Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Janet Nolan  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Fiction

Audience: Children;

Born: 1956 in Chicago, Illinois

-- Website --
-- Janet Nolan on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection

Nolan was born in Chicago and currently resides in Oak Park, Illinois. She also graduated from the University of Illinois Chicago.

Biographical and Professional Information

Janet Nolan has a B.A. from The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington, and a master’s degree in Urban Planning and Policy from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She is a member of the Illinois chapter of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI).Nolan was standing on the rocky shores of Ireland's west coast when she saw the perfect setting for her first picture book. ''The St. Patrick's Day Shillelagh'' celebrates an Irish American family history and the stories they told. On his way to America from Ireland to escape the Potato Famine, young Fergus carves a shillelagh from his favorite blackthorn tree, and each St. Patrick's Day for generations, his story is retold by one of his descendants.

Published Works

  • The St. Patrick`s Day Shillelagh, Albert Whitman, 2002
  • A Father`s Day Thank You, Albery Whitman, 2007
  • The Firehouse Light, Tricycle Press, 2010
  • PB&J Hooray!: Your Sandwich`s Amazing Journey from Farm to Table, Albert Whitman, 2014
  • Seven and a Half Tons of Steel, Peachtree, 2016

Selected Titles At Your Library

Seven and a half tons of steel /
ISBN: 1561459127. OCLC Number:

. .

There is a ship, a Navy ship. It is called the USS New York. It is big like other Navy ships, and it sails like other Navy ships, but there is something special about the USS New York. Following the events of September 11, 2001, the governor of New York gave the Navy a steel beam that was once inside one of the World Trade Towers. The beam was driven from New York to a foundry in Louisiana. Metal workers heated the beam to a high, high temperature. Chippers and grinders, painters and polishers worked on the beam for months. And then, seven and a half tons of steel, which had once been a beam in the World Trade Center, became a Navy ship's bow.

PB & J hooray! :
ISBN: 0807563978. OCLC Number:

. .

Describes the journey a sandwich has made before it is eaten, from planting, farming, and harvesting to production, delivery, and shopping.

A Father's Day thank you /
ISBN: 0807522910. OCLC Number:

Albert Whitman,. Morton Grove, IL :. ©2007.

Harvey the bear searches for the perfect Father's Day present and decides that thanking his dad is the best gift of all.

The St. Patrick's Day shillelagh /
ISBN: 0807573450. OCLC Number:

A. Whitman & Co.,. Morton Grove, Ill. :. 2002.

On his way from Ireland to America to escape the potato famine, young Fergus carves a shillelagh from his favorite blackthorn tree, and each St. Patrick's Day for generations, his story is retold by one of his descendants.

The firehouse light /
ISBN: 1582462984. OCLC Number:

Tricycle Press,. Berkeley [Calif.] :. ©2010.

The true story of a light bulb in a firehouse located in Livermore, California, that has stayed lit for more than one hundred years.


The Firehouse Light

  • Starred Review, School Library Journal
  • Seven and a Half Tons of Steel

  • ILLINOIS READS Book Selection, Illinois Reading Council, 2017

    Speaking Engagements

    Speaking Engagement Availability (Yes)

    Nolan enjoys talking to students about writing. You can find out more about her presentations at the "School of her website.