Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Kate Hannigan Issa  

Pen Name: Kate Hannigan

Genre: Non-Fiction

Audience: Children;


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Illinois Connection

Issa lives in Hyde Park.

Biographical and Professional Information

Kate Hannigan Issa grew up in Tulsa, Oklahoma. In college, she studied journalism which led her to work for newspapers on both coasts and Texas before settling in Chicago. Issa still loves researching and writing but now does it for her blog and middle-grade books. She has written the ''Cupcake Cousins'' series and the historical novel ''The Detective's Assistant''.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

The Good Fun! Book: 12 Months of Parties that Celebrate Service
ISBN: 0979291852

Blue Marlin Publications. 2010

What could be better than having fun while doing a world of good? Announcing the forthcoming release of The Good Fun! Book. Written by Karen Duncan and Kate Hannigan Issa and illustrated by Anthony Alex LeTourneau, The Good Fun! Book will hit stores on October 22, 2010, which also marks national Make a Difference Day! Move over Generation X, Y and Z, here comes Generation Generous! Published by Blue Marlin Publications, The Good Fun! Book helps young children engage in their communities to do some good, all while having a fun time. Whether it's a party to help animals or to collect sports equipment for needy kids, the 12 party plans in this book help elementary school children make a real difference in their neighborhoods and the world all year long. Filled with fun ideas that encourage participation and problem-solving, The Good Fun! Book includes themed party ideas, invitation suggestions, craft details, recipes, and even charity profiles. The Good Fun! Book is a tool for parents and teachers to encourage children to participate in service projects, as well as teach them about the real-life individuals who started nonprofit agencies that help people in their communities and around the globe. It s a conversation starter, an attempt to help children become kind, responsible citizens, and a great way to help them learn about the incredible rewards that come from service to others. Authors Karen Duncan a former teacher and the wife of U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and Kate Hannigan Issa a professional writer and editor for children bring fresh enthusiasm to engaging and motivating kids to take action and truly help make the world a better place. Along with award-winning children s artist Anthony Alex LeTourneau, The Good Fun! Book promises to get kids excited about helping out.

Cupcake Cousins, Book 1 Cupcake Cousins
ISBN: 1423178300

Disney-Hyperion. 2014

During a family vacation at Lake Michigan, 9-year-old cousins Willow and Delia, desperate to avoid being flower girls in their aunt's wedding, try to demonstrate that they would do better as chefs for the reception. 35,000 first printing.

Cupcake Cousins, Book 2 Summer Showers
ISBN: 1484716620

Disney-Hyperion. 2015

Cupcake Cousins, Book 3 Winter Wonders
ISBN: 1484716639

Disney-Hyperion. 2016

Cat and Mr. Henry have set the date for their wedding-Christmas Day! Cousins Willow and Delia are excited to be junior bridesmaids at last, but when a record-breaking Christmas Eve blizzard leaves the whole town stranded, the girls have more to worry about than their wedding duties!

The guests are late, and the roof has collapsed over the town's food pantry, leaving many without a holiday meal. Will Delia and Willow be able to help the town's hungry while giving Cat and Mr. Henry the wedding they've dreamed of?

Test tasty recipes included throughout as the whole Bumpus family celebrates the true meaning of the holiday season in the final book in the Cupcake Cousins series.

Praise for Cupcake Cousins

"[D]ebut novelist Hannigan has assembled all the ingredients for an entertaining and gentle-natured family tale. Delia's anxieties and Willow's struggle to be seen as more than a little kid are relatable, and first-time illustrator Hughes's spot illustrations?give a good sense of the girls, the vacation home they love, and the matter-of-fact racial diversity of their clan."

-Publishers Weekly

"Hughes' cheery black-and-white illustrations capture the cousins' exuberance, highlighting both misadventures and sentimental moments. . . . Hannigan's lively tale celebrates family and friendship."
-Kirkus Reviews

The Detective's Assistant
ISBN: 0316403512

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. 2015

Based on the extraordinary true story of America's first-ever female detective, this fast-paced adventure recounts feats of daring and danger...including saving the life of Abraham Lincoln!

Eleven-year-old Nell Warne arrives on her aunt's doorstep lugging a heavy sack of sorrows. If her Aunt Kate rejects her, it's the miserable Home for the Friendless.

Luckily, canny Nell makes herself indispensable to Aunt Kate...and not just by helping out with household chores. For Kate Warne is the first-ever female detective employed by the legendary Pinkerton Detective Agency. And Nell has a knack for the kind of close listening and bold action that made Pinkerton detectives famous in Civil War-era America. With huge, nation-changing events simmering in the background, Nell uses skills new and old to uncover truths about her past and solve mysteries in the present.


The Detective's Assistant

  • Booklist Editors' Choice, 2015
  • Best Book, Chicago Public Library, 2015
  • Starred Review, Booklist
  • Five Star Review, Common Sense Media
  • Starred Review, The Center for Children's Books
  • Starred Review, Booklist
  • ILLINOIS READS Book Selection, Illinois Reading Council, 2016
  • Cupcake Cousins

    Books 1 & 2

  • ILLINOIS READS Book Selection, Illinois Reading Council, 2017

    Speaking Engagements

    Speaking Engagement Availability (Yes)

    Kate likes connecting with students in the classroom. Go to her "School page to find out about her programs and to invite her to your school!