Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Natasha Tarpley  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Fiction

Audience: Children;

Born: 1971 in Chicago, Illinois

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Illinois Connection

Tarpley is a resident of the Historic Pullman neighborhood in Chicago.

Biographical and Professional Information

Natasha Tarpley writes fiction and non-fiction for both adults and children. She is best known, however, for her diverse children's books that include the award-winning bestseller ''I Love My Hair''. She has also co-edited an anthology of writings by African American girls ages 12 - 19, ''What I Know is Me'' and edited, ''Testimony: Young African-Americans on Self-Discovery and Black Identity''. Tarpley is the recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, Thurber House and the Illinois Arts Council. A former reporter for Fortune magazine, she is the recipient of numerous awards, including a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship. Her work has appeared in ''Essence'', the ''Los Angeles Times'', ''The Chicago Tribune'', and ''The Washington Post'', as well as many literary journals. With her mother, she founded ''Voonderbar! Productions, LLC'', a multimedia children's entertainment company that produces multicultural books for children of all ages.


'Bippity-Bop Barbershop ' Starred Review, Booklist 'I Love My Hair! ' Children's Book of the Year Award, BlackBoard, 1999 'The Harlem Charade ' Starred Review, Kirkus 'Other Awards

Speaking Engagements

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Selected Titles At Your Library

Bippity Bop barbershop /
ISBN: 0316522848. OCLC Number: 44046701

. .

A story celebrating a young African-American boy's first trip to the barbershop.

Destiny's gift /
ISBN: 1584301562. OCLC Number: 52302020

Lee & Low Books,. .

Destiny's favorite place in the world is Mrs. Wade's bookstore, so when she finds out it may close she stirs the community to help out, then works on a special gift of her own to encourage Mrs. Wade.

Girl in the mirror :
ISBN: 0807072036. OCLC Number: 44445963

. .

Tells the story of the lives, loves and migrations of three generations of American American women: a grandmother, mother and daughter-on a journey in search of self.

I love my hair! /
ISBN: 0316525588. OCLC Number: 39244580

Little, Brown,. .

A young African American girl describes the different, wonderful ways she can wear her hair.

Joe-Joe's first flight /
ISBN: 0553113143. OCLC Number: 185032735

Dragonfly Books,. .

Forbidden to fly because of their color, Joe-Joe and the men who clean and repair airplanes in the 1920s are so discouraged that the moon cannot even shine, until Joe-Joe's determination lures the moon back. Includes a history of African American pilots.

Princess Tiana and the royal ball /
ISBN: 1423118596. OCLC Number: 317925358

Disney Press,. .

It's time for Tiana's first royal ball--and her first appearance as a princess. Her friend Charlotte has all kinds of advice on how to act. All Tiana has to do is figure out whether to listen.

Selma takes the stage
ISBN: 9780988618428. OCLC Number: 967278602

. .

Middle school students Selma, Laci, and Maritza have been best friends since third grade when they discovered a mysterious fountain in a hidden courtyard at their school and started their own Greek goddesses club. But now, their friendship may be in jeopardy as accomplished violinist Selma begins to strike out on her own, getting involved with a boy and auditioning for a chance to travel to Europe with the Chicago Youth Symphony.

The Harlem charade /
ISBN: 0545783879. OCLC Number: 952547615

. .

Seventh-graders Jin, Alexandra, and Elvin come from very different backgrounds and circumstances, but they all live in Harlem, and when Elvin's grandfather is attacked they band together to find out who is responsible--and the search leads them to an enigmatic artist whose missing masterpieces are worth a fortune, and into conflict with an ambitious politician who wants to turn Harlem into an historic amusement park.

The me I choose to be /
ISBN: 0316461547. OCLC Number: 1201694764

. .

"An uplifting story about self-confidence and a child's limitless potential"--