Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Anne Sibley O'Brien  

Pen Name: 

Genre: Fiction Illustrator Non-Fiction

Audience: Young Adult; Children;

Born: Chicago, Illinois

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Illinois Connection

O'Brien was born in Chicago.

Biographical and Professional Information

Anne Sibley O'Brien is a children's book writer and illustrator who has created thirty-seven books, some of which she wrote and illustrated, some she wrote, and some she illustrated.

Picture books she illustrated include JAMAICA'S FIND (Houghton Mifflin) and six other Jamaica books by Juanita Havill; and TALKING WALLS (Tilbury House) and four other titles by Margy Burns Knight, for which they received the 1997 National Education Association Author-Illustrator Human & Civil Rights Award.

O'Brien's passion for multiracial, multicultural, and global subjects was kindled by her experience of being raised bilingual and bicultural in South Korea as the daughter of medical missionaries. She reflects on race, culture and children's books at her blog, "Coloring Between the Lines". In 2014 she received the Katahdin Award for lifetime achievement from the Maine Library Association.

She lives on an island in Maine.


In the Shadow of the Sun , Junior Library Guild selection, it was also named a Bank Street College Best Children's Books of the Year; a CBC/NCSS Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Young People; an International Literacy Association Teachers' Choice; and a Maine Student Book Award Nominee.

I'm New Here , Kirkus Starred Review, Kirkus Review's Best Books of 2015; CBC/NCSS Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People 2016; 2016-2017 Maine Chickadee Award Nominee; 2016-2017 Washington State Children's Choice Nominee; 2016 Maine State Library Cream of the Crop; and 2016 Bank Street College Best Children's Books of the Year.

Someone New , Kirkus Starred Review

A Path of Stars , Honor Picture Book Award from the Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association

Talking Walls , 1997 National Education Association Author-Illustrator Human & Civil Rights Award.

Speaking Engagements

Speaking Engagement Availability: No.

Selected Titles At Your Library

A special day /
ISBN: 1584307412. OCLC Number: 759395162

. .

A young girl shares all the special preparations she goes through for a special day, but who is the day special for?

Abracadabra, It's Spring!
ISBN: 1419718916. OCLC Number: 921863971

Abrams. .

Winter turns to spring in this lyrical book that celebrates the magic of nature and the changing seasons. Eleven gatefolds open to recreate the excitement and surprise of spring's arrival--

Africa Is Not a Country
ISBN: 0761316477. OCLC Number: 43569404

First Avenue Editions. .

Demonstrates the diversity of the African continent by describing daily life in some of its fifty-three nations.

After Gandhi: One Hundred Years of Nonviolent Resistance
ISBN: 1580891292. OCLC Number: 213384948

Charlesbridge,. .

Over the last century brave people across the world have taken a stand against violence and oppression. Against all odds their actions have toppled governments, challenged unjust laws, and rebuilt societies. This is the power of nonviolent resistance, the legacy of Mahatma Gandhi. From individuals like Muhammad Ali, whose refusal to be drafted helped galvanize American resistance to the Vietnam War, to movements such as Argentina's Mothers of the Disappeared, whose courageous vigils for their missing children contributed to the fall of the military government responsible for the kidnappings, After Gandhi profiles some of the major figures of nonviolent resistance from around the world.

Brianna, Jamaica, and the Dance of Spring /
ISBN: 0547237685. OCLC Number: 44883717

. .

When her sister Nikki gets sick, Brianna hopes to play her part as the butterfly queen in the Dance of Spring, but then another disaster strikes.

Circle Round
ISBN: 1623541522. OCLC Number: 1159644070

Charlesbridge. .

From one child to ten, hands are extended in an ongoing invitation to welcome all kids into a circle of inclusion, friendship, and play--

Hocus pocus, it's fall! /
ISBN: 1419721259. OCLC Number: 938991114

. .

When the days begin to cool and the leaves change color, the magic of fall is in the air. Features gatefolds.

I'm New Here
ISBN: 158089612X. OCLC Number: 865543991

Charlesbridge. .

Three students are immigrants from Guatemala, Korea, and Somalia and have trouble speaking, writing, and sharing ideas in English in their new American elementary school. Through self-determination and with encouragement from their peers and teachers, the students learn to feel confident and comfortable in their new school without losing a sense of their home country, language, and identity. Young readers from all backgrounds will appreciate this touching story about the assimilation of three immigrant students in a supportive school community. Anne Sibley O'Brien is one of the founders of I'm Your Neighbor, an organization that promotes children's literature featuring new arrival cultures. As the rate of immigration ot the United States increases, topics related to immigration are increasingly more important in the classroom and home. I'm New Here demonstrates how our global community can work together and build a home for all. --

In the Shadow of the Sun
ISBN: 0545905745. OCLC Number: 959698358

Arthur Levine. .

Twelve-year-old Mia is on a five-day tour of North Korea with her older brother, Simon, and their father, Mark, a food aid worker, but she is scared because her father keeps sneaking off at night, and terrified that her brother's sullen, rebellious behavior (which has absolutely nothing to do with the Koreans) is going to get them in trouble--and things get much worse when she is pulled into a deadly political game that seeks to expose North Korean atrocities, and her father is arrested.

Jamaica and Brianna /
ISBN: 0395779391. OCLC Number: 26928862

. .

Jamaica hates wearing hand-me-down boots when her friend Brianna has pink fuzzy ones.

Jamaica and the substitute teacher /
ISBN: 0618152423. OCLC Number: 39384995

. .

Jamaica copies from a friend during a spelling test because she wants a perfect paper, but her substitute teacher Mrs. Duval helps her understand that she does not have to be perfect to be special.

Jamaica Tag-Along
ISBN: 0395549493. OCLC Number: 18327416

Houghton Mifflin,. .

When her older brother refuses to let her tag along with him, Jamaica goes off by herself and allows a younger child to play with her.

Jamaica's Blue Marker
ISBN: 0618369171. OCLC Number: 31011038

HMH. .

Jamaica thinks her classmate Russell is a pest who is always getting into trouble, but then she discovers he is moving away.

Moon watchers :
ISBN: 0884485870. OCLC Number: 959875274

. .

"Looking through the tall trees in their backyard in Maine, Shirin and her dad search for a glimpse of the new moon, the sign that the month of Ramadan has begun. Ramadan is a time when Muslims around the world pray, fast, and pay special attention to doing good deeds. Shirin is nine and thinks she should be able to fast like her older brother Ali, but her parents feel she is still too young to go without food and water all day. When Shirin catches Ali sneaking food after school, she wonders: Should she tattle or is this an opportunity for a good deed? Shirin feels left out when the others break their fasts to have their own meals after dark and in the early morning, before it is light again. But then her grandmother tells a story that shows her a way she can feel more a part of Ramadan and the traditions and closeness her family enjoys during this special month of the year. Her good deeds result in a surprise for everyone!" --

Someone New
ISBN: 1623542693. OCLC Number: 1200306834


Talking Walls: Discover Your World
ISBN: 9780884483564. OCLC Number: 851642792

Tilbury . .

An illustrated description of walls around the world and their significance, from the Great Wall of China to the Berlin Wall.

Talking Walls: The Stories Continue
ISBN: 0884481646. OCLC Number: 34513295

. .

Introduces different cultures around the world by telling the stories of walls, from the Maya murals in Bonampak, Mexico, to dikes in the Netherlands.

The legend of Hong Kil Dong, the Robin Hood of Korea /
ISBN: 1580893031. OCLC Number: 62525233

. .

Graphic novel treatment of the life and career Hong Kil Dong, the Korean equivalent of Robin Hood.

Welcoming Babies
ISBN: 0884486419. OCLC Number: 988278088

Tilbury. .

Draws from cultures and traditions around the world to show the many varied yet strikingly kindred ways in which the human family welcomes new life.

Who Belongs Here?: An American Story
ISBN: 0884486397. OCLC Number: 988276886

Tilbury. .

Describes the new life of Nary, a Cambodian refugee, in America, as well as his encounters with prejudice. Includes some general history of U.S. immigration.