Illinois Authors

The Illinois Center for the Book banner

Mary Winn Heider

Pen Name: None

Connection to Illinois: Heider lives in Chicago, where she is a member of the theater company Barrel of Monkeys. Through the company, she teaches creative writing to 3rd - 5th graders.

Biography: Mary Winn Heider is a graduate of the Vermont College of Fine Arts Writing for Children and Young Adults program.

  • The Mortification of Fovea Munson Middle Grade Debut Pick, Indies Introduce Winter/Spring, 2018 Kids' Indie Next List Pick, Summer 2018, Junior Library Guild Selection, Illinois READS Book Selection, Illinois Reading Council, 2019
  • The Losers at the Center of the Galaxy Starred Review, School Library Journal
  • The Stupendous Switcheroo: New Powers Every 24 Hours Illinois READS Book Selection, Illinois Reading Council, 2024

Primary Literary Genre(s): Fiction

Primary Audience(s): Children; Young adult readers


Selected Titles

The losers at the center of the galaxy /
ISBN: 0759555427 OCLC: 1164504310

Two years after their father disappeared, Winston and Louise wrestle with their grief while investigating mysterious teachers, innovative science, and a captive bear.

The mortification of Fovea Munson /
ISBN: 148478054X OCLC: 995805970

Forced to help in her parents' cadaver lab for the summer, Fovea Munson, twelve, discovers three talking heads in need of a favor.

The Stupendous Switcheroo: New Powers Every 24 Hours
ISBN: 0593427300 OCLC:

Knopf Books for Young Readers 2023

What would happen if you woke up every single day with a different, surprise SUPERPOWER?! Find out in this zany, hilarious illustrated novel from Mary Winn Heider and Chad Sell. The morning of his mom's business trip, Switcheroo wakes up to discover he has telekinesis. Which is super convenient when he has to give his babysitter-robot the slip to fight crime all day. But it's less convenient when he's recruited to fight crime again the next day, only to realize he can no longer move objects with his mind. Instead, he can talk to cats! Fun, but not nearly as useful. A new superpower every day should be exciting, right? What could possibly go wrong?

The unicorns who saved Christmas /
ISBN: 0762495693 OCLC: 1139765192

With all his reindeer sick with chicken pox on Christmas Eve, Santa asks the North Pole Unicorn Troop to help him save Christmas.