Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Keith McGowan  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Children's Fiction

Audience: Young Adult; Children;

Born: 1968 in Brooklyn, New York

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Illinois Connection

McGown lived and worked in Chicago.

Biographical and Professional Information

Keith McGowan has worked most of his life as an educator. He helped run an elementary afterschool program and day camp, taught mathematics and science, volunteered for a year as a teacher in Haiti, developed curricula for a non-profit in Chicago that helps students go to college, and tutored students who were unable to attend school full-time. Nowadays he writes fiction full-time.In 2010, Keith was awarded the Thurber House residency, given to one children’s book author each year in honor of American author and humorist James Thurber. His first book for children, ''The Witch’s Guide to Cooking with Children'', was named a 2010 ALA Notable Children’s Recording and a 2011 Texas Bluebonnet book. McGowen currently resides with his family in Vienna, Austria.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

The Witch's Guide to Cooking with Children
ISBN: 0805086684

Henry Holt and Co. (BYR). 2009

I love children. Eating them, that is. So begins this laugh-out-loud adventure in which a misunderstood genius brother and a tricky younger sister--Sol and Connie--go up against a brilliant witch who dines on children--sometimes with candles lit and fine wine, other times snacking from a plate in the glow of primetime TV. Called "funny and subversive" by USA Today and "a literary treat" by The New Yorker, this story blends humor and adventure, adds sibling arguments while mixing well, seasons with riddles, and goes down in a single, surprising gulp. Afterward, for dessert, READ THE CONTINUING ADVENTURES OF SOL AND CONNIE, The Witch's Curse.

The Witch's Curse (Christy Ottaviano Books)
ISBN: 0805093249

Henry Holt and Co. (BYR). 2013

The much-anticipated sequel to the hilarious Witch's Guide to Cooking with Children from THE UNITED STATES OF GRIMM series. This time Sol and Connie face off against the hunter king from the Grimm folktale, Brother and Sister. The hunter doesn't want to ride them down but, because of his curse, he has to. Too bad for Sol and Connie. Funny and scary at the same time, the American Library Association's Booklist calls it "another edgy, absorbing read" and the Bank Street College of Education named it a Best Book of 2014.


The Witchs Guide to Cooking with Children

  • ALA Notable Childrens Recording, 2010
  • Texas Bluebonnet book, 2011

    Speaking Engagements

    Speaking Engagement Availability (Yes)

    McGowan is represented by McIntosh & Otis in New York - .