Illinois Authors

The Illinois Center for the Book banner

Wendy McClure

Born: 1971 in Oak Park, Illinois
Pen Name: None

Connection to Illinois: McClure was born and raised in Oak Park and currently resides in Chicago.

Biography: Wendy McClure is an author, columnist and a senior editor of middle grade and young adult books at Albert Whitman & Co. She graduated from the Iowa Writers' Workshop and has been writing for well over a decade. Her essays have appeared in the ''The New York Times Magazine'', ''The Chicago Sun-Times'', and in numerous anthologies. McClure has also written the ebook - ''Don't Trade the Baby for a Horse: And Other Ways to Make Your Life a Little More Laura Ingalls Wilder'' and gathered a collection of the notorious retro Weight Watchers recipe cards in a collection titled - ''The Amazing Mackerel Pudding Plan: Classic Diet Recipe Cards from the 1970s''. Her book, ''I'm Not the New Me'', is a memoir.

  • '''''Wanderville'''''
  • -- 2016 ILLINOIS READS Book '''''The Wilder Life'''''
  • -- Midwest Booksellers Choice Award
  • -- Barnes & Noble Discover Selection
  • -- Starred Review, Publishers Weekly

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

Primary Audience(s): Adult readers; Children


Selected Titles

A garden to save the birds /
ISBN: 080752753X OCLC: 1178870512

After a bird flies into their window, two children and their mother study how to keep birds safe, and soon their whole neighborhood is helping in different ways.

Handbook on bullying prevention :
ISBN: 9780871015006 OCLC: 971462302

I'm not the new me /
ISBN: 1594480745 OCLC: 57010015

Riverhead Books, New York : 2005.

It's a pumpkin! /
ISBN: 0807512168 OCLC: 1140351610

When Field Mouse and Squirrel find a big, round, orange object in the road their friends disagree about what it is, but soon it becomes the life of the party.

The princess and the peanut allergy /
ISBN: 0807566233 OCLC: 237788670

Regina must find a solution when she learns her best friend has peanut allergy and cannot eat Regina's fabulous planned birthday cake. Includes note from a pediatric allergist.

The Wilder life :
ISBN: 1594487804 OCLC: 646111796

Riverhead Books, New York : 2011.

For anyone who has ever wanted to step into the world of a favorite book, here is a pioneer pilgrimage, a tribute to Laura Ingalls Wilder, and a hilarious account of butter-churning obsession. Wendy McClure is on a quest to find the world of beloved Little House on the Prairie author Laura Ingalls Wilder -- a fantastic realm of fiction, history, and places McClure has never been to yet somehow knows by heart. She traces the pioneer journey of the Ingalls family -- looking for the Big Woods among the medium trees in Wisconsin, wading in Plum Creek, and enduring a prairie hailstorm in South Dakota. She immerses herself in all things Little House -- exploring the story from fact to fiction, and from the TV shows to the annual summer pageants in Laura's hometowns. Whether she's churning butter in her apartment or sitting in a replica log cabin, McClure is always in pursuit of "the Laura experience." Along the way she comes to understand how Wilder's life and work have shaped our ideas about girlhood and the American West. The Wilder Life is a loving, irreverent, spirited tribute to a series of books that have inspired generations of American women. It is also an incredibly funny first-person account of obsessive reading, and a story about what happens when we reconnect with our childhood touchstones -- and find that our old love has only deepened. - Jacket flap.

ISBN: 1595147004 OCLC: 849719240

To escape rumored terrors in Kansas, New Yorkers Jack and Frances, eleven, and Frances's brother Harold, seven, jump off an orphan train in 1899 and help new friend Alexander to build Wanderville, a safe place for homeless children.

Wanderville: Escape to the World's Fair
ISBN: 1595148205 OCLC: 892041530

"The orphans of Wanderville have decided never again to let themselves be misled by adults offering them shiny red apples and warm beds. They're going to make their way to California and establish a more permanent spot for Wanderville, one where the Society for Children's Aid and Relief (otherwise known as S-C-A-R) will never find them. But when the orphans are suddenly left without transportation, they must locate a new means of getting to their "town." Enter a dandy motorist with a proposition: If the orphans agree to take a mysterious gold medallion to the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair on his behalf, they will receive a handsome reward that will allow them to book passage west. With a particularly relentless S-C-A-R agent on their tail and little hope of discovering other travel money, the citizens of Wanderville conclude that the motorist's offer is their best bet. What they don't realize, however, is just how treacherous the journey to the fair will be and how much they will need to sacrifice on the way to their new home."--Jacket flap.

Wanderville: On Track for Treasure
ISBN: 9781595147028 OCLC: 870919785

When the town sheriff discovers the exact location of 'Wanderville, ' the orphans who live there--Jack, Frances, Harold, Alexander, and their new friends--must flee their home in the woods--