Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Junaita Havill  

Pen Name: None


Audience: Children;

Born: 1949 in Evansville, Indiana

-- Junaita Havill on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection

Grew Up in Mt. Carmel, Illinois

Biographical and Professional Information

Attended Université de Rouen, 1969-70; University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, B.A., 1971, M.A., 1973.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

Jamaica's Find (Reading Rainbow)
ISBN: 0395453577

HMH Books for Young Readers. 1987

Jamaica finds a stuffed dog at the playground and after taking him home without trying to find the owner discovers her conscience as well. Jamaica’s honest and appealing character inspired five more books, each about a childhood ethical dilemma.

Grow: A Novel in Verse
ISBN: 1561454419

Peachtree Publishing Company. 2008

This verse novel for young readers uses rich, evocative language to deliver a powerful story of the extraordinary magic that occurs every day when ordinary people work together.
Everything about Berneetha is big―especially her dreams. And when Berneetha decides to create a community garden on a vacant lot, twelve-year-old Kate Sibley just has to help make that dream a reality. At first the neighbors think Kate and Berneetha are crazy, but slowly a community begins to grow, just as the garden does.
But just as the garden and Kate are both beginning to bloom, a sign goes up: a parking garage will be built on the lot. Can Kate and Berneetha and their friends keep the garden and the dream alive?
Award-winning author Juanita Havill’s story of a community garden in an urban neighborhood is told through the eyes of an impressionable girl in a series of richly detailed prose poems. The result is an affecting, lasting portrait of community life and the power of shared commitment and hope.

Jamaica and Brianna
ISBN: 0395779391

HMH Books for Young Readers. 1996

It's wintertime again, and Jamaica has to wear her brother Ossie's hand-me-down boots. She finds herself envious of her friend Brianna's pink boots with the fuzzy cuffs, and Brianna teases her about her ugly, old "boy" boots. But one word brings reconciliation for the two friends.

Jamaica's Blue Marker
ISBN: 0618369171

HMH Books for Young Readers. 2003

Jamaica was friends with everyone in school - except for Russell. No wonder: Russell was a mean brat. When they had art class, Russell borrowed her markers and spoiled her picture. At recess, he threw sand and chased little kids. Jamaica certainly wasn't sorry to learn that Russell was going to move away. She didn't even want to make a card for him, the way the others in her class were doing. But then something happened to change her mind . . .

Brianna, Jamaica, and the Dance of Spring
ISBN: 0547237685

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH). 2009

Brianna and Jamaica both want to be the butterfly queen in their spring dance performance. Instead they are chosen to be flowers while Brianna's older sister, Nikki, is chosen for the lead. But just when Nikki seems to be the lucky one, she gets the flu and can't dance her part. Will Brianna get a chance now? Once again Juanita Havill and Anne Sibley O'Brien portray a familiar scene in the life of a child with grace, gentleness, and a satisfying conclusion.

Just Like a Baby
ISBN: 0811850269

Chronicle Books. 2009

Everyone has plans for baby Ellen. But—even though she's just a baby—Ellen will do exactly as she pleases. Here is a heartwarming book for any family with a new baby wishing for a new baby and most important of all loving a new baby.

I Love You More(First Little Golden Book)
ISBN: 0307101770

Golden Books. 1995

Jamaica Tag-Along
ISBN: 0395549493

HMH Books for Young Readers. 1990

Jamaica doesn't want a younger child to play with her, until she remembers how she felt when her older brother excluded her from his games.

Jamaica and the Substitute Teacher
ISBN: 0618152423

HMH Books for Young Readers. 2001

Jamaica likes the substitute teacher right away. Mrs. Duval is very nice, and she thinks of interesting things for the class to do. When the kids have to hunt for a hidden object, it's Jamaica who solves the clues. She figures out all the answers to the math puzzles, and Mrs. Duval praises her reading, too. But when it's time for the spelling test, Jamaica realizes that she is not prepared. Wanting so badly to please Mrs. Duval, she makes a poor decision. What will Mrs. Duval think of her now? In this new story about a favorite character, Juanita Havill and Anne Sibley O'Brien depict a small but significant crisis with tact and sensitivity.

Eyes Like Willy's
ISBN: 0688136729

HarperColl. 2004

It's the summer of , and Guy and Sarah Masson have traveled with their parents from Paris to a small resort village on Lake Constance, in Austria. What Guy thinks will be an ordinary vacation is transformed into one of discovery and delight when he and Sarah meet a ten-year-old Austrian boy, Willy Schiller. They swim and race their model sailboats in the lake, fight mock duels as knights through the woods, and play chess in their rooms when it rains, while Guy and Sarah plot how Willy can come back to Paris with them in the fall. The three become inseparable that first summer, and each year thereafter their friendship grows -- until the summer of . Suddenly the world is at war, and these best of friends find themselves on opposing sides.


  • 1987 Ezra Jack Keats New Writer Award, ''Jamaica's Find''
  • Library of Congress Children's Book of the Year, ''Jamaica Tag-Along''

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