Authors & Illustrators

Biographical information about writers and illustrators of books for young people.

Five questions for Varian Johnson

Varian Johnson _credit Kenneth B. Gall

Varian Johnson (who was co-valedictorian, with his twin brother, of his high school class, thank you very much) enjoys two careers: as an author and an engineer. It’s not surprising, then, that his new book The Great Greene Heist (Scholastic, 12–16 years) is so meticulously — almost mathematically — plotted. But it’s not all by-the-numbers, […]

Cathleen Daly on Emily’s Blue Period

daly_emily's blue period

In the July/August 2014 Horn Book Magazine, reviewer Martha Parravano asked Emily’s Blue Period author Cathleen Daly about the dual focus of this innovative picture book. Read the starred review of Emily’s Blue Period here. Martha V. Parravano: Your book beautifully incorporates details about a particular artist (Picasso) and the young girl who’s inspired by him […]

B: A Profile of Brian Floca

locomotive

An editor’s dream — smart authors, smart artists. They save so much time. That is, they’re up to speed without undue heaving or the need for sand on the tracks (see Locomotive for more on the subject). My subject in this tribute is someone who is all three: author, artist, smart. Given a pencil, Brian […]

Walter Dean Myers (1937-2014)

Photo by Constance Myers

We are terribly sad to learn of the death of Walter Dean Myers on Tuesday from pneumonia. As an author, his accolades are nearly too numerous to count: National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, Margaret A. Edwards Award winner, (first) Printz Award winner, Coretta Scott King Author Award winner, Newbery honoree, Boston Globe-Horn Book honoree, […]

A Profile of Kate DiCamillo

kate with squirrel

Superheroes come in all shapes and sizes: Incandesto is a towering beam of light; Ulysses is a squirrel; and Kate DiCamillo, of course, is a writer of children’s books. “For heaven’s sake,” I can hear Tootie Tickham asking, “what kind of superhero writes?” And it’s true that Kate may not be your typical cape-wearing, crime-fighting […]

Conference report: Association of Jewish Libraries

AllofaKind

As a new member of a prestigious book award committee, I recently winged off to Vegas to meet my fellow committee members, attend conference sessions, and generally be invigorated by the field of children’s books and the librarians who love them. Leave ALA to Roger and Martha — I was at the Association of Jewish […]

Rita Williams-Garcia’s 2014 CSK Author Award Acceptance

p.s. be eleven

Good morning, family. I am honored to stand before you all: Coretta Scott King Book Awards Committee Chair Kim Patton and the committee; most distinguished fellow honorees; and all of us joined through our love of books, tolerance, and peace. A certain type of ignorance is truly bliss. I’d been writing for young people over […]

Five questions for K. T. Horning on The Jackson 5

jackson 5 banner

In her profile of Rita Williams-Garcia, K. T. Horning discusses the mutual love she and Rita have for The Jackson 5 — a love Rita infuses into her 2014 CSK Author Award–winning novel P.S. Be Eleven. After all, as K. T. writes, “nothing defined the era during which we [and protagonist Delphine] were eleven better […]

A Profile of Rita Williams-Garcia: Being Eleven

K. T. Horning, Rita Williams-Garcia, Rosemary Brosnan

I first met Rita Williams-Garcia three years ago, soon after One Crazy Summer was published. Prior to that, though, I had known her through her books for many years, starting with her first novel, Blue Tights. It stood out among all the YA novels published in 1988 for its honest and realistic depiction of a […]

Bryan Collier’s 2014 CSK Illustrator Award Acceptance

Knock Knock

I was inspired to create this book by Daniel Beaty’s wonderful monologue “Knock Knock.” His emotional delivery and moving text of a boy’s struggle to navigate his way toward manhood — not completely alone, but without the presence of his father — set the tone for this rollercoaster-like ride that is this boy’s life. The […]