Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Ronald L. Smith  

Pen Name: 

Genre: Fiction Mystery

Audience: Children;


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Illinois Connection

Smith lived in Chicago for 15 years.

Biographical and Professional Information

Ronald L. Smith is an award-winning writer of children's literature including the novels, Black Panther: The Young Prince, The Mesmerist, The Owls Have Come To Take Us Away and Gloomtown, a Junior Library Guild Selection. His first novel, Hoodoo, earned him the 2016 Coretta Scott King/ John Steptoe New Talent Author Award and the ILA Award for Intermediate Fiction from The International Literacy Association. Before he became a full-time writer, he worked in advertising and wrote TV commercials for big corporations. He is much happier writing books for young people.


HooDoo , Winner of the 2016 Coretta Scott King New Author Award Cooperative Childrens Book Center Best of Year List Junior Library Guild Selection 2016 ILA Intermediate Fiction Award from the International Literacy Association

Gloom Town , A Junior Library Guild Selection

The Owls Have Come to Take Us Away , A Junior Library Guild Selection

Speaking Engagements

Speaking Engagement Availability: No.

Selected Titles At Your Library

Black Panther: The Young Prince (Marvel Black Panther)
ISBN: 1484787641. OCLC Number: 986954364

Marvel Press. .

He felt the mesh of the Vibranium under his fingertips, smooth yet hard at the same time. It almost seemed like it pulsed. Like it wanted to be worn. 'This is the suit of the Black Panther,' T'Challa whispered. 'The suit of my father and his father before him.' He let the fabric fall from his hands and unfurl toward the floor. 'I have to do this,' he said. 'I have no choice.'--Jacket cover.

Gloom Town
ISBN: 1328841618. OCLC Number: 1080246486

Clarion. .

Twelve-year-old Rory and his friend Izzy try to foil the plans of Lord Foxglove, for whom Rory works as a valet, and his inhuman accomplices from taking over the world.--

ISBN: 0544445252. OCLC Number: 905969727

Clarion. .

In 1930s Alabama, twelve-year-old Hoodoo Hatcher is the only member of his family who seems unable to practice folk magic, but when a mysterious man called the Stranger puts the entire town at risk from his black magic, Hoodoo must learn to conjure to defeat him.

The Mesmerist
ISBN: 0544445287. OCLC Number: 932050605

Clarion. .

Thirteen-year-old Jess and her mother make a living as sham spiritualists--until they discover that Jess is a mesmerist and that she really can talk to the dead. Soon she is plunged into the dark world of Victorian London's supernatural underbelly and learns that the city is under attack by ghouls, monsters, and spirit summoners--

The Owls Have Come to Take Us Away
ISBN: 132884160X. OCLC Number: 1016489994

Clarion. .

After something strange happens during a camping trip, twelve-year-old alien-obsessed Simon suspects he has been abducted, but was it real or just his overactive imagination?