Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Alexandria LaFaye  

Pen Name: A LaFaye

Genre: Fiction

Audience: Young Adult; Children;

Born: 1970 in Hudson, Wisconsin

-- Website --
-- Alexandria LaFaye on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection

LaFaye lives in Greenville, IL. Her second novel ''Edith Shay'' takes place in Chicago (among other settings). Her fourth novel ''Nissa's Place'' takes place in Chicago and a fictioinal town in LA.

Biographical and Professional Information

Alexandria LaFaye has published 11 novels including the 2005 Scott O'Dell Award winning ''WORTH.'' She has also visited schools, spoken at libraries, presented at conferences, and conducting professional development programs for teachers.During the academic year, LaFaye teaches creative writing at Greenville College in Illinois. She's also the advisor of their school newspaper, ''The Papyrus''. She teaches children's literature in the summer graduate program at Hollins University in Roanoke, Virginia.

Selected Titles At Your Library

Strawberry Hill /
ISBN: 0689829612. OCLC Number:

Aladdin Paperbacks,. New York :. 2000, ©1999.

During the summer of 1976, twelve-year-old Raleia Pendle feels like a misfit with her hippie parents and begins a friendship with the town recluse.

Strawberry Hill /
ISBN: 068981514X. OCLC Number:

Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers,. New York :. ©1999.

During the summer of 1976, twelve-year-old Raleia Pendle feels like a misfit with her hippie parents and begins a friendship with the town recluse.

Edith Shay /
ISBN: 0689842287. OCLC Number:

Aladdin Paperbacks,. New York, N.Y. :. 2001.

In my mind, the only rival to a good newspaper was a train headed out of Wisconsin. Katherine Lunden has always dreamed of living a life like the ones she reads about in the newspapers, far away from the woods of Wisconsin and the small-town ways she's grown to despise. When a chance finally comes in the form of a train bound for Chicago and an abandoned suitcase marked with the name "Edith Shay," Katherine leaps into the unknown. Armed with a borrowed name and her own fierce courage, she's determined to conquer the big city on her own. But Katherine soon finds that her new life doesn't exactly match up to her dreams -- working for a living is harder than she expected, and making friends in a city of strangers seems impossible. How can she discover herself while she's pretending to be someone else? Growing up in the backwoods of 1860s Wisconsin, Katherine Lunden dreamed of a life in a big city like Chicago. When she finds an abandoned suitcase labeled "Edith Shay" at the train station, she grabs her chance to escape. But finding work, and a place to stay, in the big city turns out to be more than she thought.

The strength of saints /
ISBN: 0689832001. OCLC Number:

Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers,. New York :. ©2002.

In 1936, fourteen-year-old Nissa takes a stand against racial prejudice and for her own integrity and independence, drawing on the support of her individualistic mother, her father, stepmother, and some of the inhabitants of their Louisiana town.

Worth /
ISBN: 0689857306. OCLC Number:

. .

After breaking his leg, eleven-year-old Nate feels useless because he cannot work on the family farm in nineteenth-century Nebraska, so when his father brings home an orphan boy to help with the chores, Nate feels even worse.

The year of the Sawdust Man /
ISBN: 1571316795. OCLC Number:

. .

In 1934, when her mother leaves her and her father, eleven-year-old Nissa tries to cope with the gossip of her small Louisiana town and the changes in her own life.

Nissa's place /
ISBN: 1571316973. OCLC Number:

Milkweed Editions,. Minneapolis, Minn. :. 2010, ©1999.

Uncertain of where she really belongs, thirteen-year-old Nissa leaves her Louisiana home where she lives with her father and new stepmother and goes to stay with her eccentric mother in Chicago.

Water steps /
ISBN: 1571316868. OCLC Number:

Milkweed Editions,. Minneapolis :. 2009.

Eleven-year-old Kyna, terrified of water since her family drowned in a storm that nearly took her life as well, works to overcome her phobia when her adoptive parents, Irish immigrants with a mysterious past, rent a cabin on Lake Champlain for the summer.

The keening /
ISBN: 1571316949. OCLC Number:

Milkweed Editions,. Minneapolis :. 2010.

When her mother succumbs to the influenza pandemic of 1918 that devastates their small coastal town in Maine, Lyza, who envies the artistic talents of other family members, must save her eccentric father from being committed to a mental institution.

Stella stands alone /
ISBN: 1416986472. OCLC Number:

. .

Fourteen-year-old Stella, orphaned just after the Civil War, fights to keep her family's plantation and fulfill her father's desire to turn land over to the people who have worked on it for generations, but first she must find her father's hidden deed and will.

Walking home to Rosie Lee /
ISBN: 1933693975. OCLC Number:

Cinco Puntos Press,. El Paso, TX :. ©2011.

At the end of the Civil War, young Gabe meets many other former slaves getting a feel for freedom whose kindness helps him in his quest to find his mother, who was sold away.


  • Scott O'Dell Award,
  • Worth

  • IRA Teachers Choice,
  • Walking Home to Rosie Lee

  • Notable Book Smithsonian Institute,
  • The Strength of Saints

  • Best Books of the Year Bank Street,
  • Year of the Sawdust Man

  • Nominated for the Rebecca Caudill,
  • Worth

    Speaking Engagements

    Speaking Engagement Availability (Yes)

    Contact LaFaye at or by calling 501-259-9882. Her fees vary according to event, but she has spoken at schools K-12, colleges, conferences, libraries, and professional development programs for teachers. She incorporates the process approach to writing, learning disabilities, anti-bullying, and incorporating supporting materials (secondary sources)

    into all of her presentations.