Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Jane Kurtz  

Pen Name: None


Audience: Adult; Children; Children;

Born: 1952 in Portland, Oregon

-- Website --
-- Jane Kurtz on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection

Jane Kurtz was a teacher then director of Carbondale New School in Carbondale, Illinois from 1975-1981.

Biographical and Professional Information

When Jane was two years old her family moved and she grew up in a remote corner of Ethiopia, living there until she came back to the United States to attend college.Jane currently lives in Kansas with her husband.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

Ethiopia: The Roof of Africa (Discovering Our Heritage)
ISBN: 0875184839

Dillon Pr. 1991

Describes the geography, history, culture, economy, and people of the mountainous country in northeastern Africa troubled in recent years by drought, famine, and civil unrest

Fire on the Mountain
ISBN: 0613049748

Turtleback Books: A Division of Sanval. 1998

Miro in the Kingdom of the Sun
ISBN: 0395691818

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 1996

A retelling of an ancient folktale follows Miro, a young Incan girl, who struggles to find the cure for the city's sick and dying prince, whose only hope lies in the water from a lake "at the corner of the world."

ISBN: 0152002197

HMH Books for Young Readers. 1997

Tekleh is curious. Tekleh likes adventure. And trouble always seems to find him, no matter how hard he tries to avoid it. One day Tekleh’s father decides that a gebeta (also known as mancala) board will help keep Tekleh occupied--and out of trouble. “Time and place will prove no barrier to kids’ identification with an inadvertent mischiefmaker.”--The Bulletin

Only a Pigeon
ISBN: 0689800770

Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing. 1997

Ondu-ahlem thinks of his favorite bird, Chinkay, as more than just a pigeon, and when the young Ethiopian boy sets the bird free, he learns that the pigeon represents everything that is proud, beautiful, and free.

The storyteller's beads
ISBN: 0439155096

Scholastic. 2000

River Friendly, River Wild
ISBN: 1416934871

Aladdin. 2007

On TV we watch our city where people navigate the river-streets in any way they can....

"Look." Max points. "it's Sarah's house."

All I see is roof.

In searing personal poems, Jane Kurtz explores what it's like to struggle through a flood and pull your life together afterward. Inspired by Kurtz's own flood experience, this tale is realistic and unforgettable. Not just a moving story of one girl's courage, River Friendly, River Wild is a tribute to everyone who's ever faced great loss.

Terrific Connections with Authors, Illustrators, and Storytellers: Real Space and Virtual Links (Teacher Ideas Press)
ISBN: 1563087448

Libraries Unlimited. 1999

Exciting, productive connections with authors, illustrators, and storytellers are at your fingertips with this resource. Unlike other author visit guides, this book goes beyond nuts-and-bolts planning to how to create the best possible encounters between students and authors. Successful visits in real space and in cyberspace are described, giving you specific ideas of the many ways to connect with and create meaningful links between bookpeople and children. Choosing the right guest, guidelines for successful visits, making curriculum connections, using e-mail to connect with bookpeople, live chats in virtual space, taking advantage of ITB and satellite technology, and using such props as realia and curriculum guides are some of the topics covered. Lists of author/illustrator web pages and managed Internet sites for author interaction are included.

I'm Sorry, Almira Ann
ISBN: 0606222340

Demco Media. 2002

Eight-year-old Sarah's high spirits help make her family's long journey from Missouri to Oregon more bearable, though they do cause both her and her best friend Almira Ann some problems.

Water Hole Waiting
ISBN: 0060298502

Greenwillow Books. 2002

It's a hot day on the savanna. The sun sizzles, bristles, and bakes. A young monkey wants to drink at the water hole.

But wait!

Blocking the way are irritable hippos, sharphoofed zebras, a toothy lion, huge elephants, and a lurking crocodile. Will Monkey ever get to taste cool water? Why is waiting so hard?

Lanie (American Girl: Lanie)
ISBN: 1593696825

American Girl. 2010

Lanie is an "outside" girl who is stuck with an "inside" family. She longs to go camping, explore the outdoors, and have real adventures, but no one else in her family is interested. To make matters worse, Lanie's best friend is far away and living out their dreams of becoming wildlife biologists---without her! When Lanie's aunt comes to stay with them, Lanie finds a kindred spirit and embarks on an exciting project--planting a wild garden---but she faces competition with her younger sister Emily for their aunt's attention. Then her aunt leaves, and Lanie again feels alone & abandoned once again. Gradually, after a blowup with her younger sister, she finds support for her interests where she least expects it--within her own family. Likewise, she discovers the beauty and wonder of nature where she didn't expect to find it--right in her own backyard.


Golden Kite Award and others, including the PEN West Literary Award

Speaking Engagements

Speaking Engagement Availability (Yes)