Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Karen Magnuson Beil  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Fiction

Audience: Children;

Born: in Boston, Massachusetts

-- Website --
-- Karen Magnuson Beil on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection

Karen worked for Chicago's City News Bureau.

Biographical and Professional Information

After graduating college, Karen wrote articles about fires, murders, and robberies, and interviewed judges, firefighters, police officers, and even a notorious con man as a reporter for Chicago’s legendary City News Bureau. This was a wire service, a one-city version of the Associated Press, where many writers including Kurt Vonnegut got their hard-knocks start as cub reporters (they were called the “City News kids”). It’s where she learned to read upside down, ask tough questions, and meet deadlines. Since then, Karen has been an editor, science writer, magazine freelancer, publications director, and now writes for her most favorite audience—children.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

Grandma According to Me
ISBN: 0440409950

Yearling. 1994

A young girl compares her own feelings about her grandmother with her grandmother's view of herself in this warm portrait of the love between a grandmother and granddaughter. Ted Rand's exquisite watercolor illustrations coupled with the lyrical text make this book a tribute to the special relationships between grandparents and grandchildren.

A cake all for me!
ISBN: 0439087244

Scholastic Inc. 1999

Using the themes and rhythms of traditional nursery rhymes, gives directions for baking and sharing a cake including "nine, ten, eggs from the hen" and "fifteen, sixteen, a big bowl for mixing." Includes measurements and recipes.

Fire in Their Eyes: Wildfires and the People Who Fight Them
ISBN: 0152010424

HMH Books for Young Readers. 1999

What drives some people to stand in the path of a wall of flame? Who are these brave, foolhardy, visionary firefighters? This intimate look at the elite groups that fight wildfires explores the trials, tragedies, and triumphs of these courageous few as they battle wilderness blazes from Alaska to Maine. From the grueling training of a smokejumper class in Montana, through harrowing fights with some up-close-and-personal wildfires, to a group of inspired conservationists who use fire as a tool for preservation, Karen Magnuson Beil takes readers where only a few have ventured--into the heart of one of nature’s most destructive and unpredictable forces: fire.

Jack's House
ISBN: 0823422429

Holiday House. 2009

Construction-equipment loving boys will adore this humourous twist on the classic nursery rhyme. Someone has done a lot of work building a house. Someone has been operating a cement mixer, driving a bulldozer, and using a forklift to build walls, frame windows, and nail down a roof. Someone has built a big, strong home for Jack. But is this the house that Jack built? One tired puppy dog disagrees in this story about getting what you work for. 

Speaking Engagements

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