Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Alice B. McGinty  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Fiction History Non-Fiction Poetry

Audience: Children;

Born: 1963 in Minneapolis, Minnesota

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Illinois Connection

McGinty lives in Champaign.

Biographical and Professional Information

Alice B. McGinty is the award-winning author of over forty children's books. She writes and publishes fiction, non-fiction and poetry for children. She is also a Writing Coach, Instructor and Book Reviewer. She teaches writing classes regularly through Urbana Adult Education and takes on clients as a writing coach, critiquing their work and helping them improve their skills. Her book review column appears every third Sunday in the Living Section of the Champaign-Urbana News-Gazette.

Currently, she is the Co-Regional Advisor of the Illinois Chapter of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI).


The Water Lady: How Darlene Arviso Helps a Thirsty Navajo Nation

Illinois Reads Book Selection, Illinois Reading Council, 2022

Junior Library Guild Selection

Best Book of 2021 Selection, School Library Journal

Starred Review, School Library Journal

Starred Review, Kirkus

A Story for Small Bear

Kirkus Reviews Best Book of 2020

Best Book of the Month, Ages 3-5, Amazon

Starred Review, Publishers Weekly

Starred Review, Kirkus

The Girl Who Named Pluto

Junior Library Guild Selection

Bank Street Best Children's Book of the Year, 2020

Starred Review, Kirkus, 2019

Pancakes to Parathas

Northern Lights Book Award, Food Category, Northern Dawn Awards, 2019

Gandhi: A March to the Sea

Honor Book, South Asia Book Award For Children’s and Young Adult Literature, 2014

Illinois Reads Book Selection, Illinois Reading Council, 2017

Rabbi Benjamin’s Buttons

2015 Sydney Taylor Notable Book

P.J. Library Selection


Illinois Reads Book Selection, Illinois Reading Council, 2014

Orbis Pictus Honor, 2010

Booklist Best Biographies, 2010

Thank You, World

Dolly Parton Imagination Library Selection

Speaking Engagements

Speaking Engagement Availability (Yes)

Selected Titles At Your Library

A story for Small Bear /
ISBN: 9781984852274. OCLC Number: 1135934563

. .

Small Bear's mother promises stories before their winter slumber if Small Bear will help prepare with no dilly dallying, but the playful cub finds it hard to stick to her tasks.

Bathe the cat /
ISBN: 145214270X. OCLC Number: 1240263642

. .

Dad has posted a list of chores for the family to do before grandma comes, including bathing the cat; but the cat does not want a bath, so she mixes up the instructions, and soon the family is mowing the floor, vacuuming the lawn, mopping the baby--and the house is in chaos.

Carnivores in the food chain /
ISBN: 0823957543. OCLC Number: 45629816

PowerKids Press,. .

Briefly explains the importance of carnivores in the food chain.

Cynthia Rylant /
ISBN: 082394526X. OCLC Number: 52620774

Rosen Central,. .

Discusses the life and work of author Cynthia Rylant, including her writing process and methods, inspirations, a critical discussion of her books, biographical timeline, and awards.

ISBN: 9780618995318. OCLC Number: 237402679

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt,. .

A picture book biography which reveals the assembling of Darwin's most profound idea: the survival of the fittest.

Decomposers in the food chain /
ISBN: 0823957578. OCLC Number: 45830051

PowerKids Press,. .

Briefly explains how fungi, bacteria, molds and other items contribute to the ecology.

Detector dogs :
ISBN: 0823952177. OCLC Number: 44961192

PowerKids Press,. .

Discusses what a detector dog is, the training it goes through, different kinds of search dogs, and their jobs.

Eliza's kindergarten pet /
ISBN: 076145702X. OCLC Number: 474867851

Marshall Cavendish Childrens,. .

When the kindergarten classroom gets a pet guinea pig Eliza is afraid, but when the guinea pig gets lost, Eliza helps find her.

Eliza's kindergarten surprise
ISBN: 9780761453512. OCLC Number: 70775568

Marshall Cavendish,. .

On her first day of school, Eliza fills her pocket with objects--buttons, a pebble, a napkin, and a piece of yarn--that remind her of her mother, whom she misses very much.

Gandhi :
ISBN: 9781477816448. OCLC Number: 823045899

. .

Recreates Mohandas Gandhi's 24-day March to the Sea, from March 12 to April 5, 1930, which became a pivotal moment in India's quest to become an independent country no longer ruled by Great Britain.

Guide dogs :
ISBN: 0585095922. OCLC Number: 44965942

PowerKids Press,. .

Describes the raising and training of Freedom, a seeing eye dog, beginning with its selection as a candidate to be a guide dog up to its placement with an appropriate master.

Herbivores in the food chain /
ISBN: 0823957535. OCLC Number: 45830048

PowerKids Press,. .

Briefly explains the importance and necessity of herbivores.

Katherine Paterson /
ISBN: 1404203281. OCLC Number: 55494981

Rosen Pub. Group,. .

This book discusses the life and work of Katherine Paterson, including her thoughts on writing, inspirations, and awards.

Meet Daniel Pinkwater /
ISBN: 082396406x. OCLC Number: 48851518

Powerkids Press,. .

A short biography of the author of more than seventy books for children, Daniel Pinkwater.

Meet Eve Bunting /
ISBN: 0823964116. OCLC Number: 51306178

PowerKids Press,. .

A short biography of the Irish-born author who has written over 200 books, including "Smoky Night," which won the Caldecott Medal in 1995.

Meet Gail Carson Levine /
ISBN: 0823964094. OCLC Number: 48958712

PowerKids Press,. .

Presents a brief biography of the American author who wrote the 1998 Newbery Honor award-winning book "Ella Enchanted" while commuting from her home in Brewster, New York, to her job in New York City.

Meet Jane Yolen /
ISBN: 0823964078. OCLC Number: 48837468

PowerKids Press,. .

A short biography of Jane Yolen, a prolific and well-known writer of juvenile literature.

Meet Jerry Spinelli /
ISBN: 0823964086. OCLC Number: 48944111

PowerKids Press,. .

Presents a brief biography of the author from Norristown, Pennsylvania, who won the Newbery Medal award in 1991 for "Maniac Magee."

Meet Laurence Yep /
ISBN: 0823964108. OCLC Number: 48958714

PowerKids Press,. .

An easy-to-read biography of the Chinese-American award-winning writer whose books celebrate his ethnic heritage.

Mission San Gabriel Arcángel /
ISBN: 0823958922. OCLC Number: 52882388

PowerKids Press,. .

Discusses the founding, building, operation and closing of the Spanish mission at San Gabriel and its role in California history.

Omnivores in the food chain /
ISBN: 082395756x. OCLC Number: 45805162

PowerKids Press,. .

Briefly explains the necessity of omnivores.

Pancakes to parathas :
ISBN: 9781499807127. OCLC Number: 1032289011

. .

"Breakfast varies from country to country, but it's how all children begin their day. Explore the meals of twelve countries in this playful approach to the world! From Australia to India to the USA, come travel around the world at dawn. Children everywhere are waking up to breakfast. In Japan, students eat soured soybeans called natto. In Brazil, even kids drink coffee--with lots of milk! With rhythm and rhymes and bold, graphic art, Pancakes to Parathas invites young readers to explore the world through the most important meal of the day."--

Police dogs :
ISBN: 0823952185. OCLC Number: 38304462

PowerKids Press,. .

Explores the selection, training, and uses of police dogs in fighting crime.

Producers in the Food Chain.
ISBN: 1282212842. OCLC Number: 911076489

Rosen Publishing,. .

Rabbi Benjamin's buttons /
ISBN: 1580894321. OCLC Number: 811427042

Charlesbridge,. .

Rabbi Benjamin's congregation presents him with a special holiday vest--and cooks him so much food that soon its buttons pop off. Includes glossary, notes on Jewish holidays, and recipes for special foods associated with them.

Scavengers and parasites in the food chain /
ISBN: 0823957551. OCLC Number: 45743031

PowerKids Press,. .

Briefly explains the necessity for scavengers and parasites.

Sharon Creech
ISBN: 1404204687. OCLC Number: 57392331

Rosen Pub. Group,. .

Profiles the life and career of Sharon Creech, winner of several Newbery Medals and the first American to win the Carnegie Medal.

Sheepherding dogs :
ISBN: 0823952193. OCLC Number: 44961074

PowerKids Press,. .

Describes the life of Sparkle, a border collie that works as a sheep dog, examining the training and effort involved for sheep-herding dogs to do their job.

Sled dogs :
ISBN: 0823952169. OCLC Number: 44965920

PowerKids Press,. .

Explores the nature and work of sled dogs, what kinds of breeds make sled dogs, and the history of dogsled racing.

Software designer /
ISBN: 0823931498. OCLC Number: 42296484

Rosen Pub. Group,. .

Explains what software designers do and how to prepare for a career in software design.

Staying healthy :
ISBN: 0531116611. OCLC Number: 42754537

Franklin Watts,. .

Provides an overview of the teeth, including the different kinds of teeth we have, their composition, and how to take care of them.

Staying healthy :
ISBN: 053111662x. OCLC Number: 42754567

Franklin Watts,. .

Gives children pointers on how to stay safe by thinking safe, including chapters on safety with strangers, friends, while playing, at home and in the nieghborhood.

Staying healthy.
ISBN: 0531116603. OCLC Number: 43098512

Franklin Watts,. .

Describes the stages of sleep, discusses what happens when we sleep and why we need sleep.

Staying healthy.
ISBN: 0823951375. OCLC Number: 35762752

PowerKids Press,. .

Defines exercise, describes its benefits, and gives a few examples of how to exercise.

Staying healthy.
ISBN: 0531116638. OCLC Number: 42202144

Franklin Watts,. .

Discusses what germs are and how they spread, as well as the importance of being clean and well-groomed.

Staying healthy.
ISBN: 9780531116586. OCLC Number: 41375161

Franklin Watts,. .

Discusses the four food groups, the nutrients our body needs, and the importance of healthy eating.

Step by step /
ISBN: 1534479945. OCLC Number: 1201297542

. .

On the morning he is to start school, a nervous little boy is reassured by his father's advice to handle problems step by step.

Tarantula /
ISBN: 0823955664. OCLC Number: 45136770

PowerKids Press,. .

Describes the characteristics of the tarantula, their habits and habitats, how they protect themselves from their enemies, and how they adapt to people.

Ten little lambs /
ISBN: 0803725965. OCLC Number: 45166759

Dial Books for Young Readers,. .

As they play all through the night, little lambs from ten to one finally fall asleep.

Thank you, world /
ISBN: 0803727054. OCLC Number: 62152745

Dial Books for Young Readers,. .

Eight children from eight different countries express their thanks for many special things including the sun that colors the sky, breezes that lift kites, clouds that paint cotton pictures and send rain, and sparkling stars that "shine like Mommy's eyes."

The black widow spider /
ISBN: 0823955656. OCLC Number: 45137438

PowerKids Press,. .

Describes the characteristics of the black widow spider, where it can be found, how it mates and reproduces, its web and how it protects itself, and its interaction with humans.

The crab spider /
ISBN: 0823955702. OCLC Number: 45137439

PowerKids Press,. .

Describes the charateristics of the crab spider, where it lives, how it mates, what it eats, and how it protects itself.

The girl who named Pluto :
ISBN: 9781524768317. OCLC Number: 1047530465

. .

"When Venetia Burney's grandfather reads aloud from the newspaper about a new discovery--a "ninth major planet" that has yet to be named--her eleven-year-old mind starts whirring. She is studying the planets in school and loves Roman mythology. "It might be called Pluto," she says, thinking of the dark underworld. Grandfather loves the idea and contacts his friend at London's Royal Astronomical Society, who writes to scientists at the Lowell Observatory in Massachusetts, where Pluto was discovered. After a vote, the scientists agree unanimously: Pluto is the perfect name for the dark, cold planet. Here is a picture book perfect for STEM units and for all children--particularly girls--who have ever dreamed of becoming a scientist."

The jumping spider
ISBN: 9781404233751. OCLC Number: 66525084

PowerKids Press,. .

This book introduces jumping spiders, spiders who leave their webs to search for prey, explaining their physical characteristics, their homes, and their behavior.

The Orb weaver /
ISBN: 0823955699. OCLC Number: 45618189

PowerKids Press,. .

Describes the characteristics of the orb weaver, the web it spins and its benefits to the ecosystem.

The sea knows /
ISBN: 9781534438224. OCLC Number: 1114279203

. .

Dive in and explore the wonders of the ocean and its inhabitants in this rhyming ode to the sea.

The tarantula
ISBN: 9781404255678. OCLC Number: 179795651

Rosen Pub. Group,. .

Describes the characteristics of the tarantula, their habits and habitats, how they protect themselves from their enemies, and how they adapt to people.

The Water Lady :
ISBN: 0525645004. OCLC Number: 1151513591

. .

Cody is worried when his family on a New Mexico Navajo reservation runs out of water, but Darlene Arviso, called "The Water Lady," is on the way with her tanker truck. Includes glossary of Navajo terms and notes about Arviso and life on a reservation.

The wolf spider /
ISBN: 1404233733. OCLC Number: 162102192

PowerKids Press,. .

Describes the characteristics of the wolf spider, where it can be found, how it protects itself, how it reproduces, and its benefits to humans.