Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Jennifer J. Phillips  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Non-Fiction

Audience: Young Adult; Children;

Born: 1962 in Alton, Illinois

-- Website --
-- Jennifer J. Phillips on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection

I grew up in Alton, Illinois and remained an Illinois resident until after graduation from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. I then started moving around the country for my career and now live in Shoreline, Washington. Most of my core family remains in Illinois and I find myself wanting to write about Illinois history and my childhood world. My first biography for children is about Elijah Lovejoy and I am working on another children's biography about Robert Wadlow.

Biographical and Professional Information

I started out as a newspaper reporter in Illinois and Iowa, then moved to corporate communications and public relations. I now split my professional time between healthcare improvement work and freelance writing, mainly for children. I have published children's articles and two children's biographies to date. I have other book projects in the works.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

Elijah Lovejoy's Fight for Freedom
ISBN: 0615316891

Nose in a Book Publishing. 2009

Two decades before the Civil War, Elijah P. Lovejoy used his newspaper to call for an end to slavery. His beliefs were dangerous enough. Taking his cause public proved deadly. Angry mobs destroyed his printing equipment three times. Then, two days before he turned 35, an Illinois mob shot and killed Elijah as he defended a fourth press. His efforts fueled progress on the issues of slavery, freedom of speech and freedom from punishment by private citizens. This is the life story of a man who insisted on his constitutional right to speak freely about unpopular subjects and refused to be intimidated by those who would silence him. Just days before his murder, Elijah told a crowd, "Think not that I regret the choice I have made. While all around me is violence and tumult, all is peace within."

Speaking Engagements

Speaking Engagement Availability (Yes)

Available virtually outside Washington state, in person within the Puget Sound region. Especially interested in classroom discussions and can tailor these to a teacher's areas of interest. Suggestions include the process of researching and writing a biography and the theme of courage. Contact author through her website or at No fee.