Books by Deborah Hopkinson

Released: Feb. 1, 2019

"An important and inspiring tale well told. (author's note, illustrator's note, resources, bibliography) (Picture book/biography. 6-10)"
This biography of the "father of Black History," Dr. Carter G. Woodson, highlights experiences that shaped his passion. Read full book review >
UNDER THE BODHI TREE by Deborah Hopkinson
Released: Sept. 1, 2018

"Light, graceful, and accessible in both words and pictures. (Informational picture book. 5-10)"
The life of Prince Siddhartha Gautama, who became the Buddha, is told in this picture book. Read full book review >
D-DAY by Deborah Hopkinson
Released: Aug. 28, 2018

"An attractively packaged, engrossing history that will appeal to readers fascinated with military strategy. (maps, timeline, glossary, websites, bibliography, source notes) (Nonfiction. 10-14)"
Hopkinson relates events of the World War II invasion now known as D-Day, arguably the largest and most complex military operation in history. Read full book review >
Released: Jan. 23, 2018

"A perfectly pitched celebration of an esteemed author that may nevertheless struggle somewhat to find an audience. (bibliography) (Picture book/biography. 6-8)"
A simple introduction to Jane Austen's life and work. Read full book review >
Released: May 9, 2017

"One part fiction, one part history lesson, this likable story is an amusing introduction to one slice of early American life. (author's note, recipe) (Picture book. 4-8)"
The true history of Amelia Simmons, the author of America's first cookbook, has been lost. Enter this whimsical, fictionalized account of what could've been, delectable cakes included! Read full book review >
A LETTER TO MY TEACHER by Deborah Hopkinson
Released: April 4, 2017

"A valuable lesson in empathy, internalized and paid forward. (Picture book. 4-8)"
The titular letter reveals how a second-grade teacher effected positive changes in the life of a behaviorally challenged child. Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 27, 2016

"Fascinating World War II history for history buffs and browsers alike. (epilogue, bibliography, source notes) (Nonfiction. 8-14)"
Hopkinson's writing plumbs the depths in relating the undersea exploits of American submariners during World War II. Read full book review >
STEAMBOAT SCHOOL by Deborah Hopkinson
Released: June 7, 2016

"An unforgettable story that needs to be known. (Picture book. 5-8)"
A passion for education and freedom brings subversive ingenuity to life in 1847 St. Louis. Read full book review >
A BANDIT'S TALE by Deborah Hopkinson
Released: April 5, 2016

"Even though—in the book's one predictable touch—Rocco gives up being a liar and a criminal, he's reliably entertaining till the end of the story. (map, historical notes, bibliography, pickpocket's glossary) (Historical fiction. 8-12)"
Italian immigrant and new New Yorker Rocco Zaccaro is not an unreliable narrator. Read full book review >
Released: April 5, 2016

"An appealing model of preteen activism. (authors' notes, further info, resources). (Informational picture book. 5-9)"
A "lights out for loggerheads" campaign becomes a satisfying community-action project for Vivienne and her summer school classmates. Read full book review >
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"The use of invented dialogue makes this problematic as straight biography, but it is nevertheless a charming, delightful homage. (author's note, photographs, notes) (Picture book. 4-9)"
Beatrix Potter was an artist and writer whose tales of the small animals she loved have entertained generations of children; here, Hopkinson and Voake offer a story of her childhood. Read full book review >
Released: Aug. 25, 2015

"An informative, often gripping chronicle of daring, heroic acts of young men and women who did not stand by as their country was occupied by a dangerous enemy. (photos, maps, chronology, bibliography, source notes, index) (Nonfiction. 10-14)"
Patriotic men and women fight against German occupiers in this absorbing chronicle of the World War II resistance movement in Denmark. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 8, 2013

"A solid, somber dramatization of a real-life medical mystery. (epilogue, author's note, timeline, bibliography, acknowledgments) (Historical fiction. 9-12)"
A scrawny 12-year-old orphan named Eel changes history when he helps famous epidemiologist Dr. John Snow identify the source of a cholera outbreak in the streets of 1854 London. Read full book review >
KNIT YOUR BIT by Deborah Hopkinson
Released: Feb. 21, 2013

"A fine entry in commemoration of the upcoming centennial of World War I. (author's note, Web resources.) (Picture book. 4-8)"
Even boys can knit, when it's for their fathers fighting overseas. Read full book review >
ANNIE AND HELEN by Deborah Hopkinson
Released: Sept. 11, 2012

"The story of this remarkable pair does not grow old, and here is a charming way to learn it for the first time. (author's note; list of acknowledgments, print and online sources) (Picture book biography. 5-10)"
A clear, simple narrative retells a powerful story of determination and triumph for a team of two: Anne Sullivan and her famous student, Helen Keller. Read full book review >
Released: March 1, 2012

"A thorough and absorbing recreation of the ill-fated voyage. (Nonfiction. 8-16)"
In what's sure to be a definitive work commemorating the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the RMS Titanic, Hopkinson offers a well-researched and fascinating account of the disaster. Read full book review >
A BOY CALLED DICKENS by Deborah Hopkinson
Released: Jan. 10, 2012

"This thoughtful and entertaining portrait offers a model for reading critically that will bear fruit as readers grow. (author's note) (Picture book. 5-9)"
Metafictive techniques and atmospheric graphite, ink and acrylic compositions effectively pull readers into the life and soul of 12-year-old Charles Dickens. Read full book review >
Released: Feb. 2, 2010

"A charming introduction to a well-known figure and his large but less-familiar family. (Picture book. 4-8)"
While his anniversary year is over as of Feb. 12, 2010, Charles Darwin remains an intriguing figure, as evidenced by this imaginative tale told from his daughter's point of view. Read full book review >
STAGECOACH SAL by Deborah Hopkinson
Released: Sept. 1, 2009

"Based on the real Delia Haskett Rawson, the first and possibly only woman to carry the U.S. mail by stagecoach in California, the story has a wonderful energy and verve. (author's note) (Picture book. 5-8)"
Sally, so small her feet don't reach the floorboards of her Pa's stagecoach, loves to ride and sing (and she can shoot, too). Read full book review >
Released: Jan. 1, 2009

"Capped with a fuller picture of the work of Lomax and his son Alan, as well as enticing source notes, this account can't help but broaden the insight of little dogies everywhere into the histories and meaning of these enduringly popular songs. (Picture book/biography. 7-9)"
Interspersing her narrative with verses from "Home on the Range," "Sweet Betsy from Pike," "The Old Chisholm Trail" and like cowboy chestnuts, Hopkinson retraces the early career of the greatest collector and recorder of American folk songs ever. Read full book review >
Released: Jan. 1, 2009

"Handsome. (author's note, timeline, resources) (Picture book/biography. 5-10)"
"Matt was born in 1866, just after the Civil War, at a time when poor black boys like him had few chances to roam the next county, to say nothing of another country, the seven seas, or the top of the world." Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 9, 2008

"It may not keep kids out of creeks, but this plucky Kentucky romp may well spawn a future historian or two. (author's note) (Informational picture book. 5-8)"
Abe Lincoln's childhood friend Austin Gollaher changed the course of history when he rescued the future president from a swollen Kentucky creek in 1816. Read full book review >
SWEET LAND OF LIBERTY by Deborah Hopkinson
Released: March 1, 2007

"Still, it brings deserved attention to Chapman and underscores the very worthwhile message that one does not need to be a star to make a difference. (Picture book/nonfiction. 6-10)"
Hopkinson shines the spotlight on Oscar Chapman, assistant secretary of the interior, who worked behind the scenes to make Marian Anderson's concert at the Lincoln Memorial a reality. Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 12, 2006

"Based on eyewitness accounts, the tale brings to life an event young readers will find fascinating. (Historical fiction. 8-12)"
Running away from the county poor farm in Texas, 11-year-old Nicholas Dray arrives in San Francisco penniless. Read full book review >
Released: April 1, 2006

"What might have been a dry topic is lively, the voices of the children vivid and personal. (Nonfiction. 9+)"
"The voices of children weave through the story of cotton," and the story of cotton weaves through the story of our nation. Read full book review >
Released: Feb. 28, 2006

"A beautiful work befitting its subject. (author's note, sources) (Picture book/nonfiction. 4-9)"
"A symbol of hope in the darkest of times," the Empire State Building was built in record time during the Great Depression. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 1, 2005

"Young Civil War buffs will welcome something they can read themselves. (Nonfiction. 5-8)"
Johnny loves his Uncle Silas, his mule Nell and the cows he herds back and forth each day. Read full book review >
Released: May 1, 2005

"The pictures have some of the quality of the familiar photographs of the time, but the almost garish colors seem out of context for this inspiring Depression-era story. (author's note) (Picture book. 4-7)"
Hopkinson, with her remarkable talent for bringing small incidents of history to life, tells a touching tale of generosity in the midst of the poverty of the Great Depression. Read full book review >
BILLY AND THE REBEL by Deborah Hopkinson
Released: March 1, 2005

"The theme of friendship across lines of antagonism will kindle deep responses in more than just students of the Civil War. (map) (Easy reader. 7-9)"
In this upper-level Easy Reader, a young Confederate deserter repays with a courageous act the Gettysburg family that shelters him. Read full book review >
APPLES TO OREGON by Deborah Hopkinson
Released: Sept. 1, 2004

"The pun-filled text and puckish pictures by the team that created Fannie in the Kitchen (2001) spin a pip of a yarn that is just downright delicious. (Picture book. 4-8)"
The subtitle ("Being the [Slightly] True Narrative of How a Brave Pioneer Father Brought Apples, Peaches, Pears, Plums, Grapes, and Cherries [and Children] Across the Plains") sets the tone and describes the plot, but the flavor is in the folksy telling of this clever tall tale that humorously portrays a family's trek west from Iowa to Oregon to plant their father's fruit trees. Read full book review >
THE KLONDIKE KID by Deborah Hopkinson
Released: July 1, 2004

"With cliffhanger chapter endings, can't-miss drama and a captivating setting, Hopkinson brings her considerable storytelling and research skills to readers who are just beginning to read longer books. (author's note, Web sites) (Fiction. 6-9)"
After stowing away on a ship to Alaska, 11-year-old Davey faces the challenges of living in Alaska, searching for his only relative, and climbing the treacherous and dangerous Chilkoot Trail. Read full book review >
A PACKET OF SEEDS by Deborah Hopkinson
Released: April 1, 2004

"Lovely. (author's note) (Fiction. 5-12)"
Hopkinson and Andersen team up again in this understated, quiet story of pioneers, the prairie, and the healing power of gardening. Read full book review >
THE KLONDIKE KID by Deborah Hopkinson
Released: March 1, 2004

"The cliffhanger chapter endings, frequent realistic pencil sketches, and generous font that are the trademark of the Ready-for-Chapters series, along with Hopkinson's eye for compelling historical details, make this particularly fine fare for beginning readers. (Fiction. 6-9)"
Hopkinson brings her sharp research and thoughtful storytelling to the story of the Klondike Gold Rush in the first of a planned series about Davey in Alaska. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 1, 2003

"Nonfiction at its best and a good companion to Mary Jane Auch's Ashes of Roses (2002), Johanna Hurwitz's Dear Emma (2002), and other recent works on the subject. (foreword, afterword, timeline, notes, photo credits, index) (Nonfiction. 9+)"
Between 1880 and 1919, 23 million people came to America, most through the port of New York and most from eastern and southern Europe. Read full book review >
GIRL WONDER by Deborah Hopkinson
Released: March 1, 2003

"A pleasure to look at and read aloud, this concludes with a timeline about women in baseball and, on the back cover, a wonderful black-and-white photograph of Alta Weiss preparing to pitch. (Picture book. 4-9)"
A winning author-illustrator team hits a home run with this top-notch tale about Alta Weiss, who played semi-pro baseball in early 1900s. Read full book review >
OUR KANSAS HOME by Deborah Hopkinson
Released: Feb. 1, 2003

"A winner. (recipe, author's note, Web sites) (Fiction. 7-10)"
Hopkinson completes her Prairie Skies trilogy with another satisfying episode in Charlie Keller's new life in Bleeding Kansas. Read full book review >
CABIN IN THE SNOW by Deborah Hopkinson
Released: Sept. 1, 2002

"Once again, Hopkinson tells a good story, steeped in rich history and research, and leaves her young readers satisfied, yet ready to know more, promised in the forthcoming Our Kansas Home. (author's note, recipe, song lyrics) (Fiction. 6-10)"
The Keller family, a free-soil Kansas family recently transplanted from Massachusetts, faces the struggle of their first winter in Hopkinson's second installment in the Prairie Skies trilogy that began with Pioneer Summer (p. 570). Mr. Keller and his son Charlie leave for a supply trip to Lawrence that ends up being anything but routine. Read full book review >
UNDER THE QUILT OF NIGHT by Deborah Hopkinson
Released: Jan. 1, 2002

"An excellent introduction to the topic for a younger audience. (Picture book. 5-10)"
Hopkinson and Ransome team up once again with a stunning tale about one family's trip on the Underground Railroad. Read full book review >
FANNIE IN THE KITCHEN by Deborah Hopkinson
Released: May 1, 2001

"Delicious! (Picture book. 7-10)"
Hopkinson (Band of Angels, 1998, etc.) documents domestic history in the making, using real people and fleshing out a true, little-known episode. Read full book review >
PIONEER SUMMER by Deborah Hopkinson
Released: May 1, 2001

"This superb story will whet their appetites for future news of the Keller family as they find their place in 'Bleeding Kansas.' (author's note) (Fiction. 6-10)"
Hopkinson (Bluebird Summer, 2001, etc.) tells the engaging saga of a pioneer family's move to Kansas in her first foray into Ready-for-Chapters reading. Read full book review >
BLUEBIRD SUMMER by Deborah Hopkinson
Released: April 30, 2001

"An author's note on bluebirds and their habitats concludes the book. (Picture book. 6-9)"
Ecology, change, love, and loss are all part of this affecting picture book by the author of Maria's Comet (1999). Read full book review >
MARIA'S COMET by Deborah Hopkinson
Released: Sept. 1, 1999

"Pair this with Don Brown's Rare Treasure (p. 1223), about Mary Anning and her fossils. (Picture book/biography. 5-10)"
From Hopkinson (Birdie's Lighthouse, 1997, etc.) comes another strong, simply told story, based loosely on the life of 19th- century astronomer Maria Mitchell, about a girl with a particular kind of wanderlust. Read full book review >
BIRDIE'S LIGHTHOUSE by Deborah Hopkinson
Released: May 1, 1997

"Hopkinson notes that although Birdie is a fictional character, she was inspired by several real lighthouse keepers, among them Grace Darling of England and Abigail Burgess Grant of Maine. (Picture book. 5-9)"
Root's evocative watercolor and pen-and-ink drawings in deep sea blues and greens are perfectly allied with Hopkinson's stirring tale, set off the coast of Maine in 1855, of a girl's life as a lightkeeper. Read full book review >
Released: Feb. 1, 1993

"A well-told, handsomely illustrated story that effectively dramatizes young Clara's perseverance and courage. (Young Reader/Picture book. 5- 10)"
When Sweet Clara, not yet 12, is taken from her mother and sent from North Farm to Home Plantation as a field hand, she's put in the care of ``Aunt Rachel,'' not ``my for-real blood aunt, but she did her best.'' Fearing for Clara's health, Rachel teaches her to sew and is lucky enough to get her a place in the Big House, where Clara listens, learns, and saves scraps that she eventually pieces into a map-quilt showing the way to the Ohio and freedom. Read full book review >