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Sally M. Walker

Born: 1954 in New Jersey
Pen Name: Sally Fleming

Connection to Illinois: Walker lives in DeKalb.

Biography: Sally Walker has written more than 50 nonfiction books for young readers. She enjoys finding and sharing odd snippets of information to interest them in history and science. Her books are packed with personal anecdotes and humor, as she searches out true tales in graveyards, zoos, the Shedd Aquarium, back rooms of museums, and in dusty archives.

  • Shipwreck Search, Discovery of the HL Hunley Illinois Reads Book Selection, Illinois Reading Council, 2013
  • Boundaries: How the Mason-Dixon Line Settled a Family Feud and Divided a Nation Illinois Reads Book Selection, Illinois Reading Council, 2015
  • Winnie: The True Story of the Bear Who Inspired Winnie-the-Pooh Illinois Reads Book Selection, Illinois Reading Council, 2016
  • Underground Fire: Hope, Sacrifice, and Courage in the Cherry Mine Disaster Illinois Reads Book Selection, Illinois Reading Council, 2023; HONOREE, CHILDREN’S READING ROUND TABLE AWARD FOR CHILDREN’S NONFICTION, Society of Midland Authors Award, 2023
  • Sinking the Sultana: A Civil War Story of Impronment, Greed and a Doomed Journey Home Illinois Reads Book Selection, Illinois Reading Council, 2018
  • Earth Verse: Haiku from the Ground Up Illinois Reads Book Selection, Illinois Reading Council, 2019
  • Fiery Night: A Boy, His Goat, and the Great Chicago Fire Illinois Reads Book Selection, Illinois Reading Council, 2022

Primary Literary Genre(s): Fiction; Non-Fiction


Selected Titles

Bessie Coleman :
ISBN: 9781575057132 OCLC: 55087977

Carolrhoda Books, Minneapolis : ©2003.

Describes the life and accomplishments of Bessie Coleman, who overcame racism and poverty to become the first African American woman pilot.

Blizzard of glass :
ISBN: 1250040086 OCLC: 829452572

Recounts the story from World War I in which two towns were leveled and almost two thousand people killed following the collision of two warships in Halifax Harbour and a blizzard that dumped over a foot of snow in the area.

Boundaries :
ISBN: 0763656127 OCLC: 852457506

Traces the history of the Mason-Dixon Line as reflected by family feuds, exploration, scientific advancement and the cultural conflicts between America's northern and southern states.

Caves /
ISBN: 0822567342 OCLC: 76416598

Lerner, Minneapolis, MN : ©2008.

Text and pictures describe the Earth's caves, including their different types, animal life, and how people explore them.

Champion: The Comeback Tale of the American Chestnut Tree
ISBN: 1250125235 OCLC: 975112320

American chestnut trees were once found far and wide in North America's eastern forests. They towered up to one hundred feet tall, providing food and shelter for people and animals alike. For many, life without the chestnut seemed unimaginable―until disaster struck in the early 1900s.What began as a wound in the bark of a few trees soon turned to an unstoppable killing force. An unknown blight was wiping out the American chestnut, and scientists felt powerless to prevent it.But the story doesn't end there. Today, the American chestnut is making a comeback. Narrative nonfiction master Sally M. Walker tells a tale of loss, restoration, and the triumph of human ingenuity in this beautifully photographed middle-grade book.

Crocodiles /
ISBN: 1575053454 OCLC: 50913301

Carolrhoda Books, Minneapolis : ©2004.

Describes the physical characteristics, life cycle, and behavior of crocodiles, as well as efforts to protect them.

Deadly Aim: The Civil War Story of Michigan's Anishinaabe Sharpshooters
ISBN: 1250125251 OCLC: 1083182749

An engaging middle-grade nonfiction narrative of the American Indian soldiers who bravely fought in the Civil War from Sibert Award-winning author Sally M. Walker.More than 20,000 American Indians served in the Civil War, yet their stories have often been left out of the history books.In Deadly Aim, Sally M. Walker explores the extraordinary lives of Michigan’s Anishinaabe sharpshooters. These brave soldiers served with honor and heroism in the line of duty, despite enduring broken treaties, loss of tribal lands, and racism.Filled with fascinating archival photographs, maps, and diagrams, this book offers gripping firsthand accounts from the frontlines. You’ll learn about Company K, the elite band of sharpshooters, and Daniel Mwakewenah, the chief who killed more than 32 rebels in a single battle despite being gravely wounded.Walker celebrates the lives of the soldiers whose stories have been left in the margins of history for too long with extensive research and consultation with the Repatriation Department for the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians, the Eyaawing Museum and Cultural Center, and the Ziibiwing Center of Anishinaabe Culture and Lifeways.

Dolphins /
ISBN: 1575052210 OCLC: 38862452

Carolrhoda Books, Minneapolis, MN : ©1999.

Introduces these aquatic mammals by describing their physical characteristics, life cycle, behavior, relations with humans, and threats to their survival.

Druscilla's Halloween /
ISBN: 0822589419 OCLC: 262209094

Carolrhoda Books, Minneapolis : ©2009.

In the time when witches tiptoe about to have their Halloween fun, ancient Druscilla knows her creaking knees will prevent her from being sneaky and sets out to find a silent conveyance for herself, her cat, and her jack-o-lantern.

Earth verse :
ISBN: 0763675121 OCLC: 1021883627

A collection of haiku poems celebrates the planet Earth, including such topics as rocks, earthquakes, fossils, volcanoes, and the water cycle. Includes Earth sciences fact pages.

Earthquakes /
ISBN: 0822567350 OCLC: 71006736

Lerner Publications, Minneapolis, MN : 2008.

This book explains how earthquakes happen and what scientists are doing to try to predict future earthquakes.

Electricity /
ISBN: 082252919X OCLC: 57693813

Lerner Publications Co., Minneapolis, MN : ©2006.

Learn all about electricity using simple experiments.

Fiery Night: A Boy, His Goat, and the Great Chicago Fire
ISBN: 1684460867 OCLC: 1137752369

Justin Butterfield insists on bringing his pet goat Willie when his family is forced to flee the Great Chicago Fire in 1871.

Figuring out fossils /
ISBN: 1467707910 OCLC: 794227905

This book describes the process through which fossils are created, and what we can learn from them.

Fireflies /
ISBN: 0822530473 OCLC: 46357288

Lerner Publications, Minneapolis, Minn. : ©2001.

Describes the physical characteristics, behavior, and life cycle of fireflies.

Fossil fish found alive :
ISBN: 1575055368 OCLC: 47243809

Carolrhoda Books, Minneapolis, MN : ©2002.

Describes the 1938 discovery of the coelacanth, a fish previously believed to be extinct, and subsequent research about it.

Fossils /
ISBN: 0822559455 OCLC: 61278588

Lerner Publications, Minneapolis : ©2007.

This book introduces the world of fossils, presenting information on where they are found, how they are formed, and how they are classified.

Freedom song :
ISBN: 006058310X OCLC: 652443503

Harper, New York : ©2012.

Henry Brown copes with slavery by singing, but after his wife and children are sold away he is left with only his freedom song, which gives him strength when friends put him in a box and mail him to a free state.

Frozen secrets :
ISBN: 1580136079 OCLC: 435628720

Carolrhoda Books, Minneapolis : ©2010.

Introduces Antarctica, presenting the history of its exploration and the current research efforts underway to investigate its geography, climate, and fossils of the past, and monitor the effects of global warming on its glaciers.

Ghost walls :
ISBN: 0761354085 OCLC: 863100205

In 1638, John Lewger made a home in the wilderness of the New World, in a place called Maryland. He named his house St. John's, and for nearly eighty years, it was the center of an ambitious English plan to build a new kind of community on American soil. Award-winning author Sally M. Walker tells the story of how teams of scientists and historians managed to hear the ghostly echoes of St. John's House and, over the course of decades of painstaking work, made them speak their stories again.

Glaciers /
ISBN: 0822567377 OCLC: 74988171

Lerner, Minneapolis : ©2008.

Introduces glaciers, including how they were formed, how they move, and their importance to the geography and ecology of the world, and discusses ways that we can reduce the deterioration of the glaciers before it is too late.

Hippos /
ISBN: 1575050781 OCLC: 36126419

Carolrhoda Books, Minneapolis : ©1998.

An introduction to the physical characteristics, habits, and natural environment of the common and the pygmy hippopotamus.

Inclined planes and wedges /
ISBN: 0822522152 OCLC: 44701690

Lerner Publications Group, Minneapolis : ©2002.

Look around you and you will see these simple machines everywhere. Discover how inclined planes and wedges are used and how they make work easier!

Investigating electricity /
ISBN: 0761378715 OCLC: 664258282

Lerner Publications Company, Minneapolis : 2012.

Presents basic information on electricity along with simple experiments and activities that demonstrate the principles involved.

Investigating heat /
ISBN: 0761378723 OCLC: 669160709

Lerner Publications Co., Minneapolis : ©2012.

Looks at what heat is, and examines how it interacts with different types of matter.

Investigating light /
ISBN: 0761378731 OCLC: 652743589

Lerner Publications, Minneapolis : ©2012.

Looks at what light is, and examines how it interacts with different types of matter.

Investigating magnetism
ISBN: 9780761357759 OCLC: 667990327

Lerner Publications Co., Minneapolis : ©2012.

Looks at what magnetism is, and examines how magnets interact with different types of matter and with the Earth's magnetic field.

Investigating matter /
ISBN: 0761378758 OCLC: 670211385

Lerner Publications, Minneapolis [Minn.] : ©2012.

Looks at what matter is, and examines the different states that it can change into.

Investigating Sound
ISBN: 9781512475920 OCLC: 1004954113

Audisee eBooks with Audio combine professional narration and text highlighting to engage reluctant readers! People, animals, machines, and wind all make sounds. But have you ever seen how sound waves move? Or made a sound wave bounce? Now you can! Explore sound with the fun experiments you'll find in this book. As part of the Searchlight Books collection, this series sheds light on a key science question--How Does Energy Work? Hands-on experiments, interesting photos, and useful diagrams will help you find the answer!

Jackie Robinson /
ISBN: 0876149042 OCLC: 48263689

Carolrhoda Books, Minneapolis : ©2002.

Describes the life and accomplishments of baseball star Jackie Robinson, who became the first African American in twentieth-century major-league baseball.

Jaguars /
ISBN: 0822575108 OCLC: 145941263

Lerner Publications Co., Minneapolis : ©2009.

Discusses the physical characteristics, behavior, and habitat of the jaguar, and describes the efforts to protect this endangered species.

Levers /
ISBN: 0822522128 OCLC: 44794789

Lerner Publications, Minneapolis : ©2002.

Looks at levers and uses everyday materials to show how they help make our work easier.

Manatees /
ISBN: 1575052997 OCLC: 39897257

Carolrhoda Books, Minneapolis, MN : ©1999.

Describes the physical characteristics, life cycle, behavior, and conservation of manatees, also known as sea cows.

Marveling at minerals
ISBN: 9781467700221 OCLC: 789146982

Lerner Publications Co., Minneapolis : ©2013.

Readers learn about minerals, their properties, and their uses.

Mary Anning :
ISBN: 9781575055565 OCLC: 55137189

Carolrhoda Books, Minneapolis : ©2001.

Describes the life of Mary Anning, who discovered many of the best and most complete fossils in nineteenth-century England, yet received little credit for her work.

Minerals /
ISBN: 0822559463 OCLC: 61295947

Lerner Publications Co., Minneapolis, MN : ©2007.

An introduction to the science of minerals and mineralogy.

Mosquitoes /
ISBN: 0822513757 OCLC: 179105734

Lerner Publications Co., Minneapolis : ©2009.

Discusses the physical characteristics, behavior, and life cycle of mosquitoes.

Opossum at Sycamore Road - a Smithsonian's Backyard Book
ISBN: 1568994826 OCLC: Norwalk, CT :

Soundprint Norwalk, CT : 1997

It's nighttime. Opossum and her four babies waddle across a backyard, rummaging through trash cans for food. Suddenly a dog pops out of nowhere! Will Opossum be able to protect her young? Reviewed by the Smithsonian Institution for accuracy, Opossum at Sycamore Road is a fun and informative story with beautifully detailed illustrations. Watch your children have a blast reading and learning about the animals that live in an American backyard!

Opossums /
ISBN: 0822530554 OCLC: 128237633

Lerner Publications Company, Minneapolis : 2008.

Describes the life cycle of the opossum.

Out of This World: Star-Studded Haiku
ISBN: 1536203564 OCLC:

Candlewick 2022

This stunning meeting of poetic form and luminous artwork transports us out of the bounds of Earth, past a lunar eclipse, beyond the orbiting planets, and into glowing galaxies and twinkling constellations. Sally M. Walker uses her award-winning skill as a writer of nonfiction to explore space through clever haiku, accompanied by narrative explanations of wonders that are out of this world. Illustrator Matthew Trueman imagines the explosive Big Bang and awe-inspiring meteor showers in spectacular views that no telescope could offer. Comprehensive, well-researched back matter further explores such topics as constellations and astronomers, the birth of the universe, stars, the solar system, moons and eclipses, asteroids, meteors, and comets, as well as a glossary of terms, a bibliography, and online resources for readers with an eye to what lies beyond Earth. --

Pulleys /
ISBN: 0822522144 OCLC: 45283204

Lerner Publications Co, Minneapolis : ©2002.

What are pulleys? Look around and you will see that these machines are everywhere. Discover how they are used and how they make work easier!

Put inclined planes to the test /
ISBN: 0761353240 OCLC: 764433815

Lerner Publications Co., Minneapolis, MN : ©2012.

What do staircases, dump truck beds, and ramps have in common? All of them are inclined planes! Inclined planes are simple machines. They help us to do jobs more easily. But don't take our word for it. Put inclined planes to the test with the fun experiments you'll find in this book. As part of the Searchlight Books collection, this series sheds light on a key science question-How Do Simple Machines Work? Hands-on experiments, interesting photos, and useful diagrams will help you find the answer!

Put levers to the test /
ISBN: 0761378669 OCLC: 664258036

Introduces levers, including their different parts, how the simple machine works, and different ways it is used in everyday life.

Put pulleys to the test /
ISBN: 0761353224 OCLC: 663459037

Defines work, describes machines, and discusses different kinds of pulleys.

Put screws to the test /
ISBN: 0761378685 OCLC: 664258082

Provides experiments to introduce screws as simple machines, including how they function and how they are used in everyday objects to make life easier.

Put to the test :
ISBN: 0761378707 OCLC: 795696531

Lerner Publications Co., Minneapolis : ©2012.

Presents information about what wheels and axles are and how they help people to do work more easily, and suggests ways for readers to use common items to experience for themselves how these simple machines work.

Put wedges to the test /
ISBN: 0761378693 OCLC: 756864266

Lerner Publications, Minneapolis, MN : ©2012.

What do a doorstop, a butter knife, and the front of a boat have in common' All of them are wedges! Wedges are simple machines. They help us to do jobs more easily. But don't take our word for it. Put wedges to the test with the fun experiments you'll find in this book. As part of the Searchlight Books collection, this series sheds light on a key science question'How Do Simple Machines Work' Hands-on experiments, interesting photos, and useful diagrams will help you find the answer!

Rays /
ISBN: 1575051729 OCLC: 48256541

Carolrhoda Books, Minneapolis, MN : 2003.

Describes the physical characteristics, behavior, life cycle, and endangered status of rays.

Reefs /
ISBN: 0822567385 OCLC: 77048120

Lerner Pub., Minneapolis : ©2008.

Introcuces reefs, including how they are made, their importance to the environment, and why they are endangered.

Researching Rocks.
ISBN: 1467707937 OCLC: 809027726

Lernerclassroom 2013.

ISBN: 9780822566007 OCLC: 70063020

Lerner Publications, Minneapolis, MN : ©2007.

Introduces rhinos, examining their physical characteristics, their habitat, their eating habits, their mating habits, and the dangers they face.

Screws /
ISBN: 0822522160 OCLC: 44701684

Lerner Publications, Minneapolis : ©2002.

Looks at screws and uses everyday materials to show how they are simple machines that help make work easier.

Sea horses /
ISBN: 0822530511 OCLC: 50643696

Lerner Publications Co., Minneapolis, Minn. : ©2004.

An introduction to the physical characteristics, behavior, habitats, and life cycle of sea horses.

Sea horses /
ISBN: 1575053179 OCLC: 38550308

Carolrhoda Books, Minneapolis : ©1999.

Describes the physical characteristics, life cycle, and behavior of sea horse as well as efforts to protect them.

Secrets of a Civil War submarine :
ISBN: 1575058308 OCLC: 56368642

Carolrhoda Books, Minneapolis : ©2005.

Presents the history of the Civil War submarine the H.L. Hunley, including the construction, mysterious sinking, recovery, and restoration.

Shipwreck search :
ISBN: 0822564491 OCLC: 60590051

Millbrook Press, Minneapolis, MN : ©2006.

Discusses the mysterious disappearance of the Confederate submarine, the H.L. Hunley, and its recent recovery from deep in the waters off the coast of South Carolina.

Sinking the Sultana :
ISBN: 0763677558 OCLC: 969386295

The worst maritime disaster in American history wasn't the Titanic. It was the steamboat Sultana on the Mississippi River and it could have been prevented.

Soil /
ISBN: 082255948X OCLC: 62282111

Lerner Publications Co., Minneapolis : ©2007.

Discusses soil, what it is, how it forms, and how to take care of it.

Sound /
ISBN: 1580133150 OCLC: 173719804

Lerner, London : 2008.

Explains what sound is, how it travels, why it moves at different speeds, and why people can't hear certain sounds.

Studying soil
ISBN: 9781467700238 OCLC: 805892225

Lerner, Minneapolis : ©2013.

Soil can be found almost everywhere on Earth. Sand is a soft soil that is found in deserts. Loam is soil that is great for growing plants. But how are these types of soils different? And how are they made? Explore the amazing world of soil in this book.

Supercroc found /
ISBN: 1575058529 OCLC: 56103860

Millbrook Press, Minneapolis, MN : ©2006.

Examines how the Sarcosuchus imperator, the prehistoric crododile, was discovered and how scientists uncovered information about the creature based on fossil evidence.

The 18 penny goose /
ISBN: 0064442500 OCLC: 35688200

HarperCollins, New York : ©1998.

Eight-year-old Letty attempts to save her pet goose from marauding British soldiers in New Jersey during the Revolutionary War.

The search for Antarctic dinosaurs
ISBN: 9781580136877 OCLC: 173986110

Millbrook Press, Minneapolis, MN : ©2008.

The Vowel family :
ISBN: 9780761339700 OCLC: 247952801

Carolrhoda Books, Minneapolis : ©2008.

The members of the Vowel family have a hard time talking until their children, Alan, Ellen, Iris, Otto, and Ursula, are born, and when one of them gets lost one day, it takes their Aunt Cyndy to fix the problem.

Their skeletons speak :
ISBN: 0761374574 OCLC: 769010883

Discusses the processes used by scientists to discern the identity of the Kennewick Man and what this nine thousand-year-old skeleton revealed about the arrival of humans in North America.

Trees: Haiku from Roots to Leaves
ISBN: 1536215503 OCLC:

Candlewick 2023

In a unique melding of science and poetry, a collection of haiku extols the wonder of trees—and explores the vital roles they play on our living planet. perched on a branch, the crow's nest amid green sails a place for daydreams From the giant tree ferns of the forests primeval to the hardy sycamores of today’s urban forests, experience the essence of trees through poems that engage with every season and stage of the life cycle, from seed to photosynthesis. A broad exploration of a majestic subject, this collection of haiku touches on such topics as the importance of trees to other living creatures and the communication of trees with one another through a complex network of roots. Paired with Angela Mckay’s bold, bright, beautifully patterned artwork, Sally M. Walker’s third collection, a companion to Earth Verse and Out of This World, encourages respect and care for our arboreal neighbors. Back matter includes a timeline, an author’s note, a glossary, and a select bibliography for curious readers.

Underground Fire: Hope, Sacrifice, and Courage in the Cherry Mine Disaster
ISBN: 1536212407 OCLC:

Candlewick 2022

It is November 13, 1909, and the coal miners of Cherry, Illinois, head to work with lunch pails in hand, just like any other day. By seven a.m., 484 of these men are underground, starting jobs that range from taking care of the mules that haul coal to operating cages that raise and lower workers and coal to chiseling out rocks and coal from the tunnels of the mine. With the electrical system broken, they’re guided by kerosene torches—and come early afternoon, a slow-moving disaster begins, barely catching the men’s attention until it’s too late. In what starts as an hour-by-hour account, Sally Walker tells the riveting and horrifying story of the Cherry Mine fire, which trapped hundreds of men underground. Alternating between rescue efforts above and the heroic measures of those trying to survive the poor air and entrapment below, the tragic story unfolds over eight excruciating days in a narrative compelled by the miners’ hope and absolute will to survive. Rich with archival photographs and documents, this stirring account includes sources, bibliography, an author’s note, and follow-up information about survivors, rescuers, and families.

ISBN: 9780761343639 OCLC: 502306307

Lerner, London : 2009.

Volcanoes :
ISBN: 0876148127 OCLC: 28337660

Carolrhoda Books, Minneapolis : 1994.

Describes volcanoes, where they form, the kinds of lava and landforms they create, and how volcanologists are learning to predict eruptions.

We are the weather makers :
ISBN: 9780763646561 OCLC: 313660861

Candlewick Press, Somerville, Mass. : 2009.

First published for an adult readership, The Weather Makers got kudos for its solid science and powerful message. Now this accessible edition speaks directly to young adults, offering a clear look at the history of climate change, how matters will unfold over the next century, and what we can do to prevent a cataclysmic future. Newly featured are twenty-five practical tips for living a greener lifestyle--at home, in school, in the community, and ultimately, on Earth.

What really works with exceptional learners
ISBN: 9781506363479 OCLC: 957140141

Today’s teachers, especially the many who work with students with special needs, are pressed to know a little something about everything. Expertise is needed in different content and pedagogical areas, but knowledge of different types of disabilities is required as well. Wendy Murawski and Kathy Lynn Scott have assembled another reader-friendly What Really Works resource full of experiences and evidence-based practices to empower any educator. Each chapter is presented in an easy-access and practical format suited for busy professionals. The editors and authors examine how special educational needs affect: content areas like reading and math; specialization areas like autism and learning disabilities; pedagogical areas like culturally responsive practices and accommodations; other critical areas like legal issues, behavior challenges, and home-school collaboration. As education trends promote the inclusion of students with exceptionalities, this book is the perfect resource for teachers and administrators who need to know what works…and what doesn’t. -- Provided by publisher.

Wheels and axles /
ISBN: 0822522136 OCLC: 45314131

Lerner Publications Co., Minneapolis : ©2002.

Uses everyday examples to show how wheels and axles function as simple machines.

Winnie :
ISBN: 0805097155 OCLC: 873985289

"When Harry Colebourn saw a baby bear at a train station, he knew he could care for it. Harry was a veterinarian. But he was also a soldier in training during World War I. Harry named the bear Winnie, short for Winnipeg, his company's home town, and he brought her along to the military camp in England. Winnie followed Harry everywhere and slept under his cot every night. Before long, she became the regiment's much-loved mascot. But who could care for the bear when Harry went to battle? Harry found just the right place for Winnie--the London Zoo. There a boy named Christopher Robin played with Winnie--he could care for this bear too!"--

Work /
ISBN: 082252211X OCLC: 45314495

Lerner Publications, Minneapolis, MN : ©2002.

Describes the basic physics behind work and simple machinery.

Written in bone :
ISBN: 0822571358 OCLC: 86090402

Carolrhoda Books, Minneapolis, Minn. : ©2009.

This book reports on the work of forensic scientists who are excavating grave sites in James Fort, in Jamestown, Virginia, to understand the people who lived in the Chesapeake Bay area in the 1600s and 1700s.