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

  • Grandma According to Me, Yearling, 1994
  • A Cake All for Me, Scholastic, 1999
  • Fire in Thier Eyes: Wildfires and the People Who Fight Them, Sandpiper, 1999
  • Mooove Over!: A Book About Counting by Twos, Holiday House, 2004
  • Jack's House, Oxford University Press, 2009

Selected Titles At Your Library

Grandma according to me /
ISBN: 0440409950. OCLC Number:

Dell Pub.,. New York :. ©1992

A young girl shows how much she loves her grandmother by telling her what she likes about her.

A cake all for me! /
ISBN: 0439087244. OCLC Number:

Scholastic Inc.,. New York :. 1999, ©1998.

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 :
ISBN: 0152010424. OCLC Number:

Harcourt Brace,. San Diego :. ©1999.

Depicts in text and photographs the training, equipment, and real-life experiences of people who risk their lives to battle wildfires, as well as people who use fire for ecological reasons.

Jack's house /
ISBN: 0823422429. OCLC Number:

Holiday House,. New York :. ©2009.

Cumulative text reveals who was really responsible for the house that Jack claims to have built, and all of the trucks involved, from the bulldozer used to clear the land to the van that brought a hammock for the back yard.

Speaking Engagements

Speaking Engagement Availability (No)