Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book


Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Dennis Fradin  

Pen Name: Dennis Brindell Fradin, Dennis B. Fradin

Genre: Non-Fiction

Audience: Children;

Born: 1945 in Chicago, Illinois

Died: August 29, 2012 in Evanston, Illinois


-- Dennis Fradin on WorldCat -- http://www.worldcat.org/search?q=dennis+fradin


Illinois Connection

Fradin was born in Chicago. He grew up in the Rogers Park neighborhood and Wilmette. He graduated from New Trier High School in Winnetka and earned a bachelor's degree in English in 1967 from Northwestern University in Evanston. After college, he landed a job teaching second-graders at Faraday Elementary School on the West Side of Chicago. At the time of his death, Mr. Fradin lived in Evanston, Illinois.

Biographical and Professional Information

The award-winning author of nearly 250 non-fiction books for children and young adults, Dennis Fradin is known for his meticulous research, attention to detail and smooth, graceful writing. Fradin attributes his success in part to years of teaching in the Chicago Public Schools. In order to hold his second graders’ attention at the end of the day, he would spin stories about crayons in distress and birds with broken wings. Such a story caught the attention of an editor who asked him to write a series of books about the United States. The Children’s Press Sea to Shining Sea series launched Dennis’s career as a full-time author.Dennis Fradin has written children’s books on topics as varied as astronomy, colonial history, slave escapes and scientific discoveries. He has also written biographies of Benjamin Franklin, Samuel Adams, and Louis Braille, among others. ''Bound for the North Star'' is a riveting collection of true slave-escape stories. ''Ida B. Wells: Mother of the Civil Rights Movement'' and ''The Power of One: Daisy Bates and the Little Rock Nine'' won the Society for Midland Authors young adult non-fiction awards; ''Daisy Bates'' was a Golden Kite Honor Book.Recently, Dennis has written ''Let It Begin Here'' and ''The Duel'', both illustrated by Larry Day. He’s completed two dozen “Turning Points in American History” books for Marshall Cavendish. And, along with his wife Judy, Dennis is now completing a series called “Witness to Disaster” for National Geographic Children’s Books. Four of those books, Volcanoes, Earthquakes, Hurricanes and Tsunamis, are currently available. The Fradins also wrote ''5,000 Miles to Freedom'', the dramatic slave-escape story of Ellen and William Craft.


Published Works

  • Hiawatha: Messenger of Peace, Margaret K. McElderry, 1992
  • We Have Conquered Pain: The Discovery of Anesthesia, Margaret K. McElderry, 1996
  • Maria de Sautuola, The Bulls in the Cave, Silver Press, 1997
  • Mary Anning, The Fossil Hunter, Silver Press, 1997
  • The Planet Hunters, The Search for Other Worlds, McElderry Books, 1997
  • Searching for Alien Life, Is Anyone Out There?, Twenty-First Century Books, 1997
  • Sacagawea, The Journey to the West, Silver Press, 1997
  • Samuel Adams, The Father of American Independence, Clarion Books, 1998
  • Is There Life on Mars?, McElderry Books, 1999
  • Bound for the North Star, True Stories of Fugitive Slaves, Clarion Books, 2000
  • My Family Shall Be Free! The Life of Peter Still, Harper Collins, 2001
  • Who Was Ben Franklin?, Grosset and Dunlap, 2002
  • Who Was Thomas Jefferson?, Grosset and Dunlap, 2003
  • The Signers: The fifty-six stories behind the Declaration of Independence, Scholastic, 2003
  • The Founders: The 39 Stories Behind the U.S. Constitution, Walker Books for Young Readers, 2005
  • With a Little Luck, Dutton, 2006
  • Let it Begin Here!, Walker Books, 2007
  • Duel!, Walker Books, 2008Books written with Judith Bloom Fradin:
  • Wyoming, Children's Press, 1994
  • New Mexico, Children's Press, 1994
  • Massachusetts, Children's Press, 1994
  • West Virginia, Children's Press, 1994
  • North Dakota, Children's Press, 1995
  • Missouri, Children's Press, 1995
  • Minnesota, Children's Press, 1995
  • Maine, Children's Press, 1995
  • Georgia, Children's Press, 1995
  • Oregon, Children's Press, 1995
  • Oklahoma, Children's Press, 1995
  • Delaware, Children's Press, 1995
  • Louisiana, Children's Press, 1995
  • Rhode Island, Children's Press, 1995
  • Puerto Rico, Children's Press, 1995
  • Nevada, Children's Press, 1995
  • Mississippi, Children's Press, 1995
  • Ida B. Wells, Mother of the Civil Rights Movement, Clarion Books, 2000
  • Who Was Sacagawea?, Grosset and Dunlap, 2002
  • The Power of One: Daisy Bates and the Little Rock Nine, Clarion Books, 2004
  • Jane Addams: Champion of Democracy, Clarion Books, 2006
  • Witness to Disaster: Volcanoes, National Geographic Children's Books, 2007
  • Witness to Disaster: Hurricanes, National Geographic Children's Books, 2007
  • The Lewis and Clark Expedition, Benchmark Books, 2007
  • The Salem Witch Trials, Marshall Cavendish Children's Books, 2008
  • Witness to Disaster: Droughts, National Geographic Children's Books, 2008
  • Witness to Disaster: Earthquakes, National Geographic Children's Books, 2008
  • Witness to Disaster: Tsunamis, National Geographic Children's Books, 2008
  • Volcano!: The Icelandic Eruption of 2010 and Other Hot, Smoky, Fierce, and Fiery Mountains, National Geographic Children's Books, 2010
  • Tornado!: The Story Behind These Twisting, Turning, Spinning, and Spiraling Storms, National Geographic Children's Books, 2011
  • Stolen into Slavery: The True Story of Solomon Northup, Free Black Man, National Geographic Children's Books, 2011
  • Zora!: The Life of Zora Neale Hurston, Clarion Books, 2012
  • The Price of Freedom: How One Town Stood Up to Slavery, Walker Childrens, 2013


Selected Titles At Your Library

Hiawatha :
ISBN: 0689505191. OCLC Number:

M.K. McElderry Books ;. New York :. ©1992.

Recounts the life of the fifteenth-century Iroquois Indian who brought five tribes together to form the long-lasting Iroquois Federation.

Wyoming /
ISBN: 0516038508. OCLC Number:

Childrens Press,. Chicago :. ©1994.

An introduction to the history, geography, industries, important people, and interesting sites of Wyoming.

Washington from sea to shining sea.
ISBN: 0516261290. OCLC Number:

Childrens Press,. [Place of publication not identified] :. 1997.

Indiana from sea to shining sea.
ISBN: 0516261258. OCLC Number:

Childrens Press,. [Place of publication not identified] :. 1997.

Connecticut /
ISBN: 051626124X. OCLC Number:

Childrens Press,. Chicago :. ©1997.

Presents history, geography, and interesting facts about Connecticut.

Maria de Sautuola :
ISBN: 0382394704. OCLC Number:

Silver Press,. Parsippany, N.J. :. ©1997.

The true story of María de Sautuola, an eight-year-old Spanish girl who discovered the first known prehistoric cave paintings in 1879 while working with her father in Altamira Cave.

Mary Anning, the fossil hunter /
ISBN: 0382394860. OCLC Number:

Silver Press,. Parsippany, N.J. :. 1997.

A biography of the young English girl who made a major fossil discovery at age twelve and grew up to be one of the world's foremost fossil hunters.

The planet hunters :
ISBN: 0689813236. OCLC Number:

Margaret K. McElderry Books,. New York, N.Y. :. ©1997.

Provides historical information on astronomy, the discovery of the planets, and the people who have made such discoveries.

Tracking dinosaurs in the Gobi /
ISBN: 0805045732. OCLC Number:

Twenty-First Century Books,. New York :. 1997.

Describes the work of paleontologists, beginning with Roy Chapman Andrews in the 1920s, who have searched in the Gobi Desert for evidence of dinosaurs.

Sacagawea :
ISBN: 0382394895. OCLC Number:

Silver Press,. Parsippany, NJ :. ©1998.

The true story of a Shoshoni Indian girl who served as interpreter, peacemaker, and guide for the Lewis and Clark Expedition to the Northwest in 1805-1806.

Is there life on Mars? /
ISBN: 0689820488. OCLC Number:

McElderry Books,. New York :. 1999.

Examines the theories about life on Mars, providing both historical and current information about our exploration of the Red Planet.

Bound for the North Star :
ISBN: 0395970172. OCLC Number:

. .

Twelve accounts of slaves who escaped the South hoping for freedom and a new life.

My family shall be free! :
ISBN: 0060293284. OCLC Number:

HarperCollins,. New York :. 2001.

Peter Still was born a slave around 1800 on a Maryland plantation. His mother fled with his sisters to the north, leaving Peter and his brother behind in slavery. After more than 40 years in bondage, Peter bought his freedom, reunited with his mother and siblings, and returned to the South to set in motion the risky events to free his wife and children. Illustrated with archival art.

Who was Ben Franklin? /
ISBN: 0448424959. OCLC Number:

. .

A biography of the eighteenth-century printer, publisher, inventor, scientist, and statesman who played an influential role in the early history of the United States.

Who was Albert Einstein? /
ISBN: 0448424851. OCLC Number:

. .

Recounts the life of the scientist whose theories of relativity revolutionized the way we look at space and time.

The signers :
ISBN: 0439495601. OCLC Number:

Scholastic,. New York :. 2003, ©2002.

Profiles each of the fifty-six men who signed the Declaration of Independence, giving historical information about the colonies they represented. Includes the text of the Declaration and its history.

The power of one :
ISBN: 061831556X. OCLC Number:

Clarion Books,. New York :. ©2004.

Born in a small town in rural Arkansas, Daisy Bates was a journalist and activist who became one of the foremost civil rights leaders in America. In 1957 she mentored the nine black students who were integrated into Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas.

New Mexico /
ISBN: 051643831X. OCLC Number:

Childrens Press,. Chicago :. ©1993.

An introduction to the geography, history, people, cities, and famous sites of the large southwestern state known as "The Land of Enchantment."

Massachusetts from sea to shining sea.
ISBN: 0516438212. OCLC Number:

Childrens Press,. [Place of publication not identified] :. 1994.

West Virginia /
ISBN: 0516038486. OCLC Number:

Childrens Press,. Chicago :. ©1994.

An introduction to the history, geography, important people, and interesting sites of West Virginia.

North Dakota /
ISBN: 0516038346. OCLC Number:

Childrens Press,. Chicago :. ©1994.

An introduction to the history, geography, important people, and interesting sites of North Dakota.

Missouri /
ISBN: 0516438255. OCLC Number:

Childrens Press,. Chicago :. ©1994.

An introduction to the history, geography, industries, important people, and interesting sites of Missouri.

Minnesota /
ISBN: 0516038230. OCLC Number:

Childrens Press,. Chicago :. ©1995.

Takes the reader on a tour of the state called "The North Star State," emphasizing its geography, history, government, and culture.

Maine from sea to shining sea.
ISBN: 0516438190. OCLC Number:

Childrens Press,. [Place of publication not identified] :. 1995.

Georgia /
ISBN: 0516438107. OCLC Number:

Childrens Press,. Chicago :. ©1991.

An overview of the Empire State of the South, introducing its history, geography, industries, sites of interest, and famous people.

Oregon /
ISBN: 0516038370. OCLC Number:

Childrens Press,. Chicago :. ©1995.

An introduction to the geography, history, people, cities, and famous sites of the Pacific Coast state known as the Wonder State.

Oklahoma /
ISBN: 0516038362. OCLC Number:

Childrens Press,. Chicago :. ©1995.

Discusses the history, places of interest, and famous people of Oklahoma.

Delaware /
ISBN: 0516038087. OCLC Number:

Childrens Press,. Chicago :. ©1994.

An introduction to the history, geography, important people, and interesting sites of Delaware.

Louisiana from sea to shining sea.
ISBN: 0516438182. OCLC Number:

Childrens Press,. [Place of publication not identified] :. 1995.

Rhode Island /
ISBN: 0516038397. OCLC Number:

Childrens Press,. Chicago :. ©1995.

An introduction to the geography, history, people, cities, and famous sites of the northeastern state known as the Ocean State.

Puerto Rico /
ISBN: 0516038567. OCLC Number:

Childrens Press,. Chicago :. ©1995.

Presents a history and description of this popular vacationland located 1,050 miles southeast of Miami, Florida.

Nevada /
ISBN: 0516038281. OCLC Number:

Childrens Press,. Chicago :. ©1995.

An introduction to the history, geography, important people, and interesting sites of Nevada.

Mississippi /
ISBN: 0516038249. OCLC Number:

Childrens Press,. Chicago :. ©1995.

An introduction to the geography, history, pqople, cities, and famous sites of the southern state known as the Magnolia State.

"We have conquered pain" :
ISBN: 0689505876. OCLC Number:

M.K. McElderry Books,. New York :. ©1996.

An account of the work of four doctors involved in the debate over the credit for use of anesthetics in the United States in the mid-nineteenth century.

Samuel Adams :
ISBN: 0395825105. OCLC Number:

Clarion Books,. New York :. ©1998.

Presents the life and accomplishments of the colonist and patriot who was involved in virtually every major event that resulted in the birth of the United States.

Ida B. Wells :
ISBN: 0395898986. OCLC Number:

Clarion Books,. New York :. ©2000.

Story of Ida B. Wells, one of the great, yet one of the least known, civil rights leaders. A promised journalist, she is remembered for her leadership in women's voting rights, the NAACP, and anti-lynching.

Mount Washington
ISBN: 0673618595. OCLC Number:

Celebration Press,. Parsippany, N.J. :. ©2003.

Fight on! :
ISBN: 0618133496. OCLC Number:

Clarion Books,. New York :. ©2003.

Profiles the first black Washington, D.C. Board of Education member, who helped to found the NAACP and organized of pickets and boycotts that led to the 1953 Supreme Court decision to integrate D.C. area restaurants.

Who was Thomas Jefferson? /
ISBN: 0448431459. OCLC Number:

Grosset & Dunlap,. New York :. ©2003.

A biography of the third president of the United States and writer of the Declaration of Independence.

The founders :
ISBN: 0802789722. OCLC Number:

. .

A companion volume to "The Signers" looks at how the delegates from twelve of the thirteen colonies met in Philadelphia in the summer of 1787, to create, debate, and eventually sign the United States Constitution.

Jane Addams :
ISBN: 0618504362. OCLC Number:

Clarion Books,. New York :. ©2006.

From the Publisher: Most people know Jane Addams (1860-1935) as the force behind Hull House, one of the first settlement houses in the United States. She was also an ardent suffragist and civil rights activist, co-founding the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the American Civil Liberties Union. But it was her work as a pacifist that put her in the international spotlight. Although many people labeled her "unpatriotic" for her pacifist activities, she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1931 and, at the time of her death, Jane Addams was one of the most respected and admired women in the world. In this well-researched and inspiring account, acclaimed husband-and-wife team, Dennis Brindell Fradin and Judith Bloom Fradin, draw upon hundreds of historical documents and archival photographs to create a revealing portrait of the woman whose very way of life made her an American icon.

The Lewis and Clark Expedition /
ISBN: 0761420444. OCLC Number:

Marshall Cavendish Benchmark,. New York :. ©2008.

Describes the historic expedition led by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark that paved the way for the westward expansion of the United States.

The Salem witch trials /
ISBN: 076143013X. OCLC Number:

Marshall Cavendish Benchmark,. Tarrytown, NY :. ©2009.

"Covers the Salem Witch Trials as a watershed event in U.S. history, influencing social, economic, and political policies that shaped the nation's future"--Provided by publisher.

Duel! :
ISBN: 0802795838. OCLC Number:

Walker & Co.,. New York :. 2008.

In the early morning hours of July 11, 1804, two men stood facing each other on a New Jersey cliff side. One was the U.S. vice president, Aaron Burr, and the other was Alexander Hamilton, the secretary of the treasury. They were ready to fight to the death for honor.

Hurricanes /
ISBN: 1426201117. OCLC Number:

National Geographic,. Washington, D.C. :. 2007.

Step into the eye of the storm. Follow the action, from the first news reports of a hurricane called Katrina gathering out at sea, to eyewitness accounts of those who survive the epic devastation she finally wreaks along the Gulf Coast. Then look back at the history of these catastrophic storms and examine the science of hurricanes. How do they form? Why do they rage through the same regions? Which were the deadliest hurricanes in history? And how can scientists predict their landfall? All the answers are here, in an exciting narrative brought to life with stunning National Geographic photography of storm-ravaged landscapes and cities. The book's informative back matter contains all the facts that report-writers need, and includes a complete list of sources to find out more about this fearsome phenomenon. This season, "Hurricanes" will score a direct hit with children everywhere.

Volcanoes /
ISBN: 0792253760. OCLC Number:

National Geographic,. Washington, DC :. 2007.

Provides first-person reports of those who've witnessed the violent rage of a volcanic eruption.

Droughts /
ISBN: 1426303394. OCLC Number:

National Geographic,. Washington, D.C. :. ©2008.

Describes droughts (with special eyewitness accounts of the Dust Bowl of the 1930s) and the far-reaching effects of these disasters. Chapters alternate between history and science to bring home the awesome power of nature's fury.

Earthquakes :
ISBN: 1426302118. OCLC Number:

National Geographic,. Washington, D.C. :. ©2008.

Describes the earthquake in Alaska in 1964 as told by eyewitness accounts of this disaster.

Tsunamis /
ISBN: 0792253809. OCLC Number:

National Geographic Society,. Washington, D.C. :. ©2008.

The words and photographs of people who have witnessed tsunamis, along with the science, history, and protection efforts surrounding this watery disaster.

Volcano! /
ISBN: 1426308159. OCLC Number:

National Geographic,. Washington, D.C. :. ©2010.

Discusses volcanoes, why they erupt, the damage they cause, and what science can do to predict their eruptions, and includes true stories of encounters with volcanoes.

Tornado! :
ISBN: 1426307799. OCLC Number:

National Geographic,. Washington, D.C. :. ©2011.

Contains first-hand accounts of tornadoes in the United States, explains why and how tornadoes happen, and discusses ways to stay safe.

Stolen into slavery :
ISBN: 1426309376. OCLC Number:

National Geographic Society,. Washington, D.C. :. 2012.

The true story of Solomon Northup, a free black man living in upstate New York, who was kidnapped in 1841 and spent 12 years as a slave on deadly Louisiana coastal plantations.

Zora! :
ISBN: 0547006950. OCLC Number:

Clarion Books,. Boston :. c2012.

A biography of African American author Zora Neale Hurston.

The price of freedom :
ISBN: 0802721664. OCLC Number:

Walker Books for Young Readers,. New York :. 2013.

Documents the efforts of an Ohio community to secure the freedom of escaped slave John Price, examining various aspects of Price's escape from Kentucky, the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850, and the heroic showdown.


Awards

Dennis and his wife, Judy, won many awards for their books including