Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book


Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Charles J. Shields  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Non-Fiction Other

Audience: Adult; Young Adult; Children;

Born: 1951 in Chester, Pennsylvania


-- Charles J. Shields on WorldCat -- http://www.worldcat.org/search?q=charles+j.+shields


Illinois Connection

Charles Shields was raised in Park Forest, Illinois, attended the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, where he received degrees in English and American history.

Biographical and Professional Information

Charles Shields is a biographer, primarily of 20th century American novelists. In 1997, Shields left a career in high school teaching and administration to write independently. Over the course of the next six years, he published 20 histories and biographies for young people, including a biography of writer Amy Tan, selected by the New York Public Library as one of the “Best Books for the Teen Age” in 2003. Shields published his first biography for adults in 2006, and ''Mockingbird: A Portrait of Harper Lee'' went on to became a New York Times bestseller.In 2009, with fellow biographers Nigel Hamilton, James McGrath Morris, and Debby Applegate, Shields co-founded ''Biographers International Organization'' (BIO), a non-profit organization founded to promote the art and craft of biography, and to further the professional interests of its practitioners. As of July 2011, BIO has members in 43 American states and 10 nations, including Australia, India, Kenya, and the Netherlands.Shields currently resides in Virginia and is the associate director of the ''Great Lives Lecture Series'' at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Virginia which brings prominent biographers and historians to campus.


Speaking Engagements

Speaking Engagement Availability (Yes) '''Contact Agent ''' Jeff Kleinman Folio Literary Management 505 8th Ave., Ste. 603 New York, NY 10018 [mailto:jkleinman@foliolit.com jkleinman(@)foliolit.com]

Selected Titles At Your Library

Amy Tan
ISBN: 0791058905. OCLC Number: 47838230

Chelsea House Publishers,. .

Explores the life and career of Amy Tan, from her childhood in California, through her struggle to accept her Chinese heritage, to her career as a writer.

And so it goes :
ISBN: 0805086935. OCLC Number: 671491824

Henry Holt and Co.,. .

An authorized portrait of the influential twentieth-century American writer draws on first-person accounts and Vonnegut's private letters while offering insight into his youth, the inspirations for his work, and his enduring literary impact.

And so it goes :
ISBN: 9781464017964. OCLC Number: 778781487

Playaway Digital Audio ;. .

The first authorized biography of the influential American writer, Sheilds examines Vonnegut's life from his childhood to his death in 2007 and explores how the author changed the conversation of American literature.

Annie Oakley
ISBN: 9781438102597. OCLC Number: 233792497

Chelsea House Publishers,. .

Argentina
ISBN: 9781422232941. OCLC Number: 922700250

. .

Presents the geography, history, economy, cities and communities, and people and culture of Argentina. Includes recipes, related projects, and a calendar of festivals.

Belize
ISBN: 9781422232859. OCLC Number: 908701272

. .

Presents the geography, history, economy, cities and communities, and people and culture of Belize. Includes recipes, related projects, and a calendar of festivals.

Belize /
ISBN: 1422207110. OCLC Number: 232980008

Mason Crest Publishers,. .

Learn all about Belize.

Brazil
ISBN: 9781422232965. OCLC Number: 922710910

. .

Discusses the land, the history, the economy, the people, and the festivals of Brazil.

Buffalo Bill Cody
ISBN: 0791064972. OCLC Number: 46866270

Chelsea House Publishers,. .

Examines the life and times of the frontiersman whose many careers included Pony Express rider, Indian fighter, scout, and star of his own Wild West Show.

Bulletproofing the psyche :
ISBN: 9781440849763. OCLC Number: 1012345915

. .

This book presents the latest in neuroscience and resiliency research alongside the personal stories of military veterans to advocate for an empirically validated training protocol.--Provided by publisher.

Central America :
ISBN: 1422232867. OCLC Number: 908701273

. .

Presents information on the geography, history, economy, and people of Central America. Includes a chronology, recipes, project ideas, and more.

Chile
ISBN: 9781422286401. OCLC Number: 908701233

. .

Discusses the land, the history, the economy, the people, and the festivals of Chile.

Costa Rica
ISBN: 9781422286531. OCLC Number: 927104437

. .

Discusses the land, the history, the economy, the people, and the festivals of Costa Rica.

Costa Rica /
ISBN: 1422207137. OCLC Number: 232980010

Mason Crest Publishers,. .

Discusses the land, history, economy, culture, and people of this Central American country.

Developing and maintaining a successful undergraduate research program
ISBN: 9780841229297. OCLC Number: 868020630

. .

El Salvador
ISBN: 9781422286548. OCLC Number: 927104555

. .

Presents the geography, history, economy, cities and communities, and people and culture of El Salvador. Includes recipes, related projects, and a chronology.

El Salvador /
ISBN: 1422207145. OCLC Number: 232980011

Mason Crest Publishers.,. .

Discusses the land, history, economy, culture, and people of this Central American country.

George Lucas
ISBN: 0791067122. OCLC Number: 49531347

Chelsea House,. .

Behind the camera shows directors from childhood through adulthood and shows their achievements.

Guatemala
ISBN: 9781422286555. OCLC Number: 927104556

. .

Discusses the history, land, people, economics, government and festivals of Guatemala.

Guatemala /
ISBN: 1422207153. OCLC Number: 232980013

Mason Crest Publishers,. .

Discusses the history, languages, foreign relations, economy, and culture of Guatemala.

Honduras
ISBN: 9781422286562. OCLC Number: 927104438

. .

Honduras is located in the heart of Central America. It is bordered to the south by Nicaragua and El Salvador, and to the west by Guatemala. Once a center for the Mayan civilization, Honduras was colonized by Spain during the 16th century. Three centuries of colonial rule produced a civilization that blended Spanish and native customs and culture. Since gaining independence from Spain in 1821, Honduras has experienced a great deal of political instability, most recently in 2009, when president Manuel Zelaya was removed from power in a coup d' tat. Political unrest is far from the only problem facing Honduras. The country is at time battered by hurricanes, and is dealing with ecological issues such as deforestation. As in many Latin American countries, there is a wide disparity between the wealthiest and poorest of Honduras's 8.2 million residents. Nonetheless, Honduras has many things going for it, including ancient Mayan ruins, lovely beaches, bustling towns, and abundant wildlife. There's a lot to discover about Honduras! Each title in this series contains color photos, maps, a chronology of events related to the country, recipes, list of festivals, ideas for projects and reports, and back matter including: an index, further reading lists for books and internet resources, and a series glossary. Mason Crest s editorial team has placed Key Icons to Look for throughout the books in this series in an effort to encourage library readers to build knowledge, gain awareness, explore possibilities and expand their viewpoints through our content rich non-fiction books. Key Icons are as follows: Words to Understand are shown at the front of each chapter with definitions. These words are then used in the prose throughout that chapter, and are emboldened, so that the reader is able to reference back to the definitions- building their vocabulary and enhancing their reading comprehension. Sidebars are highlighted graphics with content rich material within that allows readers to build knowledge and broaden their perspectives by weaving together additional information to provide realistic and holistic perspectives. Text Dependent Questions are placed at the end of each chapter. They challenge the reader s comprehension of the chapter they have just read, while sending the reader back to the text for more careful attention to the evidence presented there. Research Projects are provided at the end of each book and provide readers with suggestions for projects and reports that encourage deeper research and analysis. A Series Glossary of Key Terms is included in the back matter contains terminology used throughout the series. Words found here broaden the reader s knowledge and understanding of terms used in this field.

Honduras /
ISBN: 1422207161. OCLC Number: 232980014

Mason Crest Publishers,. .

An introduction to Honduras, discussing the history, economy, people, language, religion, and society of the Central American country, and including a calendar of Honduran festivals, recipes, a glossary, project and report ideas, a chronology, and resources.

How to help your teenager find the right career
ISBN: 0874473055. OCLC Number: 18671416

College Entrance Examination Board :. .

A step-by-step guide for researching careers by looking at personal interests, abilities, job outlooks, and other programs that will help determine a good match for the person and the job. Also information on resume writing, application letters, study programs, and vocational trainings.

I am Scout :
ISBN: 1250082218. OCLC Number: 154309080

. .

This biography tells the story of how Harper Lee struggled to become an author and created one of the most popular novels of the 20th century.

James Cook and the exploration of the Pacific
ISBN: 9781438124759. OCLC Number: 646805773

Chelsea House,. .

Examines the life and career of eighteenth-century English navigator and mapmaker James Cook, focusing on his exploration of the South Pacific.

John Cabot and the rediscovery of North America
ISBN: 9781438146942. OCLC Number: 914706276

. .

A biography of the Italian explorer who laid the first English claim to the North American mainland in 1497.

Martha Stewart
ISBN: 0791063186. OCLC Number: 46992039

Chelsea House Publishers,. .

Details the life and career of the woman whose books and television shows focus on ways to make the home more interesting.

Mockingbird :
ISBN: 0805083197. OCLC Number: 62782258

Henry Holt,. .

To Kill a Mockingbird, the twentieth century's most widely read American novel, still sells a million copies yearly. Yet despite the book's perennial popularity, its creator remains a somewhat mysterious figure. Journalist Shields brings to life the warmhearted, high-spirited, and occasionally hardheaded woman who gave us two of American literature's most unforgettable characters--Atticus Finch and his daughter, Scout--and who contributed to the success of her lifelong friend Truman Capote's masterpiece, In Cold Blood. At the center of the book is Lee's struggle to create her famous novel. But her life contains many other highlights: her girlhood as a tomboy in overalls in tiny Monroeville, Alabama; the murder trial that made her father's reputation and inspired her great work; her journey to Kansas as Capote's ally and research assistant on the story of the Clutter murders; the surrogate family she found in New York City.--From publisher description.

Mockingbird :
ISBN: 9781250097712. OCLC Number: 918994890

. .

To Kill a Mockingbird, the twentieth century's most widely read American novel, still sells a million copies yearly. Yet despite the book's perennial popularity, its creator remains a somewhat mysterious figure. Journalist Shields brings to life the warmhearted, high-spirited, and occasionally hardheaded woman who gave us two of American literature's most unforgettable characters--Atticus Finch and his daughter, Scout--and who contributed to the success of her lifelong friend Truman Capote's masterpiece, In Cold Blood. At the center of the book is Lee's struggle to create her famous novel. But her life contains many other highlights: her girlhood as a tomboy in overalls in tiny Monroeville, Alabama; the murder trial that made her father's reputation and inspired her great work; her journey to Kansas as Capote's ally and research assistant on the story of the Clutter murders; the surrogate family she found in New York City.--From publisher description.

Mohandas K. Gandhi
ISBN: 0791063011. OCLC Number: 46713172

Chelsea House,. .

Recounts the life and struggles of the young Indian lawyer who became the leader of the movement for the independence of India through the use of nonviolence.

Mythmaker :
ISBN: 9780791096321. OCLC Number: 191024006

Chelsea House,. .

An introduction to the life and career of the English author of the Harry Potter books.

Nicaragua
ISBN: 9781422286579. OCLC Number: 927104439

. .

Nicaragua is the largest Central American country by area, covering more than 50,000 square miles (130,000 sq. km). It is a land of beaches lapped by sparkling seawater, deep forests, long winding rivers, colonial cities, ancient Amerindian temples and cities, and a huge freshwater lake - the only lake in the world with sharks in it! From the 1920s until 1979, Nicaragua was ruled by the corrupt Somoza family, which was supported by the United States. During the 1980s, the country became a controversial Cold War battleground, with factions backed by the U.S. and Soviet Union. Since the mid-2000s, the country has been relatively stable, although its people remain among the poorest in Central America. There's a lot to discover about Nicaragua! Each title in this series contains color photos, maps, a chronology of events related to the country, recipes, list of festivals, ideas for projects and reports, and back matter including: an index, further reading lists for books and internet resources, and a series glossary. Mason Crest s editorial team has placed Key Icons to Look for throughout the books in this series in an effort to encourage library readers to build knowledge, gain awareness, explore possibilities and expand their viewpoints through our content rich non-fiction books. Key Icons are as follows: Words to Understand are shown at the front of each chapter with definitions. These words are then used in the prose throughout that chapter, and are emboldened, so that the reader is able to reference back to the definitions- building their vocabulary and enhancing their reading comprehension. Sidebars are highlighted graphics with content rich material within that allows readers to build knowledge and broaden their perspectives by weaving together additional information to provide realistic and holistic perspectives. Text Dependent Questions are placed at the end of each chapter. They challenge the reader s comprehension of the chapter they have just read, while sending the reader back to the text for more careful attention to the evidence presented there. Research Projects are provided at the end of each book and provide readers with suggestions for projects and reports that encourage deeper research and analysis. A Series Glossary of Key Terms is included in the back matter contains terminology used throughout the series. Words found here broaden the reader s knowledge and understanding of terms used in this field.

Nicaragua /
ISBN: 142220717X. OCLC Number: 232980015

Mason Crest Publishers,. .

Discusses the land, history, economy, culture, and people of this Central American country.

Panama
ISBN: 1422232921. OCLC Number: 908701124

. .

Presents the geography, history, economy, cities and communities, and people and culture of Panama. Includes recipes, related projects, and a chronology.

Peru
ISBN: 9781422233023. OCLC Number: 908701211

. .

Presents information on the geography, history, economy, and people of Peru. Includes a chronology, recipes, project ideas, and more.

Roald Dahl
ISBN: 9781438147093. OCLC Number: 908389408

. .

A description of the personal life and career of the twentieth-century English writer of such successful books as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, James and the Giant Peach, and Matilda.

Saddam Hussein
ISBN: 9781438147765. OCLC Number: 915560887

. .

Describes the life of the leader of Iraq, from his childhood, through his rise to power, the Iran-Iraq War, the Persian Gulf War, to his ongoing presidency.

Social work matters :
ISBN: 9780871014412. OCLC Number: 774697219

National Association of Social Workers,. .

In this book, Elizabeth F. Hoffler and Elizabeth J. Clark bring home the truth embodied in that title for practitioners and researchers in a comprehensive range of settings. At heart, the book argues that social work matters because the profession is absolutely necessary to the healthy functioning of society. -- Publisher.

Spike Lee
ISBN: 0791067157. OCLC Number: 49320353

Chelsea House,. .

Follows the life and career of Spike Lee, provocative guerrilla filmmaker who began his career asking uncomfortable questions about America in his controversial movies.

The college guide for parents
ISBN: 0874474744. OCLC Number: 32168131

College Entrance Examination Board,. .

The Great Plague and Fire of London
ISBN: 0791063240. OCLC Number: 47625355

Chelsea House Publishers,. .

A detailed history of two disasters that befell London, England: the Great Plague of 1665 in which it is estimated that at least 70,000 died, and the Great Fire of 1666, which destroyed four-fifths of the city.

Uruguay
ISBN: 9781422233054. OCLC Number: 908701214

. .

Presents information on the geography, history, economy, and people of Uruguay. Includes a chronology, recipes, project ideas, and more.

Venezuela
ISBN: 9781422233061. OCLC Number: 908701215

. .

Discusses the land, the history, the economy, the people, and the festivals of Venezuela. When Spanish explorers arrived on the coast of South America, they found that natives had built their homes on stilts along the the swampy shore of Lake Maracaibo. Because this reminded the Europeans of the city of Venice, they named the region Venezuela (Little Venice). Today, Venezuela is one of the leading oil-producing nations in the world. It has a high rate of population growth, and most of its people live in urban areas. As the sixth largest country in Latin America, Venezuela has great influences on its neighbors economically, politically, and culturally.

Vladimir Putin
ISBN: 9781438104799. OCLC Number: 233792507

Chelsea House Publishers,. .