Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Janice N. Harrington  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Fiction Non-Fiction Poetry

Audience: Adult; Children;

Born: in Vernon, Alabama

-- Blog --
-- Website --
-- Wikipedia --

E-Mail: --

Illinois Connection

Harrington lives in Champaign.

Biographical and Professional Information

Janice N. Harrington writes poetry and is the author of award-winning children's books. Growing up in Alabama and Nebraska, both settings figure prominently in her writing.

A Cave Canem Fellow, Harrington is also the winner of a 2007 National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship for Poetry. Her poetry appears regularly in American literary magazines and has led to awards from the Illinois Arts Council and appearances on ''Poetry Daily'' and ''Verse Daily''.

Previously a public librarian and a professional storyteller, she told stories at festivals around the country, including the National Storytelling Festival. Harrington currently teaches in the creative writing program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.


Busy-Busy Little Chick

ILLINOIS READS Book Selection, Illinois Reading Council, 2014

Even the Hollow My Body Made Is Gone

A. Poulin, Jr. Poetry Prize, BOA Editions

Kate Tufts Discovery Award

The Chicken Chasing Queen of Lamar County

Top 10 Children's Books, Time magazine, 2007

Going North

Ezra Jack Keats New Writer Award, New York Public Library, 2005

Buzzing with Questions: The Inquisitive Mind of Charles Henry Turner

Best STEM Book, NSTA/CBC, 2020

Starred Review, School Library Journal

Speaking Engagements

Speaking Engagement Availability (Yes)

Selected Titles At Your Library

Busy-busy Little Chick /
ISBN: 0374347468. OCLC Number: 780398154

Farrar Straus Giroux,. .

Mama Nsoso knows her chicks need a warm new house, but each day when they set out to collect sticks and mud she is distracted by good things to eat, while Little Chick stays busy gathering the building materials himself.

Buzzing with questions :
ISBN: 1629795585. OCLC Number: 1122932056

. .

Questions buzzed endlessly in Charles Henry Turner's mind. Fascinated by bugs and other animals, he wondered: Can spiders learn? How do ants find their way home? Can bugs see color? --from dust jacket.

Catching a storyfish /
ISBN: 1629794295. OCLC Number: 936534411

. .

"Keet knows the only good thing about moving away from her Alabama home is that she'll live near her beloved grandfather. When Keet starts school, it's even worse than she expected, as the kids tease her about her southern accent. Now Keet, who can 'talk the whiskers off a catfish, ' doesn't want to open her mouth. Slowly, though, while fishing with her grandfather, she learns the art of listening. Gradually, she makes her first new friend. But just as she's beginning to settle in, her grandfather has a stroke, and even though he's still nearby, he suddenly feels ever-so-far-away. Keet is determined to reel him back to her by telling him stories; in the process she finds her voice and her grandfather again. This lyrical and deeply emotional novel-in-verse celebrates the power of story and of finding one's individual voice."--Publisher's website.

Even the hollow my body made is gone :
ISBN: 1929918895. OCLC Number: 71350581

. .

"Memory and its embodiment in a colloquial, yet highly wrought musical language are what originally drew me to Harrington's manuscript and what continues to pull me back. We learn the story of Lillian and Webster and their children and grandchildren, a black family living a hardscrabble life in the rural South more than sixty years ago. Set on the cusp of the Civil Rights era, the poems chronicle a way of life that has long since vanished."--Elizabeth Spires, from the foreword

Going North /
ISBN: 0374326819. OCLC Number: 50520395

Melanie Kroupa Books/Farrar Straus and Giroux,. .

A young African American girl and her family leave their home in Alabama and head for Lincoln, Nebraska, where they hope to escape segregation and find a better life.

Primitive :
ISBN: 9781942683209. OCLC Number: 940795165

. .

Roberto walks home
ISBN: 9780670063161. OCLC Number: 216938218

Viking,. .

Roberto is very angry when his older brother Miguel promises to walk him home from school and then forgets.

The chicken-chasing queen of Lamar County /
ISBN: 0374312516. OCLC Number: 61881193

. .

A young farm girl tries to catch her favorite chicken, until she learns something about the hen that makes her change her ways.

The hands of strangers :
ISBN: 9781934414545. OCLC Number: 697808320

. .