Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Betsy Hearne  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Fiction - Children Poetry

Audience: Young Adult; Children;

Born: 1942 in Wilsonville, Alabama

-- Website --
-- Betsy Hearne on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection

Hearne studied children's literature and folklore, got a Ph. D. at the University of Chicago's Graduate Library School, and became a professor. She lives in Urbana, Illinois.

Biographical and Professional Information

Betsy Hearne is former Director of The Center for Children's Books and a professor emerita in the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she taught children's literature and storytelling for many years.She is the author of numerous articles and books, including ''Choosing Books for Children: A Commonsense Guide'', the folktale anthology ''Beauties and Beasts'', fiction for both children and young adults, and picture books—one of which, ''Seven Brave Women'', won the Jane Addams Children's Book Award. The former children's book editor of Booklist and of The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, she has reviewed books for almost forty years and contributes regularly to ''The Horn Book Magazine''.Hearne has been president of the United States chapter of the International Board on Books for Young People, and chair of the American Library Association’s Caldecott Award Committee. She received a National Teaching Award from the Association of Library and Information Science Education; the 2009 Anne Devereaux Jordan Award from the Children’s Literature Association; and from the University of Illinois, a University Scholar Award and a Graduate College Outstanding Mentor Award.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

South Star
ISBN: 0689500912

Atheneum. 1977

A young giant girl is chased from her ancestral home by the "Screamer."

ISBN: 0689501145

Encore Editions. 1983

Megan and Randall's adventuresome and dangerous search for the lost king Brendan takes them to a strange land inhabited by lion-like men.

Choosing Books for Children: A Commonsense Guide
ISBN: 0252069285

University of Illinois Press. 2000

Presents a tool for choosing books for children of all ages. This title offers practical guidance on sorting through the bewildering array of picture books, pop-up books, books for beginning readers, young adult titles, classics, poetry, olktales, and factual books.

Eli's Ghost
ISBN: 0689504209

Margaret K. McElderry. 1987

Eli searches for the mother he'd long assumed dead in a huge swamp where he is sustained by the ghosts of friends from earlier days and where a brush with death causes his own ghost to leave his body and get into all the mischief Eli never has.

ISBN: 0689505302

Margaret K. McElderry. 1991

A collection of forty-six of the author's poems on such topics as city sights, insights, and relationships

Eliza's Dog
ISBN: 068980704X

Margaret K. McElderry. 1996

Nine-year-old Eliza's vacation in Ireland and England is complicated when she acquires a bouncy sheepdog named Panda

Seven Brave Women
ISBN: 0060799218

Greenwillow Books. 2006

Take a journey through time as a young girl recounts the exploits of her female ancestors, seven brave women who left their imprints on the past and on her. Beginning with the great-great-great-grandmother who came to America on a wooden sailboat, these women were devout and determined and tireless and beloved.

Who's in the Hall?: A Mystery in Four Chapters
ISBN: 0688162614

Greenwillow. 2000

Hey! What's up with the Willy-Nilly Wag Wave Dizzy-Lizzy Lowdown-Rowan Ratty-Ryan Nelly-Belly and Wicked-Nick?

And who exactly is in the hall?

By the time you get to the last page of Betsy Hearne's mysterious tongue twister of a story, you willy-nilly know!

Wishes, Kisses, and Pigs
ISBN: 0606292683

Demco Media. 2003

After eleven-year-old Louise makes a wish on the first evening star and her brother turns into a pig, she uses wishes, kisses, and spells to try to put things right again.

The Canine Connection: Stories about Dogs and People
ISBN: 1416968172

Simon Pulse. 2007

Meet Willa, a rebellious teenager who cannot resist adopting canine misfits, and Sam, who follows a dog and finds a girlfriend. Fiona's Border collie knows the secret her family has never guessed. Sly hopes his fierce Mutt will keep at bay the terrors of a dark city street.

Betsy Hearne has skillfully crafted twelve short stories highlighting the special relationships that humans and dogs can share. Varied in tone and setting, her collection will make readers smile, cry, and keep turning the pages to see what happens in each new miniworld of real and imagined encounters.


Jane Addams Children's Book Award and Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor Book for ''Seven Brave Women'' Parents' Choice Silver Honor Award Best Children's Book Award Anne Izard Award Parents Choice Award Carl Sandburg Award Anne Devereaux Jordan Award for Outstanding Achievement in Children's Literature from Childrens Literature Association in 2009

Speaking Engagements

Speaking Engagement Availability (Yes)