Illinois Authors

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Lisa Jenn Bigelow

Born: in Michigan
Pen Name: None

Connection to Illinois: Bigelow received her library science degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and now work as a youth services librarian at a Chicago-area public library. She lives in Skokie.

Biography: Lisa Jenn Bigelow was born and raised in Michigan. She now lives in the Chicago area, where she works as a youth services librarian. Her other interests include music, art, road trips, and spending time with her dogs, Saffy and Brooklyn.

  • """Starting from Here"""
  • -- Top Ten Book, Rainbow List, 2013
  • """Drum Roll, Please"""
  • -- Starred Review, School Library Journal, 2018
  • -- Starred Review, Publishers Weekly, 2018
  • -- ILLINOIS READS Book Selection, Illinois Reading Council, 2019
  • """Hazel's Theory of Evolution"""
  • -- Lambda Literary Award, 2020
  • -- Starred Review, ALA Booklist, 2019
  • -- Starred Review, School Library Journal, 2019
  • -- Starred Review, Publishers Weekly, 2019

Primary Literary Genre(s): Fiction

Primary Audience(s): Young adult readers


Selected Titles

Drum roll, please /
ISBN: 0062791141 OCLC: 1004920407

Find the confidence to rock out to your own beat in this big-hearted middle grade novel. Not to be missed by fans of Raina Telgemeier's Drama and Tim Federle's Better Nate Than Ever! Melly only joined the school band because her best friend, Olivia, begged her to. But to her surprise, quiet Melly loves playing the drums. It's the only time she doesn't feel like a mouse. Now she and Olivia are about to spend the next two weeks at Camp Rockaway, jamming under the stars in the Michigan woods. But this summer brings a lot of big changes for Melly: her parents split up, her best friend ditches her, and Melly finds herself unexpectedly falling for another girl at camp. To top it all off, Melly's not sure she has what it takes to be a real rock 'n' roll drummer. Will she be able to make music from all the noise in her heart?

Hazel's theory of evolution /
ISBN: 0062791176 OCLC: 1081351620

Hazel knows a lot about the world. That's because when she's not hanging with her best friend, taking care of her dog, or helping care for the goats on her family's farm, she loves reading through dusty encyclopedias. But even Hazel doesn't have answers for the questions awaiting her as she enters eighth grade. What if no one at her new school gets her, and she doesn't make any friends? What's going to happen to one of her moms, who's pregnant again after having two miscarriages? Why does everything have to change when life was already perfectly fine? As Hazel struggles to cope, she'll come to realize that sometimes you have to look within yourself-- instead of the pages of a book-- to find the answer to life's most important questions.

Starting from here
ISBN: 9781477847541 OCLC: 766606313

Amazon Children's Pub., Las Vegas, NV : ©2012.

Sixteen-year-old Colby is barely hanging on with her mother dead, her long-haul trucker father often away, her almost-girlfriend dumping her for a boy, and her failing grades, when a stray dog appears and helps her find hope.