Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Claire Hartfield  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Fiction

Audience: Young Adult; Children;


-- Website --
-- Claire Hartfield on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection

Hartfield is a life long resident of Chicago. She attended Chicago public schools and received her her law degree from the University of Chicago.

Biographical and Professional Information

Hartfield is an attorney and an author. She received her B.A from Yale University and her law degree from the University of Chicago. As a lawyer, she has specialized in school desegregation litigation. More recently, she has been involved in setting policy and creating programs in a charter school setting on Chicago's African-American West Side.Part of the impetus for the writing of her book, ''Me and Uncle Romie,'' is a historical fiction picture book based on the life and art of world-renowned collage artist, Romare Bearden. She wanted to inform children about an important African-American visual artist, and to give them an expanded understanding of the breadth of the African-American experience. The story also explores the commonality of experience that is shared by people across cultures.Her book, ''A Few Red Drops'', is about the Chicago Race Riot. She heard stories of the 1919 race riot from her grandmother, who lived in the Black Belt in Chicago at the time, and was moved to share this history with younger generations.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

Me and Uncle Romie: A Story Inspired by the Life and Art of Romare Beardon
ISBN: 0803725205

Dial Books. 2002

Whooo-ooo! Train's a' coming! James can't wait to get on board and go visit his uncle way up north in New York City. But he also just wishes he could take a little bit of home along with him-things like baseball games, and the special birthday cake Mama always makes. Will Uncle Romie, who's some kind of artist, know about things like that?

Young readers will feel as if they're discovering the city's wonders, and making an unexpected friend, right along with James in this vibrant story, expressively illustrated by Coretta Scott King Award winner Jerome Lagarrigue.

A how-to section on storytelling collages and a short biography of Romare Bearden are included.

A Few Red Drops: The Chicago Race Riot of 1919
ISBN: 0544785134

Clarion Books. 2018

On a hot day in July 1919, five black youths went swimming in Lake Michigan, unintentionally floating close to the "white" beach. An angry white man began throwing stones at the boys, striking and killing one. Racial conflict on the beach erupted into days of urban violence that shook the city of Chicago to its foundations. This mesmerizing narrative draws on contemporary accounts as it traces the roots of the explosion that had been building for decades in race relations, politics, business, and clashes of culture. Archival photos and prints, source notes, bibliography, index.


Me and Uncle Romie

  • Notable Book of the Year, Smithsonian Magazine
  • Junior Library Guild Choice
  • 100 Books for Reading and Sharing List, New York Public Library

    Speaking Engagements

    Speaking Engagement Availability (Yes)

    Please contact Author.