Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Karen Magnuson Beil  

Pen Name: None

Genre: C:CHILD Fiction

Born: in Boston, Massachusetts


Illinois Connection

Karen worked for Chicago's City News Bureau.

Biographical and Professional Information

After graduating college, Karen wrote articles about fires, murders, and robberies, and interviewed judges, firefighters, police officers, and even a notorious con man as a reporter for Chicago’s legendary City News Bureau. This was a wire service, a one-city version of the Associated Press, where many writers including Kurt Vonnegut got their hard-knocks start as cub reporters (they were called the “City News kids”). It’s where she learned to read upside down, ask tough questions, and meet deadlines. Since then, Karen has been an editor, science writer, magazine freelancer, publications director, and now writes for her most favorite audience—children.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library