Thursday, April 2, 2009

100 Most Popular Children's Authors: Biographical Sketches and Bibliographies

Front Cover
By Sharron L. McElmeel
Edition: 5, illustrated
Published by Libraries Unlimited, 1999
ISBN 1563086468, 9781563086465
495 pages
Students can learn more about their favorite authors
and find plenty of reading materials they'll enjoy
with this affordable biographical work and ready-reference.
Featuring 100 beloved and celebrated children's book authors,
McElmeel offers engaging biographical sketches, photos,
and selected bibliographies and lists of related information sources.
Included are such long-time luminaries as Beverly Cleary
and Marguerite Henry as well as many new emerging writers.
McElmeel's focus is on contemporary authors
and those whose works are still in print. A more current
and affordable alternative to multivolume publications,
this book is a great collection development tool and
resource for author studies. Students will enjoy using it
for their reports and research papers.


Gr 6-9-This handy resource provides
fairly extensive biographical information about writers enjoyed by elementary and middle school children. Authors of contemporary and classic novels and nonfiction titles are included. For each entry, several pages of background are followed by a selective, sometimes annotated book list of the person's works and several titles for further reading. This inconsistent use of annotations is bothersome. Occasional Web sites are also given. Clearly, depth of coverage can't be as complete as the multivolume Something about the Author (Gale) or the Biography Today: Author Series (Omnigraphics), but McElmeel more than adequately covers each writer's life and work. "Most popular" is always open to interpretation, and obviously not everyone will agree with this designation. Many of the writers are also found in Bernard Drew's The 100 Most Popular Young Adult Authors (Libraries Unlimited, 1997). There are black-and-white photos of fewer than half the entries. Helpful genre and general indexes conclude the volume. For libraries owning any of the biographical sets, this is not a first purchase. However, its accessible format will make it the preferred title to answer general questions. Useful for collections serving teachers and students.-Peg Glisson, Mendon Center Elementary School, Pittsford, NY

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