Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Barbara Binns  

Pen Name: B.A. Binns

Genre: Fiction

Audience: Adult; Young Adult;

Born: 1950 in Chicago, Illinois

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Illinois Connection

Binns grew up on the south side of Chicago, and currently lives in a suburb of Chicago. She received a B. S. from Roosevelt University and an M. S. from DePaul.

Biographical and Professional Information

Barbara Binns has worked at everything from fast food to clinical chemistry to dietician to computer architect, but always kept kept finding excuses to return to school. She finally became a trainer and after she retired took up volunteering and writing. She frequently contributes to the Almanac of Arlington Heights, a quarterly publication in Arlington Heights, Illinois. Her debut middle grade novel is "Courage." She speaks to students, teachers, and librarians across the country at conferences and other events.


National Readers Choice Award, Pull

Speaking Engagements

Speaking Engagement Availability (Yes) Barbara is available for school, library and other visits on request

Selected Titles At Your Library

Being God
ISBN: 9780988182110. OCLC Number: 846867467

. .

A young adult novel about anti-hero Malik Kaplan. The bad boy of Farrington High School has his own cross to bear, or maybe it's a Star of David; being the black teenaged son of a Catholic mother and Jewish father can make life confusing.

ISBN: 9780062561657. OCLC Number: 1040264351

. .

Ever since T'Shawn's dad died, his mother has been struggling to keep the family afloat. So when he's offered a spot on a prestigious diving team at the local private swim club, he knows that joining would only add another bill to the pile. But T studies hard and never gets into trouble, so he thinks his mom might be willing to bear the cost ... until he finds out that his older brother, Lamont, is getting released early from prison. Luckily, T'Shawn is given a scholarship, and he can put all his frustration into diving practices. But when criminal activity increases in the neighborhood and people begin to suspect Lamont, T'Shawn begins to worry that maybe his brother hasn't left his criminal past behind after all. And he struggles to hold on to the hope that they can put the broken pieces of their damaged relationship back together.--Amazon.

Die trying :
ISBN: 9780988182196. OCLC Number: 822965798

AllTheColorsOfLove,. .

Minority of one
ISBN: 9780988182189. OCLC Number: 945729322

. .

Neill is a walking statistic; Black, teenaged, and gay. He was strong enough to come out to his family in 8th grade and sensitive enough to know just how much that truth hurt the older brother he worships. He is also intelligent enough to fulfill his family's dream that he become a doctor - a dream he doesn't share. But after disappointing his family once, he can't imagine doing so again. Sheila is young and white, a former poor little rich girl (now just poor) facing life with a mother whose continued infidelity caused her father's suicide. When Sheila arrives at her new home in Chicago's inner city she finds herself one of only a handful of white students. She sees no hope of ever being happy again. At first glance the only thing Sheila and Neill have in common is the on-going affair between her mother and his older, married brother. But invisible ties draw these two outliers together. When Sheila's mother is found dead, and Neill's brother is arrested for the crime, they have to become a team to keep the real killer from going unpunished and to make their own unique futures. Minority of One is a story for anyone who has ever felt friendless and alone, the only one of their kind. It's for everyone who ever found someone special, someone willing to go to the mat to help uncover the truth about themselves and find their rightful place in the world.

Minority of one /
ISBN: 0988182122. OCLC Number: 880681938

. .

Sheila Benderton: Young, White, former poor little rich girl, now just poor. She' starting a new life in an inner city high school that is only 8% white. She also faces life with a mother she barely knows. Her father blamed her mother's repeated infidelities for everything that went wrong in their family, including his recent suicide. After that, Sheila will never let herself fall under the spell of a guy like Julian Morales, the Hispanic superjock playboy. Neill Mallory: Young, Black, Gay. His future has been set in stone by a loving family, whether he wants it or not. He's a walking statistic struggling with the loss of the perfect boyfriend. Carl Redkin gave in to pressure from his parents and dumped Neill in an attempt to go "straight." Neill hates being alone and wants to replace Carl with someone just like him; someone smart, artistic, caring-but why kid himself, there is no one like Carl. Neill and Sheila seem to have nothing in common except the French class her mother teaches. But invisible ties draw the two outliers together. Maybe it's the way Neill tries to protect Sheila from Julian's magnetism. Or the way Sheila fights to get Carl's family to let him be the man he wants to be. Neill and Sheila try everything to make life happy, including each other. But what they really need is Carl and Julian.

ISBN: 9781301158195. OCLC Number: 945729432

. .

The world implodes for seventeen-year-old David and his younger sisters when their father kills their mother. Stuck in a cramped apartment with an aunt he suspects is only interested in the money from his after school construction job, all David wants to do is separate himself from the violence in his past. Guilt drives him to concentrate on fulfilling his mother's last wishes for him--that he prepare for college. But he is happier working with his hands under the tutelage of his crew boss than sitting in classrooms that feel like a prison.David deals with homework, and hormones that draw him ever closer to Yolanda, the hottest girl in the in-crowd. When Yolanda and David finally come together, sparks fly. But she means trouble, because she belongs to pack leader Malik. Malik has it out for David, not only as a romantic rival, but also on the basketball court and--most importantly--as a threat to David's freshman sister. And Yolanda has her own secret, and a past filled with as much destructive violence as David's. Readers will enjoy David's unruly wooing of Yolanda, and their paths toward a future free from violence and abuse.PULL is the winner of the 2010 National Readers Choice Award for Young Adult fiction presented by the Oklahoma Romance Writers of America. PULL was named one of YALSA's 2012 Quick Picks For Reluctant Young Adult Readers, and placed on School Library Journal's 2011 Best Books For Youth in Detention lists.

Pull /
ISBN: 1934813435. OCLC Number: 662410327

WestSide Books,. .

After his father kills his mother, seventeen-year-old David struggles to take care of his two sisters--and himself--while dealing with his grief, guilt, and trying to fit in at a tough new school while hiding his past.