Patricia Hruby Powell

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General Information

Name: Patricia Hruby Powell

Pen Name: None

Born: in Arlington Heights, Illinois






Illinois Connection

Powell was born and raised in Arlington Heights. She currently resides in Champaign.

Biographical and Professional Information

Patricia Hruby Powell is an author, storyteller and dancer. She has graduated from London School of Contemporary Dance, University of Illinois – Urbana Champaign with a BFA in Dance, Temple University in Philadelphia with a MFA in Dance and the University of Illinois – Urbana Champaign with a MS in Library and Information Science.

As a dancer/choreographer, Powell worked in London, Winnipeg, and New York City. She has also traveled over North and South America, Europe and the Caribbean with her own dance company ONE PLUS ONE. Powell uses her dance experience to accentuate her presentations and storytelling along with worldwide percussion instruments and animal sounds. She has also worked as a lithographer (printing from large stone slabs), trapeze artist, ballet teacher, modern dance teacher, composition teacher, mime and a substitute librarian.

Her first book, Blossom Tales: Flower Stories of Many Folk, is a beautifully illustrated collection of fourteen retold folktales from around the world, each one about a flower. Her books, Zinnia and Frog Brings Rain, are bilingual Navajo/English picture books.

Published Works

  • Blossom Tales, Flower Stories of Many Folk, Moon Mountain Publishers, 2002
  • Zinnia: How the Corn Was Saved, Salina Bookshelf, 2004
  • Frog Brings Rain, Salina Bookshelf, 2006
  • Josephine: The Dazzling Life of Josephine Baker, Chronicle, 2014
  • Loving vs Virginia, Chronicle, 2017
  • Struttin’ With Some Barbecue, Charlesbridge, 2017

Titles at Your Library

Blossom Tales: Flower Stories of Many Folk

ISBN: 0967792983
Release Date: 2002-02-01

Find on World Cat

Zinnia: How the Corn Was Saved

ISBN: 1893354385
Release Date: 2004-01-01

Find on World Cat

Frog Brings Rain

ISBN: 1893354083
Release Date: 2006-04-01

Find on World Cat

Josephine: The Dazzling Life of Josephine Baker (Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor Books)

ISBN: 1452103143
Release Date: 2014-01-14

Find on World Cat

Literary Awards

Frog Brings Rain

  • Spur Storyteller Finalist Award, 2007
  • Aesop Accolade Award, American Folklore Society, 2006


  • Land of Enchantment Book, 2006-07


  • NPR Best Books of the Year List, 2014
  • Boston Globe Horn Book Nonfiction Honor, 2014
  • Parents’ Choice Gold Award for Poetry, 2014
  • International Bologna/Ragazzi Nonfiction Honor, 2014
  • Junior Library Guild Selection, 2014
  • Huffington Post Best Picture Book of the Year – Biography (artist), 2014
  • Wall Street Journal’s 10 Best Children’s Books of the Year List, 2014
  • Best Picture Books of 2014 | Adventures in Learning | PBS Parents
  • New York Public Library Best Children’s Books, 2014
  • Horn Book Fanfare Best, 2014
  • Book Page Best Children’s Books, 2014
  • GoodReads Choice Awards, Picture Book Finalist, 2014
  • School Library Journal List of Best Books of 2014 – Nonfiction
  • Blue Ribbon Books 2014 – Bulletin for the Center of Children’s Books
  • Chicago Public Library – Best Books for Older Readers (older kids), 2014
  • 100 Magnificent Children’s Books, 2014
  • Nerdy Book Club Nonfiction, 2014
  • Center for the Study of Multicultural Children’s Literature’s Best Multicultural Books of 2014
  • BuzzFeed Best Books 2014
  • Amazon Editor’s Choice Best Book of the Month for Readers 6-8 January 2014
  • Daily Candy Product of the Month February 2014
  • School Library Journal Pick of the Day February 26, 2014
  • Follett School Solutions Title EZ subscription program Starred Review, May 2014
  • ABC Best Books for Children Catalog, 2014
  • A White Raven 2014 Book
  • The Association of Children’s Librarians of Northern California 2014 Distinguished Books
  • Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor, 2015
  • Robert F. Sibert Honor Book, 2015
  • National Education Association (NEA) Read Across America Calendar, January 2015
  • CCBC Choices 2015, Best-of-the-year list — Biography
  • New York City Reads 365 for 2016 – Grade 5
  • 2016 ILLINOIS READS Book
  • William Allen White Children’s Book Award’s Master List – Kansas State Book Award, 2016-2017
  • ALA Notable Children’s Books for “All Ages”
  • Best Books – Children’s Wall Street Journal
  • 25 Contemporary Picture Books to Help Parents, Teachers, and Kids Talk About Diversity - BuzzFeed
  • 45 Books to teach Children About Black History – The Culture
  • Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
  • School Library Journal, Starred Review
  • Kirkus, Starred Review
  • Shelf Awareness for Readers, Starred Review

Speaking Engagements and Upcoming Appearances

Speaking Engagement Availability: (Yes)

Contact Information:

80 Peachtree Road

North Kingstown, Rhode Island 02852



External Links

Patricia Hruby Powell on WorldCat


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