Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Nancy J. Cavanaugh  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Fiction

Audience: Young Adult; Children;


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Illinois Connection

Cavanaugh grew up in Chicago and earned her Master's at the University of Illinois. After living in Florida for several years, she now resides in Chicago again.

Biographical and Professional Information

Nancy Cavanaugh has been writing for over twenty five years. Her work has appeared in many publications, including: ELIC Communique, The Student Literature Portfolio, The Timothy Reflector, Christian Education Counselor, Christian Home & School, InnerVisions, Successful Young Adults News, Seek, ParentLife, Chicken Soup for the Teacher's Soul, Purpose, Standard, Skirt Magazine, Pinellas Public Library Cooperative Newsletter, JD Drama (online publication), Pentecostal Evangel and Short Short Stories for Reading Aloud.

She graduated with a B.S. in Elementary Education from Northwestern College in Minnesota and a M.A. in Curriculum and Instruction from University of Illinois. Cavanaugh was an elementary and middle school teacher for more than 15 years and worked as a Library Media Specialist at an elementary school.


This Journal Belongs to Ratchet

Starred Review, Kirkus

Children's Core Collections winner

Student Book Award title, Maine

Gold Medalist, Florida State Book Awards, 2013

Green Prize for Sustainable Literature

Notable Children's Books in the English Language Arts (NCTE), 2014

ILLINOIS READS Book Selection, Illinois Reading Council, 2017

Speaking Engagements

Speaking Engagement Availability (Yes)

Selected Titles At Your Library

Always, Abigail /
ISBN: 149263557X. OCLC Number: 918591254

. .

Abigail, assigned a different homeroom than her two best friends and made only the alternate on the pom-pom squad, learns about popularity and friendship when paired with unpopular Gabby for a year-long "Friendly Letter Assignment."

Elsie Mae has something to say /
ISBN: 1492640220. OCLC Number: 991585107

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With a letter to President Franklin Roosevelt and unexpected help from her Hallelujah-spouting cousin, Henry James, Elsie Mae tries to prevent a company from building a canal through the Okefenokee Swamp.

Just like me
ISBN: 9781492635956. OCLC Number: 913610295

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Three very different girls, adopted as babies from the same Chinese orphanage, spend a week at a summer camp, where the adoption agency coordinator wants them to journal their bonding experience.

This journal belongs to Ratchet /
ISBN: 1402281064. OCLC Number: 808216700

. .

Homeschooled by her mechanic-environmentalist father, eleven-year-old Rachel "Ratchet" Vance records her efforts to make friends, save a park, remember her mother, and find her own definition of "normal."

When I hit the road /
ISBN: 1492640255. OCLC Number: 1122687244

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Samantha's journal relates a boring visit to her grandmother's condominium that takes an unexpected turn when she, Gram, Gram's friend Mimi, and Mimi's grandson Brandon set out across Florida for a seniors' karaoke contest. Includes recipe for chocolate chip cookies.