade for two years each. Upon relocating to West Chester, Pennsylvania, Susan enrolled in a graduate program. While working on her master’s, she substitute taught for a year and then went back to full time teaching. In 1993, Susan received a master’s of education in reading and is a certified reading specialist. Susan’s expertise is in teaching students who are at-risk for failure in an inner city setting. She and her husband Bob welcomed a daughter in January of 1997.
Mary Candance Fowler is a candidate for a master’s degree in English with a concentration on professional writing and editing at George Mason University. As the mother of two daughters, Candy has developed a strong interest in what children learn, read and experience. She also volunteers in the classroom and has taught Sunday School. During her career as a staff attorney with the Administrative Conference of the United States, Candy wrote and edited reports, testimony, and newsletter articles. Candy is a graduate of Wellesley College with a bachelor’s in English and has a law degree from Harvard Law School.
Donna Freedman is a writer and returning student who lives in Seattle. She has interviewed many children’s authors and has reviewed children’s books for the Anchorage Daily News and Alaska Magazine in addition to Children’s Literature. Her writing and research have appeared in scores of adult- and child-themed publications, including Time Magazine For Kids, American Girl, Highlights For Children and National Geographic Kids. She is the author of City Smart Anchorage, from Avalon Travel Publishing, and with Ed White co-authored Foxy’s Tale: The True Story of a Champion Alaska Sled Dog.
Mary Freeman is a former sixth grade teacher now at home in Silver Spring, Maryland with a one-year-old and a three-year-old. During her years as a teacher, Mary was responsible for developing curriculum in the middle grades. She has a B.A. in East Asian studies and a master’s from Lesley College. Mary is fluent in several languages and has traveled widely and lived abroad. As a member of a local bookgroup, Mary has been rereading many of her childhood favorites. She also enjoys historical and realistic fiction as well as biographies and nonfiction.
Marla Frenzel has a B.A. in English from the University of Maryland. She is currently in sales and marketing, but her real love is freelance writing and editing. With three school age children, Marla spends a lot of time volunteering in the school system, and has been part of writer’s workshops, reviewed and corrected papers, and accompanied students on field trips. She enjoys all types of children’s books, but truly likes picture books. Her hobbies include photography and physical fitness.
Jane Friedman has a P.H.D in math and teaches mathematics at the University of San Diego. One of her particular interests is in the ways that children’s literature can be used to teach mathematics and she has done some writing in this area.
Diane Frook has written several novels and stories for children, and has been (or will be soon) published by Cricket, Ladybug and Appleseeds magazines. She enjoys setting stories in the past, and her work often springs from historical events or-even more likely-her own family history. She received degrees in journalism and English from Syracuse University, and previously was as a television reviewer for The Hollywood Reporter, and as the restaurant critic for her local newspaper. She’s also worked as an entertainment reporter, specializing in celebrity profiles, writing for TV Guide, Soap Opera Digest and other publications, and as a general assignment reporter and freelance writer. She devotes her free moments (and some of the un-free ones) to either reading or despairing at the pile of unread books, and is suspicious of people who don’t buy books at three times the rate they read them. She lives in Kansas and spends most of her time raising her two young sons, who make it clear–when she’s unsure–which are the good books.
Elaine Fultz is the school librarian for Weller Elementary School in Centerville OH. She earned her Library Media degree from Wright State University and an MLS from the University of Pittsburgh. YA literature and poetry are her passions, and she enjoys fulfilling all staff and student demands for children’s literature at the elementary school and district-wide. Life as an ardent child-reader grew into life as an devoted professional in the children’s literature realm. In other words, few days, if any, have passed in her literate lifetime when she is not reading and assessing books for young people and the adults who share books with them. Elaine also wrote reviews for Voice of Youth Advocates. Personal interests include writing, music, women’s history, media literacy, and soccer.
Alicia Garbelman is a librarian at the Lake Ridge Middle School in Dale City, Virginia. She loves reviewing books that focus on science and history as well as contemporary issues.
Britannia (Rita) Glenn has been a middle school teacher for fifteen years. She loves 6th grade and young adult fiction. A graduate of the University of New Mexico Rita has spent most of her life in the state and at one time worked as a restaurant manager.
Wendy J. Glenn is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction in the Neag School of Education at the University of Connecticut. In her role as coordinator of English Education, she teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in the theories and methods of teaching language, literature, and composition. She is the author of Sarah Dessen: From Burritos to Box Office (Lanham, MD: Scarecrow, 2005) and Presenting Richard Peck (with Don Gallo; Lanham, MD: Scarecrow, pending) and co-editor of Portrait of a Profession: Teachers and Teaching in the 21st Century (Westport, CT: Praeger, 2005). She has published articles in The ALAN Review, English Journal, Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, SIGNAL, and Peremena/Thinking Classroom. Her authored book chapters appear in Censored Books: Critical Viewpoints, Vol. II (Lanham, MD: Scarecrow, 2002) and Beyond the Boundaries: A Transdisciplinary Approach to Teaching and Learning (Westport, CT: Praeger, 2003). She currently serves as an editor of the Journal of Literacy Research and editorial review board member of The ALAN Review. A former classroom teacher, she earned her Ph.D. from Arizona State University.
Ilene S. Goldman writes picture books, creative non-fiction, and children’s poems. Some of her other writing and musings can be found at Charlottesmom.livejournal.com. She has worked and published as a college professor and independent scholar specializing in film, video and mass visual media. She holds a Ph.D. in Radio/TV/Film from Northwestern University and an AB in Art History and French Civilization from Brown University.
Sonya Goldman has been active in a career that includes marketing, project management, and the development of professional education programs. Sonya has attended classes on writing for children and continues to be a voracious reader with a love of folktales, fantasy, and fairy tales. She currently resides in Virginia.
Dr. Linda Marie Golian-Lui is the University Librarian/Director of the University of Hawaii at Hilo’s Edwin H. Mookini Library and Graphic Services which provides library and graphic services to the University of Hawaii at Hilo and Hawaii Community College. Linda began her library career 23 years ago at the University of Miami and has worked for several institutions including Florida Atlantic University and was a founding library faculty member for Florida Gulf Coast University Library in 1997. Linda has been an active member of ALA since 1990 and currently serves as the ALA State Chapter Councilor for Hawaii. She is also an active member in her local library associations and currently is a member of the Executive Board for the Hawaii Library Association. While working at Florida Atlantic University, Linda supported many activities and training events sponsored by the South Eastern Florida Library Network (SEFLN). In Fort Myers, Linda was an active member of the South West Florida Library Network (SWFLN), served as the Co-Chair for SWFLN’s Continuing Education Committee, and is a graduate of the 2000 SWFLN Leadership Development Program. Currently, Linda serves on the Executive Board for the newly formed Hawaii Library Consortia. Linda has published several articles and book chapters on topics including, but not limited to, mentoring, thinking styles, negative workplace behaviors, library services to older adults, time management and library services for adult re-entry women. Linda’s professional interests include leadership issues, networking, fundraising, and community service
Andrea Gollin was a children’s book reviewer and writer for the now defunct SmartKid magazine where she also held the position of associate editor. She developed the magazine’s book review department: an article discussing six thematically linked books, a sidebar profiling one or more authors, and periodically, a sidebar highlighting “new and notable” books. Her experience includes work for several newspapers and magazines including Entertainment Weekly and New York Newsday. Andrea is a graduate of Princeton University where she majored in English and she also has a master’s in fine arts in creative writing from the University of Virginia.
Robbin Gould is the editor of Family Motor Coaching magazine, the official publication of the Family Motor Coach Association, an international organization for motorhome owners. She is a graduate of Miami University, Oxford, Ohio, where she earned a BS degree in speech communication with an emphasis in public relations. Robbin resides in Cincinnati, Ohio, with her husband and daughter. She is in the process of passing her love of reading on to her preschooler.
Julie Granchelli is certified to teach K-6 and Math and is a New York State Reading Specialist. She has been a fourth grade teacher for seven years. Julie has taken children’s literature classes and truly loves children’s books. In addition to Children’s Literature, Julie writes for the The Mailbox and other publications. Her favorite genres are picture books, nonfiction with a special interest in computer technology, fantasy, and historical fiction. Julie is also a software reviewer for NSTA and a freelance writer for the Education Center. She holds a master’s in reading and elementary education from the State University of New York.
Judith Gravitz is a kindergarten teacher at the Georgetown Day School in Washington, DC. She graduated from Boston University, and has a passion for children’s books-particularly picture books, fiction, and young adult novels.
Kelly Grebinoski is finishing her master’s degree in education, emphasizing in gifted education. She teaches 8th grade English in Manasses, Virginia. She enjoys reading books and she loves to write.
Lois Gross is the Assistant Director and Children’s Specialist for the Colorado Talking Book Library where her service is primarily to print-handicapped readers. She has been a librarian for 25 years and a children’s librarian for 20 of those. She is a writer “wannabe” who has had work published in Lilith, Noah’s Ark, Ranger Rick, and Highlights for Children. She also shares stories – her own and other people’s – with young and old audiences in the Denver, Colorado area.
Gayle Hall-Christensen a native midwesterner now resides in Ontario, California where she teaches senior high school, specifically ESOL classes. Gayle is proficient in Spanish, although she confesses that her spoken language skills are not as good as she would like them to be. Her studies at California State Polytechnic University at Pomona resulted in a degree in English with drama as a minor. Over the years, Gayle has taken numerous courses (95 hours) in writing and is a Fellow of the California Writing Project.
Anne Halle is a student at Meredith College in Raleigh, North Carolina. She wants to teach and currently works with autistic children. Part of a military family, Anne moved around the country which afforded a broad perspective and wide-ranging interests.
Mary Hamilton has lived for eleven years in Hawaii. She has degrees from Seattle University and MaryMount College and is currently a K-8 teacher.
Eileen Hanning is a former children’s bookseller and former program director for The Reading Connection, a children’s literacy program in Virginia. She earned a master’s degree in literacy education from Trinity College in Washington, DC. Eileen has spent the last six years exploring children’s books and encouraging young readers to do the same.
Jane Harrington writes fiction and creative non-fiction for young people. Recent works include teen novel FOUR THINGS MY GEEKY-JOCK-OF-A-BEST-FRIEND MUST DO IN EUROPE (Darby Creek Publishing, 2006), and EXTREME PETS (Scholastic, 2007). Jane is currently working on a master’s degree at George Mason University in the Teaching of Writing and Literature, and tutors high school writers. Member of NCTE, SCBWI and The Writer’s Center in Bethesda.
Mindy Hardwick is both a writer and a Washington State Certified teacher. She holds an M.Ed in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis on the creative arts from Lesley University. Mindy has been published in the National Teacher Council of English annual curriculum guide, Notes Plus and the National Writing Project’s journal. She is a member of the Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and also in the Vermont College Masters of Fine Arts Writing for Children Program. She is writing a novel for young adults and four picture books.
Kristin Harris combines her skills in visual learning with a profound respect for the innate curiosity of young children. Her background in fine arts and twenty-five year involvement with preschool and elementary education come together to create a voice/ style that speaks to children. The studio has created over 50 short form animations for young children. HBO Family/HBOL is broadcasting forty of her interstitials. The 30-part series, “Now You Know” are animated preschool science questions and answers. The second series for HBO Family, “I Want to Be” looks at the world of work from the point of view of a young child. A selection of these shorts have been included in the 2003 Chicago International Children’s Film Festival as well as The Museum of Television and Radio’s 2003 International Children’s Television Festival in New York and Los Angeles. “Life Stories,” a series of animated life cycles, premiered at the East Lansing Children’s Film Festival in 2004.
Leslie Hauschildt is currently a children’s librarian for a Jefferson County Public Library in Lakewood, Colorado and has written reviews for the Colorado Library Journal. She created an on-line database and has been involved with catalog-automation at the University of Iowa.
Jackie Hechtkopf is a school librarian at Timber Lane Elementary in Fairfax County, Virginia. Using the pseudonym, Jacqueline Jules, she has authored four children’s books: The Grey Striped Shirt (Alef Design, 1995), Once Upon a Shabbos (Kar-Ben, 1998), Clap and Count: Action Rhymes for the Jewish Year (Kar-Ben, 2001), The Hardest Word (Kar-Ben, 2001). Her poetry and prose have appeared in, or been accepted by, sixty publications including Cricket, Cicada, Spider,Young Judaean Magazine, Highlights Magazine, America, and Wee Ones Online Magazine. In 1999, she was a winner in the Arlington County Moving Words Poetry Competition. In 2002, she was awarded the SCBWI Magazine Merit Honor Plaque for her poem, “At Bat.” She received her Masters of Library Science at the University of Maryland.
Donna Hector is currently a librarian at Pflugerville Middle School in Texas, where she was awarded Teacher of the Year in 1995. She is also a living history presenter at various elementary and middle schools. Her primary interest in children’s literature lies in books about the War Between the States and science fiction.
Sally Heldrich is the President of Essential Media, LLC, McLean, Virginia. She has been the Director of Production for Media General Productions and Media General Cable. Sally was a broadcast engineer for WTTG-TV in Washington, DC and has produced stories for National Public Radio programs. She also was a congressional staff assistant at the U.S. House of Representatives. Sally holds a BA in Political Science at Duke University. Sally Heldrich resides in McLean, Virginia.
Marny Helfrich works at Crossway Community where she teaches two and three year-olds in Crossway’s child development center. While she is interested in all types of children’s literature, she is especially interested in reviewing books for very young children, and in particular those that sensitively depict children with special needs, unusual family situations, and those children from diverse racial, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds. She finds
Linnea Hendrickson, a librarian at Bandelier Elementary School in Albuquerque, New Mexico, has also taught children’s literature at the University of New Mexico since 1987. The author of the bibliography Children’s Literature: A Guide to the Criticism (http://www.unm.edu/~lhendr/) and numerous articles, she has served on the Caldecott and the Sibert Award Committees. She also reviews for Kirkus.
Susan Hepler is a children’s literature specialist and consultant based in Alexandria, VA. She currently reviews children’s literature while working with school systems and organizations to develop literature-based curricula and early classroom materials that bring children, a love of reading, and good books together. Her special reviewing interests include K-8 nonfiction and early chapter books. Susan received her Ph.D. from Ohio State University and has taught at the elementary, high school, college, and graduate level. She is a co-author, with Charlotte S. Huck, Janet Hickman and Barbara Kiefer, of Children’s Literature in the Elementary School (Mc-Graw-Hill, 2003) and an author, with Maria Salvadore, of Books Your Kids Will Talk About! (NEA, 2003). She is also a contributor to Making Facts Come Alive: Choosing Quality Nonfiction Literature K-8 edited by Rosemary Bamford and Jan Kristo (Christopher-Gordon, 2001). For 25 years, Susan has also been a reviewer for School Library Journal and currently reviews for them and Children’s Literature. In addition, Susan has developed teacher educational materials for public television, Reading is Fundamental, and others.
Yvonne Kidd Herbst owns and operates her own public relations and editorial services enterprise in Jefferston, Virginia. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. She loves legends, myths and fairy tales, and as a mother of two young children her interest in children’s books has escalated.
Gretchen Hesbacher provides administrative support for the Architecture and Barrier Free Design program for the Paralyzed Veterans of America. Gretchen has a B.S. from the University of Maryland with honors. She a broad interest in children’s literature that incorporates Judaica, fairy tales, Native American stories, historical fiction and biographies. Lucille Clifton’s statement “All children deserve to see their faces in books.” compelling.
Betty Hicks is the author of novels for middle grade readers. Her first book, I Smell Like Ham, was named a Top Ten Sports Books by Booklist Magazine, and was a Junior Library Guild and a Book Sense selection. She has also written Animal House and Iz and Busted!, another selection of the Junior Library Guild. All of her books combine the humor and seriousness of blended or non-traditional families with sports and other everyday middle grade concerns. Hicks, a stepmother whose four children are now grown, lives in North Carolina with her husband. She loves reading, travel, nature photography, movies, and spending time with grandchildren
Judy Hijikata is the Program Director for The Reading Connection, a nonprofit organization working in the field of literacy for children in housing crisis. Before joining TRC, Judy spent over a decade in children’s bookselling, managing and buying for small independent stores to representing publishers at bookstore accounts in the Mid Atlantic region. Currently a resident of Arlington, Virginia, Judy has two nearly grown sons who are responsible for her interest in children’s literature.
Lisa P. Hill loves to teach science to children. “If I can’t answer a question about the stars, planets or why pyramids are so cool, then I’ll go dig up the answer”. At Wood Acres Elementary School, Lisa Hill is one of the co-directors and senior instructors of the Osceola Sexton Planetarium. “It’s so much fun to show the wonders of the universe to young enthusiastic minds.” For over three years, she’s been a Hands-On-Science instructor to kindergarten through third grade students. She currently writes for Science Weekly and has had articles published in local magazines and newspapers. She enjoys writing and is currently working on picture book stories. Her other interests are sailing, martial arts, creating science experiments and hiking. Married, with two rambunctious children and one dog, she resides in Bethesda, Maryland.
Lisa Hillstrom received her undergraduate degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara and her teaching credential from Sonoma State University. She curently teaches fifth grade at Sheppard Accelerated Elementary School in Santa Rosa, California.
Hillary Homzie is the author of the humorous chapter book series, Alien Clones from Outer Space (Aladdin Books/Simon & Schuster), a Children’s Book-of-the-Month selection. Homzie has written for many publications, including New York Newsday, Dance and Teen magazine. She has created and performed sketch comedy Off-Broadway, and was a recent finalist for the Heideman Playwrighting Award from The Actors Theatre of Louisville. She holds a master’s degree in education from Temple University and a master’s of arts degree from Hollins University in children’s literature and writing. She’s a visiting professor of creative writing at Hollins University, and has lectured on comedy at conferences and schools across the United States. Visit her on the web at www.homezie.com
Eric Hood is a K-8 teacher who currently works with home-schoolers. He has taken children’s literature courses and enjoys taking stories and poems and turning them into plays. Eric’s background includes a B.A. in philosophy with a biology minor from Whitman College in Washington and a stint as a reporter for a Chinese/American newspaper in Seattle. He also loves animals, computers, art and music.
Tina Hudak is currently enrolled at the University of Maryland in the MLS program for certification as a School Library Media Specialist. She has worked as an artist in calligraphy, hand papermaking and book arts for over fifteen years in the DC area, exhibiting at the Torpedo Factory and the National Museaum of Women in the Arts. Her love of books and libraries is nourished through the Takoma Park Maryland Library and is the Webmaster for the “Children’s Room” homepages.
Tamara Hundley writes for The Daily Record Newspaper, a legal and business publication in Baltimore, Maryland. She is a graduate of Villa Julie College with a degree in Paralegal Studies and is completing a degree in Corporate Communications from The University of Baltimore. Tamara is hard at work on a book for pre-school children and a novel and is busy caring for her two sons.
Teresa Hunsaker is a seventh grade language arts teacher in Brigham City, Utah with nine years of teaching experience. She became Utah’s 1997 teacher of the year for use of technology in the classroom. Teresa is a district grant writer for Public Education and Reading and Language Integration and also acts as an educational consultant for KUED, KULC and Wnet Television. She has published articles in Instructor and Learning Magazines among others. She received her Bachelors of Science Degree from Utah State, her Masters of Education from Weber State and is presently completing a middle level and reading specialist endorsement. She is married, has four active teenagers and loves pizza and bubble-gum ice cream.
Jane Jessell earned a B.A. in English and Education from Frostburg State University and an MLIS from the University of Pittsburgh, where she studied Children’s Literature under Dr. Margaret Kimmel. A former classroom teacher, she is currently working as a reference and instruction librarian at Wichita State University.
Melanie Jones is an author and elementary reading specialist. She has a degree in Early Childhood Education from Georgia Southern University, a masters’s from Georgia Southwestern College, and an Educational Spcialist degree from Troy State University. She has a picture book out with Viking entitled Pigs Rock! which was a Children’s Choice award winner. Her other titles are Rookie Readers entitled Balls, Big Machines, Field Day, and I can Ski, which are published by Scholastic. Melanie currently teaches in the Houston County schools in Georgia and is busy taking care of three sons and a husband who are all nuts about baseball.
Kathleen Isaacs, a long time middle school teacher and occasional librarian has worked in schools, colleges, and a public library in Baltimore, Washington, British Hong Kong, and China. With master’s degrees in both library science and education, she has been active in professional associations, serving on ALA/ALSC’s Newbery, Batchelder, and Sibert Book Awards Committees, as well as YALSA’s Margaret Edwards Award and Best Books for Young Adults. She chaired the 2005 Sibert Award Committee and is currently chair of the new USBBY Outstanding International Books Committee. She writes articles and reviews books for a variety of professional publications and teaches Children’s Literature at Towson University.
Jolene Ivey is a professional journalist who does freelance work and has been published in the Washington Post and Parenting. Her career included a stint with Congressman Cardin as a press secretary and four years as a writer/producer for WMAR-TV in Baltimore where she produced a weekly public affairs program. Jolene is a graduate of Trenton State University where she obtained a bachelor’s in mass communication (cum laude) and a few years ago, she obtained a master’s in journalism at the University of Maryland. In addition to her career outside the home, Jolene is the mother of three young boys. She is most interested in reviewing picture and chapter books.
Paulette Jackson is a Media Specialist at Portland Adventist Academy, and is also the webmaster for the school’s web site. She has a Master’s degree in Educational Media Librarianship and 25 years experience in elementary and secondary schools. Her hobbies are floral design and traveling. Her favorite place to read is in a big cushy chair with her cats, Snickers and Tigger, whose favorite place to read is in the middle of the page!
Candice Jendro has a Bachelor’s degree and a Master’s degree in English from Illinois State University. Her Master’s degree has an emphasis in Children’s Literature. She reviews as an outlet to continue to express her interest in reading and responding to children’s literature.
Gisela Jernigan is a children’s librarian. She is teaching a class on Southwest Children’s Literature, and is working on a doctorate in language, reading and culture with a specialization in children’s literature. She and her husband Wes have written and illustrated several award-winning children’s books. Among them are One Green Mesquite Tree, Agave Bloom Just Once, and Sonoran Seasons. Gisela has a master’s degree in library science from the University of Arizona and has extensive knowledge of the flora, fauna, and people of the Southwestern United States.
Pamela Jewett graduated from Arizona State University. She is a school librarian.
Teresa Jindo is currently teaching in a multiage, inclusion and 2000 day school in Ferndale, Michigan at Harding Elementary School. She graduated with a B.S in Elementary Education from Oakland University in 1996 and pursued her M.A.T. in Reading and Language Arts also at Oakland University. Teresa’s hobbies include attending all kinds of educational conferences to meet authors and illustrators. She likes to travel, read children’s literature, and play soccer.
Linda Johns is a writer and editor living in Seattle, Washington. She is the author of two picture books (Sarah’s Secret Plan and To Pee or Not to Pee) and an early reader (I Can Bowl!, Scholastic, 2002), as well as more than thirty books for the school market. In addition to writing for educational publishers and running her own editorial services company, Linda is pursuing a Master in Library and Information Science degree at the University of Washington. She is especially passionate about middle grade and young adult fiction and how readers of all ages interact with nonfiction text.
Cherri Jones is currently the Education Librarian at Southwest Missouri State University where she is also an Assistant Professor, and has spent ten years in Children’s Services in public libraries in Columbus, Ohio after graduating from the University of Chicago in 1984. Zena Sutherland was her mentor at the University of Chicago and Cherri learned how to review books under her tutelage. Cherri particularly interested in toddler books. She is also a traditional storyteller (since 1982) and enjoys reviewing folktales and fairy tales. Cheri is a member of ALA, AASL, MASL, and the National Storytelling Association.
Darick Jones is originally from Columbus, Ohio. He holds an education in Associate of the Arts. Darick’s involvement in professional organizations and affiliations include: IFSEA, FLIA, and ACF. He is the author of three non-published picture books. Darick’s hobbies include reading, writing, reciting, poetry, children’s stories, film, theatre, and participating in indoor recreational sports.
Tom Jones is a stay-at-home dad with a fourteen year-old-stepdaughter, a three-year-old daughter and a newborn son. When he is not pulling his hair out, he is attempting to write a novel aimed at the young adult audience. He has a BA in Anthropology from the University of Utah and has visited nearly 30 Maya archaeological sites in his travels to Mexico and Central America. He is fluent in Spanish and enjoys golf and photography. He also enjoys writing a personal weblog found at http://wilkeworld.blogspot.com/.
Rebecca Joseph currently attends graduate school in California. She has been a reviewer for the NCTE (National Council of Teachers of English) Books For You Committee. Rebecca finds works that deal with racial issues, poetry, and historical fiction of greatest interest to her.
Leslie Verzi Julian is an English teacher in a Baltimore area middle school. She has been involved with reviewing and selecting books for the NCTE (National Council of Teachers of English) awards. Leslie completed her undergraduate work at the University of Maryland and Frostburg State University. She has a master’s equivalency in education and has attended numerous workshops and conferences. Among her many responsibilities as an English teacher, Leslie serves as the English Department Liaison, coordinating activities and programs. She enjoys teaching writing and has an interest in contemporary issues.
Donna Prejean Kalloch is originally from Lafayette, Louisiana. She has a B.A. in English with a Spanish minor. She is married with two young children. Due to the Army reassignments of her husband, Donna has avidly explored much of Europe and the United States. She enjoys every minute of her travels! After the next move, Donna plans to return to part-time work in the field of technical writing.
Rita Karr is a graduate of California State College with a BS in speech and hearing pathology. In addition, she has a Masters in education from Western Maryland College. Her professional life has been spent in the classroom where she has taught everything from nursery school to college. She has been actively involved as an editor for the Alan Review and a former member of the Board of Directors of ALAN. She has made numerous presentations at the conferences including the National Council of Teachers of English and the International Reading Association. Currently residing near the ocean in Southeast North Carolina, Rita is pursuing her passion, reading books.
Susan Scott Karr has worked as a professional editor and writer for the past 15 years and has consulted with over 40 Fortune 500 companies to help their employees become more effective writers. As a frequent contributor to Financial Executives and Downtown magazines, she and has published articles for the Carus Publishing Group in its former J.A.M. (Junior Achievement Magazine). She has sold articles to Sports Illustrated for Kids and has published articles at a number of websites specializing in financial, technological, and marketing communications. In addition, Karr is the author of two middle-grade books, Scream Machines: All About Roller Coasters and Food For Thought, both of which were published by Pearson Learning Group for use in the school reading curriculum. She recently wrote the prototype for a new 48-book Pearson Learning Group series (as well as a second book in the same series) and has been nominated for the James Thurber Writer in Residency for children’s writing. A former first grader teacher in Loudoun County, VA, Karr prides herself on having taught 100 children how to read. She holds a B.A. in education/English from The College of William & Mary and an M.B.A. in general management/finance from Golden Gate University, and has been the principal of her own business, WordSuite, for the past five years. Vist her at www.wordsuite.com
Judy Katsh is a teacher and day care provider in Mukilteo, Washington. She has taught kindergarten through sixth grade and was the recipient of grants to developed innovative programs and curricula. Judy has a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from the University of Northern Colorado and a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education from the University of Denver.
Wendy S. Keen has a Master of Arts in children’s literature from Hollins College where she graduated with honors. Her undergraduate degree in mass communications was obtained at Buena Vista College where during her senior year she was named the Senior Mass Communications Student of the Year. Now residing in New Hampshire, Wendy is preparing several manuscripts and volunteering in local theater activities. She is fluent in French and has an interest in all children’s books and in particular those focusing on the Inuit.
Kathleen Kelly is the Children’s Services Supervisor at the Eldersburg Branch of the Carroll County (MD) Public Library. In the past, she was a library associate and children’s programmer for Howard County Library, and a children’s bookseller and community relations assistant with Borders Books and Music. She has also worked at a number of theme parks, including a stint as Pebbles at Paramount’s Kings Dominion.
Linda Kelley has had many years of experience with young children both as a teacher and daycare provider in Westfield, New Jersey. Linda graduated from Kean College, Union, New Jersey with a degree in education and after an initial career with AT&T is raising four children and works as a volunteer with children’s groups.
Barbara Kennedy graduated from the College of Wooster and majored in Phschology and English Literature. She worked for Xerox for 5 years. She has an interest in sports, science, nature and history.
Adrian Kiger is currently the Campaign Administrator for Friends of Senator Rockefeller in Washington, DC.
Judy King is a retired school teacher with thirty-two years experience teaching reading. She completed her undergraduate work in elementary education and most of the course work for a master’s. Her activities have included serving on the textbook selection committee for the state of Texas and serving as her church librarian.
Beverly Kobrin a book author and publisher in her own right has contributed her reviews to the Children’s Literature database. Beverly earned an undergraduate degree in music education from the New England Conservatory of Music, a master’s degree with a major in education from Stanford and a doctorate in elementary curriculum and instruction from Brigham Young University. She has extensive experience teaching and has published The Kobrin Letter since 1980. Beverly also conducts workshops on the use of children’s nonfiction books at home and in the classroom. Eye Openers II, published in 1995, is the perfect adjunct to these workshops.
Carlie Kraft holds a Master of Library and Information Science from the University of Pittsburgh School of Information Sciences, where she studied children’s and young adult literature with Margaret M. Kimmel and Mary Kay Biagini. She is now working as a young adult librarian for the Westminster Branch of the Orange County Public Library, Orange County, California. Currently, she is the only YA librarian in the OCPL system. She finds the job very rewarding and particularly enjoys visiting the local junior high and high schools to give book stalks and promote library events.
Charlotte M. Krall reviewed children’s books for the Children’s Book Review Services of New York for thirteen years. She authored Fat Dog’s First Visit and elementary and secondary education activity books. Charlotte co-authored H. O. P. (Health Orientation Program) for children for a local hospital. Her credentials include: PA ‘School to Work’ 13-county Coordinator, Education Reform Consultant for Little Red Schoolhouse – TN, Elementary Education Coordinator for drug and alcohol prevention and life skills – PA, College instructor for three universities, and Elementary educator in Ohio and Virginia. She has a BS in Education from Ohio State University, graduate work in early childhood at Wright State University in Ohio, and an MS in social Psychology from Duquesne in PA. Charlotte is a member of SCBWI and is listed as one of their reviewers.
Gayle C. Krause is a freelance writer, children’s book author and award winning teacher educator. She trains prospective Early Childhood and Elementary teachers. Young men and women find the key to successful teaching through her expert guidance as she directs them in a laboratory Pre-K school in conjunction with her education program. Her expertise in working wit both young adults and Pre-K children has given her the insight needed to write for both age groups.
Alexandria LaFaye has completed a master’s program in fine arts at the University of Memphis, and earned an MA in Children’s Literature from Hollins University. She is teaching children’s literature, multicultural literature and creative writing at CSU-San Bernardino. She is particularly interested in historical fiction, contemporary novels about children, and multicultural books for young adults. Her first novel, The Year of the Sawdust Man, was published in June of 1998. Which were quickly follwed by Strawberry Hill, Edith Shay and Nissa’s Place.
Joyce R. Laiosa has taught Children’s Literature as an adjunct at the University at Albany, NY. She is the Head of Youth Services at her local public library, and she is always reading — especially children’s books.
Jeanette Lambert is a librarian, Media Specialist, and has reviewed for School Library Journal, and Appraisal and is currently reviewing books for a newspaper in Nashville Tennessee where she resides.
Rivkah Y. Lambert who received a Ph.D. in education, is currently the Assistant Dean of the School of Social Work at the University of Maryland, Baltimore. As the mother of two active children, Rivkah has the opportunity to review books from a parent’s perspective.
Lynelle Lawrence attended Penn State for her undergraduate degree and later completed her masters in Journalism at the University of Southern California. She has worked in TV documentary and has been involved in a program to read to kindergartners at their schools and work with at-risk kids.
Terri Lent is the head librarian at Patrick Henry High School. She recieved her bachelors in Education from Clarion University of Pennsylvania and her masters from Geroge Mason University. Previously, she was a librarian at Manassas Park High School.
Nellie Lide is a mother of three children, ages six, twelve, and thirteen. She has a communications degree from the University of Pennsylvania. She has worked as an Associate Producer for Sixty Minutes and worked at Channel 9 as a producer. Currently, Nellie is doing PR work, has been writing books, a screenplay and completed a children’s video about trains for Acorn Media.
Jan Lieberman, publisher of the TnT (Tips & Titles of Books: Grades K-8) newsletter, is also a contributor to the Children’s Literature database. Jan works as a librarian at the Santa Clara City Library in California. She has traveled around the country with her workshops on children’s literature and has occasionally teamed with Dr. Beverly Kobrin in presenting these workshops to parents, teachers, and librarians. Jan received her undergraduate degree in Elementary Education from the University of Wisconsin and her master’s in Library Science from San Jose State where she taught for a number of years.
Suzanne Lieurance is a former teacher, now a full time freelance writer, living in Kansas City, Missouri. Her stories and articles have been published in numerous magazines, newsletters, and newspapers, including FamilyFun, and New Moon for Girls. Currently, she has 8 published books for children, including two Rookie Readers from Children’s Press (PENNIES and SHOELACES) and several books from Enslow Publishers, Inc. Suzanne also reviews children’s literature for www.SmartWriters.com, teaches children’s writing for the Institute of Children’s Literature in Connecticut, and offers online writing workshops at www.coffeehouseforwriters.com.
Mary Loftus wants kids to love reading as much as she does. To that end, she spent eight years in the Chicago Public Schools, teaching Reading to grades 6-8, and one year as a Fulbright teacher in Norwich, England. Currently, she puts her teaching expertise to work as a freelance writer for educational publishers. She is also working on her first novel for young readers. Mary earned her Master’s in Education from the University of Illinois at Chicago and her Bachelor’s in Journalism from Indiana University.
Shirley Long was born and raised on a pineapple plantation on the island of Lanai, one of the smaller Hawaiian islands. She and her husband and three sons have lived in Hong Kong, Taiwan, India, China, Japan and Thailand spanning twenty years. At present, Ms. Long is an assistant principal at Spring Hill Elementary School in McLean, Virginia. She loves to travel and garden, and is learning to play the cello with her fourth grade string students.
Angela Love holds a degree in Journalism, and has been a certified teacher since 1995. She currently works as a Library Media Specialist and will complete her Master’s degree in Library and Information Science in the spring of 2006. She currently resides in Warrensburg, Missouri with her husband Mark.
Joni Lucas is a journalist with more than 10 years experience who writes and edits on a number of topics including elementary and secondary education. She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and lives in Potomac, MD.
Andrea Lurz is a mother and very young grandmother. She has a degree in education from Towson and currently resides in Taneytown, MD. Her career has included work in daycare, retail, nursing (she holds a nursing assistant certificate) and the Special Olympics. Andrea loves books about animals, science and nature.
Carol Lynch is a teacher with the Columbus Public Schools. She is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Children’s Literature at The Ohio State University while on leave from teaching. Other areas of interest are early childhood education and literacy. Her dissertation research will focus on children’s literature that incorporates dialects and how it affects struggling emergent readers/writers.
Amanda MacGregor holds a Master’s Degree from the Center for the Study of Children’s Literature at Simmons College. She has worked as a children’s bookseller and librarian. Now based in Minnesota, she also reviews for Voice of Youth Advocates and The Horn Book Guide.
Beverly Magnelia has been teaching kindergarten for the last eight years in the Houston Independent School District at Garden Villas Elementary. She loves children’s books, and most importantly shares this love and the books with her students.
Barbara Maitland was born and raised in England but now lives in the United States. She holds an honors degree in English Literature, and is the author of several picture books and easy readers (The Bear Who Didn’t Like Honey, The Bookstore Chost, Moo in the Morning and The Bookstore Burglar). She is a member of the Authors Guild, the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, and the Children’s Book Guild of Washington, DC. Her work has been translated into Danish, Dutch, French and German.
Andrea Mandel received her Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work from Temple University, and her Master’s in Information and Library Science from Drexel University. She currently works at Marple Public Library in Broomall, PA.
Beth Marshall was an elementary school teacher for four years. She specialized in children’s literature at the Ohio State University, and reviewed new children’s books for The New Advocate for two years. She is now an assistant professor at The University of Maryland.
Anne Newell May is a freelance writer and editor for corporate and media clients. Her articles and columns have appeared in many newspapers and magazines, including the Chicago Tribune and American Girl. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, has written several early reader books (hoping for publication soon), and she is nearing completion on her first novel. The former public relations agency executive holds a journalism degree from Marquette University. She lives in suburban Chicago with her husband, daughter, two poodles, and a parakeet.
Elizabeth McAllister is a professor, an author, and a consultant. She has worked with student teachers and teachers in the field for 18 years, and has taught elementary school. Dr. McAllister is currently teaching at Towson State University.
Carole McCullough has taught at all age levels. She has acted as the Chair of the Corette Scott Award, and has experience in the multicultural and family literacy aspects of children’s literature.
Denise McGrain has always enjoyed using her imagination and loves going into the world of make believe by way of books. When her grandchildren came along, reading to them seemed like the most natural thing to do. As she watched their eyes light up as their imaginations were turned on, she decided that she would write and get as involved in children’s literature as she possibly could; Denise finds that she is having the time of her life.
Maggie Meacham is an active member of the Children’s Book Guild of Washington, DC. She has always wanted to be a writer and in college she was an English major. After college she became a librarian and currently teaches a college course each semester. Maggie has written half a dozen books including Oyster Moon and Call Me Cathy. Her advice for kids who want to be writers is “read read read. Write write write. Don’t expect it to be easy, and don’t let anyone discourage you.”
Lisa Mallory Meek places a high value on children’s literacy and brings years of experience with children’s literature to CLCD with her from Book Wholesalers, Inc., Joseph-Beth Bookseller’s children’s department and Lexington Children’s Theater. In her spare time, Lisa enjoys traveling, graphic design, and working on the house and farm she shares with her husband, Brian.
Cathy Miller is an independent children’s literacy consultant who did an 18 month stint as the editor of book reviews with the major parenting website, Babyzone.com.
Patricia Myers Metz is a graduate of the University of Maryland with a degree in elementary education and English. She has explored the world of books as an elementary school teacher and as a mother. She is currently teaching English at Howard Community College and continues to read and enjoy children’s literature.
Dennette Michaels holds a master’s in library science from The Catholic University of America. She has been a public, school, and curriculum librarian. For many years, she was an antiquarian children’s book dealer and has been an avid collector for fifty years. A reviewer and published author, Dennette’s latest book, Children’s Book Collecting, is a informative and fascinating look at the world of book collecting which also contains a short course in the history of children’s literature.
Dia L. Michels is the founder and president of Platypus Media, an independent publishing house producing books for families, teachers and parenting professionals. She is author of seven children’s books including If My Mom Were a Platypus and the Look What I See! Where Can I Be? series, as well as numerous adult books on women’s health. Dia is a popular speaker, lecturing frequently at conferences, universities and libraries around the country. She works very closely with schools conducting literacy workshops for parents, train-the-trainer seminars for teachers, and working with children. She is also an essayist for Public Radio International, an instructor for the Smithsonian Institution and the Museum of Science (Boston), and a guest expert on television and radio shows. Dia lives in Washington, DC with her husband and their three children.
Marianne Mitchell is an award-winning author of eight children’s books, including the picture books Joe Cinders, Gullywasher Gulch, and Maya Moon. Her mid-grade mystery novels include Finding Zola and Firebug. She has also published over ninety stories and articles in national children’s magazines such as Highlights for Children and Pockets. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, Women Writing the West, and is a former bilingual elementary teacher. She is fluent in Spanish and holds a Master’s Degree in Spanish from the University of Louisville. She is also an avid reader of children’s books and often gives writing courses for adults and young authors. She lives in Colorado with her husband, James, the author of two adult private eye mysteries.
Chris Moning lives and writes in Cincinnati, Ohio. He has published short stories in The Open Door, Idiolect, Skunk’s Life, and Sapphire magazine, and is currently at work on a young adult novel entitled The Wish Watch. Cofounder of the elementary school reading program, “The Eager Readers,” he is a graduate of Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio, where he lives with his wife and three children.
Todd Moning is a former magizine editor and community newspaper editor. Currently he is a web editor for an international association based in Cincinnato, Ohio.
Diane Monnier is Regional Children’s Librarian at the Bethesda Regional Library in Montgomery County, Maryland. A member of YALSA’s Best Books for Young Adults Committee Diane has presented workshops in Maryland and Pennsylvania on topics ranging from Penny Theater production to weeding a children’s collection.
Christina Moore: “I have been a writer all my life starting as a history major at the College of William and Mary. It has held me in good stead for all my various careers as a paralegal, a human resource development consultant, and a teacher. I love children’s literature and I write children’s poetry as well as some stuff for adults, too. I have continued to read and enjoy children and young adult literature long after my own children grew up and moved away from home. I truly appreciate well-written and well-illustrated children’s books and look forward to this opportunity to review and comment on the new books being published today.”
Patricia Kiger Morgan is the coordinator of the infant and toddler daycare program at the West Virginia University Hospital-Child Development Center. Patricia is a graduate of the University of West Virginia with a degree in human resources and secondary education, and she has over twelve years experience administering daycare facilities for preschoolers.
Karen Williams Moroughan lives in Lanham, Maryland and has obtained a master’s in library science with a specialization in school library media at the University of Maryland. Karen has a B.A. in hearing and speech science and an M.A. in Christian education. She is developing a software product that will provide content related to World War II for students in grades 4 to 6. As part of this activity Karen is very much interested in historical fiction and Holocaust material. Karen is currently a school media specialist in Howard County, Maryland.
Adele Mujal is currently the managing editor of a quarterly journal that focuses on transpersonal psychology and is an educational toy consultant. A former analyst for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, she has a master’s degree in political science from Georgetown University. She has an enduring affection for books and is having a great time introducing her nearly two-year-old son to their pleasures. Adele resides in Washington, DC.
Cara Mulcahy is currently a doctoral student in the department of Curriculum and Instruction in the Neag School of Education at the University of Connecticut. Her area of interest is English Education with a focus on critical literacy and the teaching of reading. Prior to her enrollment at the University of Connecticut, she taught language arts and social studies at the middle school level. With a major in English and the experience of several years teaching reading and language arts in the public schools, and having obtained certification in remedial reading, the field of reading education was an obvious point of specialization for her doctoral program. Her future plans are to complete her doctoral program at the University of Connecticut with the goal to securing a faculty position at the university level. There she hopes to work with both pre-service and in-service teachers and to continue research in the areas of adolescent literature, adolescent literacy, critical literacy, critical pedagogy, social justice, and diversity.
Jennifer Moore received her degree in interdisplinary studies with a concentration in reading from the University of Texas at San Antonio. She is currently teaching seventh grade reading. She has a broad interest in children’s literature, but is most interested in young adult books.
Shalini Murthy holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Bombay where she majored in sociology. Most recently, Shalini completed her master’s in education from Texas A & M University with an emphasis in reading. One focus of her coursework was children’s literature, and she had an opportunity to take courses from Dr. Donna Norton, one of the leading experts in the field of children’s literature. Her studies have provided a wealth of information to assist in evaluating children’s books, as well as projects and lessons using literature. Shalini also participated in the King Foundation Children’s Literature and Writing Institute. Currently, Shalini is a substitute teacher in College Station, Texas.
Donna Nelson has been an elementary school librarian for over 10 years. She has visited Korea and Okinawa. She is active in church and a garden club and currently lives in Virginia.
Sally Earp Niezgoda received her Bachelor of Science degree in Education from West Virginia University with training for teaching in both Secondary Mathematics and French. She received her Masters of Arts degree in Secondary Mathematics Education from West Virginia University. After 22 years, Sally has recently retired from teaching high school mathematics. During her career, she occasionally taught classes at Fairmont State College. These days , Sally manages some commercial real estate properties and travels. She has visited Canada, Cuba, France, Italy, Belgium, Egypt, and New Zealand. Sally enjoys snow skiing, riding her horses, gardening, walking in the woods on the family farm and reading, and has enjoyed camping, hunting, and fishing. Most importantly, she loves spending time with her two grandchildren.
Kim Norman has been a commercial artist for more than 20 years, woking mostly in advertising. She recently illustrated The Museum Duck by Verne Edwards. She was the creator of “The Eyewitness Radio Show,” which was a live children’s broadcast. She was the writer of all of the poems and scripts for the show. She is the editor and publisher of Today Publications, a company that produced newsletters for local businesses. Currently she is the production manager at The Smithfield Times.
Ashley Nunn-Smith lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. She is a graduate student of Library and Information Studies at Dalhousie University (Halifax, NS) and of Children’s Literature at Hollins University (Roanoke, VA). She lives in an apartment by the sea, is fluent in English and French, loves to dance and dreams of being a children’s librarian once her degrees are completed. She has reviewed for Children’s Literature since March 2008.
Kevin O’Connell is a trial lawyer and partner in a law firm, who is interested in the sometimes-overlapping areas of photography, computers, writing, fiction, dogs, humor, volleyball, camping, people, coaching kids’ baseball and the beach, among others. He earnestly wishes that any of these first three interests could make enough money to turn “lawyering” into a hobby. He lives with his wife, a children’s book illustrator, and their children in the Washington area and writes reviews to keep abreast of what’s new in software.
Christine Oestreich lives in the suburbs of Chicago, IL and has a Bachelor’s degree from Eastern Illinois Univeristy. She is a full time mother to her two little boys. Her former professional career was providing recreating and learning through programs at parks and recreation agencies which also included mangaing various aquatic and community center facilities. Currently she is working with a children’s book publicist. She is an avid reader and enjoys reading books to her children.
Kathleen Orosz is a therapist in Ohio with years of experience working with young people and their families. She has found written stories to be powerful allies in helping children identify and sort out feelings and believes that reading offers a simple but important escape to children when not much else in their lives is bringing them joy. Kathleen holds a bachelor of arts in physiology from Edgewood College in Wisconsin and a master’s degree in social work from Syracuse University. Her daughter, Jessica Baker is in graduate school in D.C. and is also a reviewer for Children’s Literature.
John Orsborn’s interest in children’s literature began in 1989, after taking a course as part of his elementary education certification program. John has a wide range of interest in authors and genres, as well as an interest in working with children of all ages. John pursued Studies in Elementary Education in Colorado, received a Bachelors degree in History from the College of Wooster, and his Masters Degree in Library and Information Sciences from the University of Texas. Above all else, he enjoys reading children’s books, a powerful medium, he feels, for adults as well as children. He is currently the Coordinator of Information Technology for a middle school in Colorado Springs, Colorado, his hometown.
Anne Marie Pace earned a degree in English from the College of William and Mary and a Master of Teaching in English Education from the University of Virginia. She has taught language arts, English and writing at all levels from middle school to community college. She is an active member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. She has published articles for adults about writing for children. Her stories, poems, and articles for children have appeared in such periodicals as Highlights for Children, My Friend, and Wee Ones. A frequent patron of the library’s children’s section, she lives in Virginia with her husband and their four book-loving children.
Deborah Palgon was born and raised in New York City. Deborah received her B.A. in history from New York University. After pursuing a career in computer programming for several years, Deborah returned to N.Y.U to complete her masters in educational communication and technology. The decision to return to N.Y.U was, in part, inspired by her experiences in raising three young girls. Recognizing the dearth in quality software available for children, in particular software geared towards girls, Deborah hopes to become more involved in developing this area.
Sue Pardo is a children’s librarian in the Montgomery County system where she has worked for the last 20 years. She obtained her B.A. in social work from the University of Wisconsin and a master’s in library science from the University of Oregon. Sue has a special interest in fiction and family stories. Among her favorite authors and illustrators are Laura Ingalls Wilder, Lois Lowry, Bill Peet and Keiko Kasza.
Louise Parsons is a graduate of Millsaps College and recently earned her Masters of Education with an emphasis in literacy from Lesley University. She has taught school for the past 7 years. Currently she teaches in a private school where students are taught in a one on one setting. Her favorite part of teaching involves sharing new books with her students. When she isn’t teaching, Louise can be found with her two crazy cats reading a good book
Nancy Partridge was born in Newton, Massachusetts. Her father was a classical musician with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and her childhood summers in the Berkshires played a profound role in shaping her future love of nature and art. After writing music and singing in the Boston area, she married and started her family of four children, now ages 5-17. She has traveled throughout much of Europe and India, living for one year in Rajasthan while writing for the Crafts Council of India about traditional Indian handicrafts with her artist husband John. Nancy has earned a Harvard degree, and hopes to enter a master’s program in children’s literature at Simmons College in Boston. Trained and experienced as a Montessori teacher, Nancy began to integrate her love and knowledge of children with her desire to write. She has written for newspapers in India, as well as human development articles in international yoga journals. Nancy lives in a lively household with her husband, four children, a dog, and two rabbits in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Valerie Patterson is finishing an MFA in Children’s Literature at Hollins University. One of her young adult short stories was published in an anthology of mystery stories in 2005, and she is currently working on a young adult novel. She lives in Virginia where she works by day works as an attorney. She holds a BA in English and Spanish and an MA in International Relations, we well as a JD from The Florida State University School of Law. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) and has volunteered for several years in promoting events for writers in the Leesburg, Virginia area through the Writers’ Center of Bethesda, Maryland.
Helen Pavick was married in 1999 and changed her name to Gaush. She resides in Fairfax, Virginia. Helen received her undergraduate degree from Muskogee, Ohio and her M.S. degree in professional writing from Towson State University.
Beverly Pegg is a children’s librarian at Morrisson Reeves Library. She has a particular interest in children’s picture books.
Maria Pereira Maria is an Irish emigrant living in Kensington, Maryland with her Brazilian husband and their two sons. She is a voracious reader and an avid writer. She has a novel, a childrens book and a ton of short stories under her belt. Unfortunately, she has never found the time to submit any of them but she is working on it. She and her husband own a house and office cleaning company and Maria also dabbles in imports and exports between Ireland and America.
Cheryl Peterson currently teaches with the Head Start program which serves 3 to 5 year olds in Santa Clara County, California. She supervises teacher’s aides and parent volunteers and is responsible for activity planning, anecdotal observations, and the compilation of portfolios for assessment. Cheryl has a B.A. in child development from San Jose State University where she was a Dean’s scholar and graduated with distinction. She has also been a substitute teacher in grades pre-K through 8. Cheryl has a love of children’s books that she enjoys sharing with her students and her own children.
Catherine Petrini is an author and a former magazine editor. Since 1992, she has written 14 novels for two Bantam young-adult series, and one for a popular teen detective series. She writes under the name Kate Williams for Francine Pascal’s “Sweet Valley High” series, and has also published Wanted for Murder under the name Laurie John. She is the recipient of the Washington Society Medal for short fiction, two Capital Press Women first-place awards, and two National Federation of Press Women awards for juvenile fiction. Cathy is now developing her own young-adult fiction series. Cathy is an active member of several professional organizations including Washington Independent Writers, the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, and the Women’s National Book Association. She is a graduate of the University of Virginia with a degree in English.
Jenny B. (J. B.) Petty received her MLS from the University of Missouri-Columbia and her Ph.D. in Library Science from Texas Woman’s University. She has eleven years experience as a public school library media specialist, eleven years as an academic librarian, has taught children’s literature, and currently is an Associate Professor at Southwest Missouri State University in Springfield, Missouri where she is the Coordinator of Library Science Education and Development. Her doctoral study focused on the involvement of school library media specialists in promoting cultural awareness through the use of multicultural books for children. She is the Children’s Book Review Editor for the EMIE Bulletin and also is a reviewer for Children’s Literature.
Ann Philips has an MS in Russian literature. She has published several travel articles on animal welfare care and reptiles. Her first novel was about neolithic ruins in Ireland, and her second was a young adult novel dealing with gender ID issues.
Lisa Phillips currently resides in New Hampshire and works for an environmental association in Massachusetts in their marketing and public relations department. She volunteers to read books to kids and is herself a parent. Her first love is picture books, but Lisa is also interested in other books geared to children ages 3 to 5.
Lucy Podmore taught seventh grade and at the moment is at home raising her daughter. She is a big fan of young adult literature and avidly reads fiction and nonfiction. A graduate of the University of Houston she began her teaching career with second graders and then made a move to middle school. She specialized in reading and was part of a teaching team. She also worked on projects to integrate technology into the reading and literature programs.
Margaret C.F. Pollock reviews children’s literature and writes. Previously, she conducted a 30 year career in international development, work that took her to 29 countries in Europe, Central Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Some areas of specialty included macroeconomic policies and institutional development both public and private, microfinance for the poor and the very poor, rural telecommunications, HIV/AIDS awareness, orphan care, entrepreneurship for poor women, community development, and education modernization. Margaret holds a B.A. in economics and an M.B.A. from the George Washington University, in addition to a Master of Divinity from Virginia Theological Seminary. She lives with her husband, David, Laytonsville, Maryland, and delights in their six grown daughters and their lives.
Karen Porter is a student teacher undertaking a third grade practice. Her interest in children’s literature is broad, although she is interested in those books for kinds ages 8 and up. She received a B.A. in math from the University of California at Santa Cruz and is teaching third grade in Marysville district.
Mary Sue Preissner completed her master’s degree in library science at Western Maryland College. A resident of Montgomery County, Maryland, Mary Sue has three children in the public school system. She has been a PTA president, a community volunteer, and a substitute teacher. Mary Sue enjoys young adult fiction, science fiction, and adventure stories; she is currently working as a school media specialist at the Redland Middle School.
Sue W. Preslar is a Lecturer at the University of North Carolina in Charlotte. She teaches children’s literature, adolescent literature, and journalism. Sue feels fortunate to be able to teach what she loves to future teachers, and she particularly loves to get a college student in her class who never experienced being read to. As an avid reader, she keeps up with as many adolescent novels as possible. Sue’s hobby is storytelling, which she does for groups and meetings. She also uses her storytelling talents in the classroom and is a frequent guest in her grandson’s classroom where she reads books aloud.
Peggy Pugh lives in Hagerstown, Maryland. She is currently a Literacy Resource Teacher at Western Heights Middle School in Washington County. Previously, she taught 6th and 8th grade English language arts for seven years. She has a two year old child.
Robyn Raymer has been an author, editor, and reviewer. Robyn has written two 16-page books for Grade 2: How to Make a Paper Airplane and Toys Through Time. She earned her baccalaureate degree from University of California Santa Barbara in Literature. She then graduated from University of California, Berkeley with a masters in English.
Mary A. Record graduated from University Of Massachusetts with a bachelors in Sociology and Political Science. From there, she attended New York University, earning herself a masters in Magazine Journalism. She currently works as assistant manager of communications at the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Bronx Zoo. She has worked for numerous puclibcations including Scholastic Choices and Seventeen.
Wendy Ricci teaches fifth grade in the Louden County school system. She has a fondness for all children’s books and is currently interested in those that have an emphasis on science, Native Americans and the Civil War. Wendy is a graduate of Rhode Island College with a major in elementary education and a minor in psychology. She is currently completing work on her master’s. Wendy and her husband became new parents to a daughter in 1996.
Dr. Melissa J. Rickey is a visiting associate professor in the School of Education at UAF for the 2006-2007 academic year. She has been a literacy faculty and program administrator for the past seven years at Antioch University Seattle. Melissa’s experience includes eighteen years in higher education, during which she has studied Native American Literature, and has worked on children’s literature projects (Children’s Choices and Teacher’s choices for IRA). Previously, she was an elementary classroom teacher and reading specialist in public and independent schools and in social-service settings. Melissa’s research and professional interests include multicultural education, multicultural literature, literacy learning and teaching, inquiry/research, and poetry writing.
Margarette S. Ried graduated from Bucknell University and did further college work at the University of Maryland. She did graduate level work on Early Childhood Education. She has been a kindergarten teacher as well as a teacher seventh through twelfth grade teacher. She has now retired in order to write.
Mariam Rinn received her MA in English from City College of New York, NY and her BA in English from Temple University in Philadelphia, PA. She has been an Editor for Crown Children’s Books. She wrote a middle-grade novel called The Saturday Secret which was published in 1999.
Kelly Roque taught special education for five years and was a behavior consultant for three years, primarily working with preschool age children and those with autism. As a consultant, she provided parent and teacher training and developed/assisted families and teachers in the implementation of behavior intervention plans. She is now a full-time mom and book-reader to two small children, Evan and Carolyn (her favorite job of all!). As an aspiring children’s author, she’s currently enrolled as a student at the Institute for Children’s Literature. She enjoys reading, writing, pilates, biking, and lot os famiyl time with her husband, children and big dog, Goliath! Kelly and her family currently reside in Sparta, New Jersey.
Anne Porter-Roth is a children’s librarian at a private school in Northern California. She is always on the lookout for trade books that fit the curriculum. During the past year, Anne has been very much involved with the implementation of technology in her school.
Donald Rowe is presently the Youth Services Librarian for a Southern California public library. He was graduated from San Jose State University with his Masters of Library and Information Science degree. Donald received his undergraduate degree from California State University Dominguez Hills where he also received his Multiple Subject Teaching Credential. Before his present position, Donald was a substitute teacher for classes from Kindergarten through Fifth grade. He feels his experience as a Third grade teacher gives him insight into the needs of elementary teachers and students. Read-aloud picture books for his weekly preschool storytime and realistic juvenile fiction are his main reading interests.
Mary Clayton Rowen teaches study and reading skills in Little Egg Harbor, New Jersey. Her focus has been on third and fourth graders with learning disabilities. Mary is a graduate of Kean College with a degree in special education and course work in early childhood education.
Lori Saporosa has taught at a variety of grade levels from kindergarten through grade twelve, concentrating mostly at the fourth grade level. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education and a Master’s Degree in Education with certification in Elementary Counseling. Lori lives in New Jersey.
Kris Sauer has been an avid reader since the age of five (neighbors still tell of watching her staggering home from the bookmobile with a stack of books she could barely see over), Kris is currently a full-time mom to two young girls, a part-time consultant and wanna-be writer. Prior to devoting herself to motherhood, Kris spentover a decade in public affairs and public relations ghostwriting for others. Born and raised in Minnesota, she currently lives in Beijing, China.
Karen Saxe has three children, one of whom is an adopted son and two of whom are twins. She has traveled widely and lived for periods of time in Mexico, India, England and Australia. Her husband is British and spent the early years of his life in Nigeria. Karen has a Ph.D. in mathematics and has been a professor of mathematics at Macalester College where she taught undergraduate science majors and future teachers. Karen regularly gives talks on adoption options and infertility. She has an interest in books that focus on science, math, and international subjects.
Augusta Scattergood spent her twenty-year career as a librarian at Kent Place School for Girls, at The Bryn Mawr School in Baltimore, and at elementary schools in Atlanta and Jacksonville, FL. Having recently retired, she hopes to complete her first children’s book soon. She is the mother of two daughters and a new grandmother. Her book reviewing interests include middle-grade novels, picture books, and kids’ books about gardening and cooking. A graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Simmons College School of Library Science, Augusta reads and writes from her home in New Jersey.
Julie Schneggenburger can be found with a book in her hands in Hamburg, NY. Since earning her MS in Elementary Education from D’Youville College, she has taught fifth grade for three years. With the help of her students, Julie brings books to life in the classroom.
Chris Gill Schnier recently moved to Arizona from the Florida panhandle. She is currently busy writing and has recently joined Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.
Emily Schuster is the assistant editor of Science Weekly, an in-school science periodical for children. She received her B.A. in English from Johns Hopkins University in 1998. In college, she interned for the Baltimore Sun, the Smithsonian Institution Press, and ZooGoer Magazine at the National Zoo. Emily hopes to one day write novels for children and young adults, and to start a magazine that will help preteen girls find a positive self-image.
Joyce Schwartz is part of a nonfiction writing team with Ellen Butts. Over the years she has served as a volunteer science enrichment teacher and has a wide range of interest from science to Shakespeare to serious study of the culinary arts and even serving as a docent at the National Museum of Natural History. She lives in Chevy Chase MD and with her writing partner has produced three books including May Chinn: The Best Medicine, Eugenie Clark: Adventures of a Shark Scientist and Carl Sagan. Joyce is a member of the Children’s Book Guild of Washington, DC.
Tina Selvaggi has a B.A. in English from St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, PA and an M.S. in Education from the same. She is a member of the International Reading Association, the National Staff Development Council, and many others…
Martha Shaw is a native of Washington, D.C., and the oldest of six children. Her alma mater is Catholic University, where she obtained both a B.A. in English, and a master’s of library science. She now lives in Columbus, Ohio with her husband and youngest son. Employed as a children’s librarian in the Montgomery Public Library system for ten years, for the last fourteen years, Martha has worked as an independent school librarian. One of the highlights of her job has been getting acquainted with such fascinating people as J. Patrick Lewis, Will Hillenbrand, Gail Haley, Jean Fritz, Ron Hirschi, Vera Williams and Verna Aardemaa. A still-enduring joy is that wordless connection between two book-lovers as they peruse the shelves and trade titles they have enjoyed! Martha’s reviews have also appeared in the Ohioana Library Quarterly, the magazine of the Ohioana Library. She enjoys walking daily with her husband, knitting and reading the New Yorker and the Sunday New York Times.
Zeta Shearill is an 8th grade teacher with an MS in 20th century literature and poetry, an MS in education curriculum. She is not at Hollins with the intention of writing her own children’s literature.
Mary Helen Sheriff lives in Richmond, Virginia where she teaches seventh grade United States history. Previously, she taught all subjects to fifth graders. During the summers she is working toward a master’s degree in children’s literature at Hollins and is pursuing a writing career. Mary has a master’s degree in education from Old Dominion University and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Virginia.
Beth Shotwell-Valeo is a daycare volunteer in Chevy Chase, Maryland. Her major at the George Washington University was history, and that combined with thirty years of government service, provide a good basis for reviewing historical and biographic works.
Laura Shovan is a poet in the Artist in Education program of the Maryland State Arts Council, an education freelancer for the Baltimore Sun and an education columnist for Baltimore’s Child magazine. A graduate of NYU’s Dramatic Writing Program, she coordinated the student award-winner reading at the Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival in 1996 and 1998. Ms. Shovan’s poems have twice won an honorable mention in the Allen Ginsberg Poetry Awards. She is a member of SCBWI, currently working on a young adult novel.
Gina Sides is an experienced elementary and junior high English teacher in Odessa, Texas. She is noted for her development of various curricula and specializes in teaching reading skills. Gina has written several articles that appeared in a local publication and also undertakes free-lance writing assignments. She and her son read many book together including those that she reviews. Her present all-consuming occupation, however, is her new daughter.
Patricia Silverberg, a full-time graduate student in Rhetoric, Composition and Professional Writing at Northern Arizona University, dreams of being a children’s book writer and illustrator. She completed her first master’s at Arizona State University with a focus in children’s literature, drama, and television. While waiting for that big contract, she works as a technical editor/ writer and as a grant writer. Also, she performs as a singer/songwriter at local venues and music festivals in Arizona.
Robert Simic is a graduate of Indiana University. He has his Masters in Library Science, is very well read and maintains his own blog.
Rebecca Singer is a graduate of Carlton University. She currently resides in Silver Spring, Maryland.
Jacquie Skurla has her B.A. in Education from the University of North Carolina. Her graduate work is in Gifted Education and Children’s Literature. She has been an elementary teacher for the Gifted for fifteen years in North Carolina, Illinois, West Virginia, Texas and Delaware. She is also a bookseller for a children’s book store (Book Fair) in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania. Her avocation is professional muralist and her hobbies include art, theatre and reading.
Charlotte Smutko resides in Lothian, MD. She holds an MLS in Library Science from Catholic University and a B.S. in Early Childhood and Elementary Education. Charlotte has been a third grade teacher, as Regional Children’s Librarian and as Assistant to the Coordinator of Children’s Services at the DC Public Library. She is a professional storyteller and a founding member of Voices in the Glen, a professional storytelling performance group. Charlotte is a member of ALA and the DCLA.
Ravay Snow-Renner has always loved to read, write, and draw pictures. As an undergraduate at the College of William and Mary in Virginia, she earned her BA in English and fine arts, went on to teach high school writing and earn her MA, and finally earned her PhD in Education from the University of Colorado. After many years of working in education research and policy, she decided to return to reading, writing, and drawing pictures. She is now an award-winning children’s author and illustrator. Her first book, Hildegarde and the Great Green Shirt Factory, received a number of honors, including being named as a Benjamin Franklin Award finalist and Best Children’s Book of 2004 by the Colorado Independent Publishers’ Association. Ravay, who lives in Littleton, Colorado, is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and is working on several new picture books. Her website can be accessed at www.snowboundpress.com
Earla Somerville is a elementary school teacher. She loves children’s books. Actually, she loves children in general. She enjoys reading books on nature.
Melinda Medley Sprinkle teaches 6th grade at the Rural Retreat Elementary School in Virginia and conducts writing, health, and history classes. She also works with gifted and talented children during the regular school year and in summer programs. For a real change of pace, Melinda has worked as the color guard coordinator which requires her to design routines and dances for a high school flag corps. In 1995, Melinda graduated from Emory and Henry College with a Bachelor of Arts in English. In her spare time, Melinda teaches Bible school and participates in several professional organizations including the Virginia Education Association and the Southwest Virginia Reading Association.
Joni Kaiulani Spurrier has a B.A. in English from Brigham Young University. She was a textbook specialist at Brigham Young and is currently a substitute teacher in the Fort Worth independent school district.
Jyotsna Sreenivasan recently published The Moon Over Crete, a story that tells of an ancient society where men and women are equal. Jyotsna works as a writer/editor for the Feminist Majority in Arlington, VA and has always been interested in writing from the feminist point of view. One of her goals in life is to write novels that break down gender stereotypes and help kids imagine a more egalitarian world. Jyotsna has an M.A. in English literature from the University of Michigan. She grew up in Ohio, the daughter of Hindu parents who emigrated from India and provided her the opportunity to spend two years of her childhood in India.
Susan Stan is Professor of English at Central Michigan University, where she teaches courses in literature for children and young adults. Her career has included marketing and publicity within the publishing industry and she was the editor of The Five Owls from 1986 to 1997. Susan is an active member of ALA and a past president of USBBY, for which she edited The World Through Children’s Books (Scarecrow 2002).
Julie Steinberg is a senior legal editor at the Bureau of National Affairs, Inc., a private publishing company in Washington, DC. She writes and edits for two weekly newsletters. She has two children and is a parent editor at Paw Print Press at Clemens Crossing Elementary School in Columbia, the town in which she resides. Julie holds a J.D. from the Syracuse University College of Law and a B.A. in History from Cornell University.
Carolyn A. Steinla teaches eighth grade English at the Daniel Morgan Middle School in Winchester, Virginia. She has more than thirty-two years of teaching experience and has taught all grades from six through twelve in four states. Carolyn really enjoys nonfiction and works hard to incorporate trade books into the curriculum.
Cheri Stowers has been working in the elementary education arena for several years. She loves sharing quality children’s literature with her students. Her areas of interest and enjoyment include reading, writing poetry for the younger set, volunteering at her church, and discovering ‘what makes children tick.’.
Sharon Strickland retired after 37 years in public relations/public affairs, congressional liaison, standardization, value engineering, and acquisition support in the federal sector and the Department of Defense, Defense Standardization Program (DSP). She is now a full partner in Strickland Resources (consulting/writing/editing/media and public relations). Mrs. Strickland helped develop and then served as the first editor and senior writer of the Defense Standardization Journal. She is also the former editor and chief writer of The Standardization Newsletter. Mrs. Strickland’s credits include partnering with the Defense Acquisition University to train DoD, federal, state, agency, and industry employees in the mission of the DSP. She adores children and is the mother of two wonderful daughters (one a veterinary nurse and the other a high school English teacher). She has two grandchildren (a little grandson and a newborn granddaughter) and is filling their lives with books, lots of snuggling, and reading time. In her spare time, she will teach them daily how to imagine!
Ru Story-Huffman is the author of Nursery Rhyme Time, which was published by Highsmith Press in 1996. She has also contributed a chapter to a forthcoming book entitled Unmasking the Internet for Research Using Hands-On Active Learning Exercises which will be published by Library Instruction Publications. Ru is a frequent contributor to Lollipops, The Mailbox, Totline, and Building Blocks. Thirteen years as a “story hour lady” in a public library coupled with her position as an adjunct instructor in children’s literature has provided Ru with considerable exposure to children’s books. Currently, she presents lectures for education classes at Cumberland College where she is also responsible for developing the children’s collection. In addition to Children’s Literature, Ru reviews for Library Journal and LIBRES. She has a Master of Library Science degree from Emporia State University in Kansas and an undergraduate degree in English literature from Buena Vista College in Iowa.
Veronica L.C. Stevenson-Moudamane is currently the head of Children’s Services at the Mount Vernon Public Library in Mount Vernon, New York. She is an active reviewer of children’s literature for two popular periodicals. Veronica has been a reference/children’s librarian for Greenburgh Public Library in Elmsford, New York, an instructor/public services librarian and an adjunct professor in the department of Civic and Cultural Studies at Mercy College. Her B.A. degree is in philosophy and psychology from Chatham College, her M.S.L.S. degree is from the University of Pittsburgh and she received an M.A. in religious studies from the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. Veronica is part of many professional memberships and committees, including ALA RUSA Membership Committee, president elect for ACRL/NY and Anne Izard Storytelling Award Committee. She is widely published and has been a reviewer for ForeWord Magazine and the Black Issues Book Review. Veronica is an avid traveler to the United Kingdom, most European countries, the Middle East and Africa. She also enjoys storytelling and arts and crafts.
Janet Morgan Stoeke is the author of the highly praised Minerva Louise picture books. Her first book in the series, Minerva Louise, won the 1986 Dutton Picture Book Competition. A Hat for Minerva Louise was a School Library Journal Best Book of 1994 and a Horn Book Fanfare selection. Her book, A Friend for Minerva Louise, was selected by Children’s Literature as part of the 1998 Choice List. Her latest books (1999) are Hide and Seek and Rainy Day. Janet is the mother of several children including a set of twins. She and her family reside in Alexandria, Virginia.
Candy Streety is a freelance writer. She has been a kindegarten teacher for four of the past eight years. She has her masters in Early Childhood Education. She enjoys reading and writing. She resides in Alabama.
Deborah Taylor is currently the Coordinator for School and Student Services at the Enoch Pratt Free Library in the city of Baltimore, Maryland.
(Gene) L. Thomas has a B.A. in education with a focus on physical education. He teaches K-3 and enjoys the outdoors, woodcarving, and sports.
Marilyn Thomas has many years of public library experience. She has her master’s degree in home economics from the University of Northern Colorado.
Melinda Tierney has been moving westward ever since graduating from the University of Notre Dame with a Psychology and Computer Applications degree. Having spent her younger years on the East coast, living in the West for the last 7 years has been a real treat. Her love for the outdoors and the wilderness hasn’t ceased and in the near future she hopes to relocate to a smaller town in Northern California. Melinda currently works as a substitute preschool teacher and enjoys working with children of all ages.
Amy Timberlake works as a freelance writer and children’s bookseller in the Chicago suburbs. She has a B.A. in history and government and is currently pursuing a master’s in creative writing. She enjoys the books that many may consider to be on the “edge” such as those by Lane Smith, David Macaulay, and Chris Van Allsburg.
Patricia Timbrook is an author, illustrator and publisher. She was the publisher of a magazine with a Christian focus that was targeted to kids 6 to 12. Pat loves picture books which she aspires to write. A resident of Ridgley, West Virginia, Pat particularly enjoys books that focus on the outdoors, nature and animals. Pat has devoted most of 2000 to training as a web site advertising manager. She has returned to artwork in several new genres and media.
Sharon Tolle spent 21 years as a teacher for learning disabled, gifted and talented, and emotionally handicapped children. She currently resides in Indiana with her two daughters. Every year she tries to enjoy a new sport which has led her to go rafting, para-sailing, snow skiing and roller blading, among others.
Tiffany Torbeck has a Master’s Degree of Library and Information Science from the University of Illinois and a B.A. in sociology from Illinois College. Since 2007 she has worked as a youth services librarian at the Bloomingdale Public Library in Bloomingdale, Illinois. She is the acting secretary of the Lincoln Story League and a volunteer storyteller for A Bright Beginning Academy in Glendale Heights, Illinois.
Michele Tremaine earned a Bachelor’s degree in fine arts from the George Washington University. She has had eight one-artist shows, and her award-winning watercolor paintings hang in prestigious public and private collections world-wide. Michele has written more than one hundred art reviews for the Journal (now Gannett) newspaper group in Northern Virginia. For a decade, she taught art in Fairfax County’s adult education system, for which she also created two educational television programs on watercolor painting. As an artist, she received a grant from the Virginia Commission for the Arts to create a poster celebrating the twenty-fifth anniversary of the American Youth Symphony Association. As a teacher, she was selected to be an artist-in-residence for the Fairfax County Public Schools as part of Mobil Corporation’s Arts Immersion Program. Now that her family is grown, Michele is trying to meld her various talents and interests (including a passion for classical music and a love of animals and bird-watching) into a new career as a writer and illustrator of children’s books.
Barbara Troisi is semi-retired after serving 42 years as a teacher and district librarian. She graduated from Montana State University and received a master’s in school library from Fresno Pacific University in California. Currently she is serving on a temporary assignment with the California Department of Education updating the K-12 Recommended Literature List (now included on CLCD book list) after being a team member of the original K-12 Recommended Science/Math List two years previously. Volunteering for the Virtual Reference Desk provides opportunities to answer student questions from throughout the world and maintain research skills. Travel to Africa fulfills dreams to know the history and gain insight into cultures and people. She has presented at the Ghana Computer Literacy and Distance Education Conference, participated in a children’s polio vaccine distribution in Ghana, attended the African Computing and Telecommunications Summit in Kenya, and most recently spent six weeks in Mbazwana, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa working in a high school library, affiliated with World Library Partnership. Prior to writing reviews for CLCD, she gained experience with Appraisal and Teacher/ Librarian. An avid football and basketball fan, she travels with the local university teams, preparing dozens of cookies for the long trips and providing vocal support at the games. She shares the joy of books and reading with two grandsons, Cobi and Gaetano.
Angela Tyler is a teacher of children and adult ESL, an author, seminar presenter and graduate student in Hollin’s Master’s in Children’s Literature program.
Linda Uhlenkott is an Assistant Professor of English at Western Kentucky University. She received her Ph.D. in English, Composition and Rhetoric at the University of Nevada, Reno. She is a member of the National Council of Teachers of English, the Conference on English Education, the Kentucky Council of English/Language Arts and is on the advisory board of the Western Kentucky University Writing Project. Her publications include several articles on writing, and she has presented papers analyzing the methodology of teaching literature at several conferences. Linda has an undergraduate degree in English from Lewis-Carke State College in Lewiston, Idaho and a Master’s degree in Writing and Composition from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
Margaret Rae Valabek is a school media specialist in the Anne Arundel, Maryland public school system. She has more than twenty-two years experience teaching elementary school and three years experience as an elementary school media specialist. She has a bachelor’s in elementary education from Towson State University and acquired her master’s equivalency in 1970. Rae is currently taking a young adult literature course. She enjoys biographies, poetry, beginning chapter books, and folklore-Rae likes books.
Ann Van Deusen is a librarian/media specialist teacher at the Burgundy Farm Day School, a private school in northern Virginia. Ann received her library degree from the State University of New York. Her job involves book and multimedia selection and acquisition for the school library. An active member of the Children’s Book Guild of Washington, DC, Anne has chaired the Children’s Book Guild Nonfiction Award Committee.
Sheree L. Van Vreede worked at the Center for Substance Abuse Research (CESAR) at the University of Maryland and has currently relocated to the New Jersey/Pensylvania area. Sheree is also a poet and has had her work published in magazines such as A Tapestry of Thoughts and Echoes Magazine. Her work also appears in anthologies and has been recorded on audiotape through the National Library of Poetry. Sheree received a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Maryland.
Gwen Vanderhage is a children’s librarian at the Denver Public Library in Denver, Colorado. Gwen holds a bachelor’s degree in English literature from Western Washington University and a master’s degree in Library and Information Sciences from Simmons College. She has been a librarian, a book buyer for an award-winning children’s bookstore, and the winner of children’s literature trivia contests. Gwen enjoys reading beside the ocean, reading on top of mountains, and reading beside a window with rain pouring down.
Jacki Vawter is a teacher and writer of educational materials who currently resides in Alexandria, Virginia. She received her Ph.D. in Early Childhood-Elementary Education from the University of Maryland. She has taught children in prekindergarten through grade two for seven years. Jacki served as a full-time, education faculty member at three institutions of higher education – University of Maryland, Mary Washington College, and Marymount University. She has written student texts, teacher guides, journal articles, reports, grant proposals, book reviews and newsletters. She is currently a consultant with the Winchester (VA) Public Schools and the National Geographic Society.
Earlene Viano is a librarian. She enjoys children literature and enjoys listening to music.
Dr. Hans von Marensdorff is Assistant Professor of General Internal Medicine at the University of Texas, Galveston, Texas. He is fluent in four languages, loves to explore the Internet, was born in Brazil, studied anthropology in Mexico, and is actively involved in raising his two children. Dr. von Marensdorff reviews many of the bilingual Spanish and English children’s books.
Ramirose Attlebury Wendt went to Eastern Oregon University for her undergraduate degree in history, has a Master’s Degree in linguistics from University of South Carolina, and is currently working on a second Master’s. She plans to teach.
Karen Werner currently serves as Director of Education Ministries at Bradley Hills Presbyterian Church in Bethesda, MD. As part of this position, she is responsible for Children’s Ministry and the Resource Center/Library at the church. Within the curriculum review process and program development, she reads, reviews and designs educational opportunities. She is a Certified Christian Educator in the Presbyterian Church (USA), has a Masters of Science in Physical Education from Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana and a Bachelor of Science in Education from Illinois State University in Normal, Illinois.
Karen White has been teaching for the last decade in Maryland, Virginia, and California and is currently a kindergarten teacher at Lake Shore Elementary School in Maryland. While most of her experience has been in kindergarten, she has taught first and second grade. Karen is currently pursuing a master’s degree in instructional technology, and her long term goal is to become a children’s librarian.
Jeanne Whitehouse is a children’s literature professional. Since 1977 she has been writing part time at the University of Mexico. She has published books since 1977. She is a grandmother of a 1 year old. Therfore, she is very interested in baby books.
Tim Whitney completed his graduate degree in library/media science at Western Maryland College. He is the media specialist at the Mt. Airy Middle School in Mt. Airy, Maryland. Previously he taught Spanish and German at Westminster High School, and served as the advisor to the Future Educators of America Club. Tim was also the chairperson of the American Education Week/Faculty Scholarship Committee. In 1994 based upon the nomination of one of his students, Tim was selected to receive the Who’s Who Among America’s High School Teachers Award.
Shirley Wibel is a Children’s Librarian and has spent seventeen years as a pre-school kindergarten director. She has a studio arts minor and wants to produce a book of her own. Shirley currently resides in Riverside, California.
Elaine Wick currently freelances as a technical writer and editor for professional health care associations. She is the author of It’s MY Future: Should I be a Nurse Practitioner, published in 2004 for middle grade readers. She has many years of experience as a pediatric nurse, is a former nursing administrator of a Children’s Hospital, former university instructor in maternal-child health and has published in professional journals. Her entire career has been involved with the health and development of children. She taught pediatrics and worked in hospitals in Ecuador and Colombia, SA. for 2 ½ years where she first began to sketch stories about Quechua children. She has written two middle grade novels about the Inca Empire. Her volunteer work has included a preschool in Washington, D.C., a homeless mission and an elementary school. She holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing from Hamline University and a Master of Science Degree from Boston University. She lives between Alexandria, Virginia and Jackson, New Hampshire.
Michele Wilbur graduated from the Ohio State University in 1993 with a Master’s Degree in Social Work specializing in School Social Work. She has been a Licensed Independent Social Worker for over five years and has worked in the school system with elementary, middle school and high school aged students. Her hobbies include reading, volunteering for the American Red Cross, being an active member of her church and spending time with her nieces, ages 12 and 8, and nephew, age 10.
Debby Willett, a woman of faith, has become known as a “sur-thriver” due to the experiences she has not only survived but thrived through. She has written more than 70 articles that have appeared in newspapers, online magazines, and book reviews, a home school curriculum, and a reading/fundraising program for public schools. Look for her new book series, Dancing with God, a collection of survival stories and her own personal story of survival, An Inconvenient Truth. She is also developing an inspirational speaking program based on her experiences with prayer, faith, and survival. Debby is also working on a series of children’s books, beginning with New Shoes for Benjamin. You can keep up with Debby at http://twitter.com/debbywillett and on her blogs, at http://whentheresaholeinyourheart.blogspot.com and http://texaslandlords.blogspot.com.
Carol Wolfenbarger is a professor of Children’s Literature.
Leslie Wolfson became interested in writing when she was five, asking, “Daddy, what is a poem?” Over the years she has written poetry, short stories, plays, magazine and newspaper articles, book reviews, and volumes of personal journals. She always has more than one writing project going – currently she’s tweaking a non-fiction biography, a young adult novel, and a couple of magazine articles. Leslie is an active participant in SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators). She’s already had a children’s play accepted for publication, and is working on getting her first children’s book published. In her spare time, Leslie is a credentialed English teacher for grades 7-12. She blissfully resides in Northern California.
Rosey Woodson is a children’s librarian who also works in child care and insurance sales.
Catherine Campbell Wright has been teaching English to speakers of other languages (ESL) (both children and adults) for the last seven years. She currently teaches elementary ESL in Montgomery County, Maryland. She spent two years in Niger, West Africa as a Peace Corps Volunteer and received her master’s degree in teaching from The School for International Training in Brattleboro, Vermont. She has a two year old daughter named Anna.
Frances Yates has a B.A. in Education and a Master’s and Specialist degrees in Library Science. She has taught children’s literature at Indiana University Northwest and has been a school or public children’s librarian for ten years.
Barbara Youngblood lives in the Western portion of Colorado. She has been the Director of a small public library for 26 years. She has two children of her own and has a special fondness for children’s literature. She does story hours at her library and also reads throughout the school year to classes at the Norwood School. She is an avid outdoorswoman and especially likes hiking and cross-country skiing.
Tamara Zollinger teaches the teachers to show art principles in picture books. Her students even get to create a picture book in her classes.
If you’re interested in reviewing children’s and young adult books, then send a resume to firstname.lastname@example.org.