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Kathryn Erskine

Kathryn Erskine is the author of six novels for young people, including National Book Award-winner Mockingbird, Jane Addams Children’s Book Award honor book Seeing Red, and The Incredible Magic of Being. Her other three novels, Quaking, The Absolute Value of Mike and The Badger Knight have also received recognition. Her award-winning picture book, Mama Africa! How Miriam Makeba Spread Hope with Her Song, illustrated by Charly Palmer, is a biography of South African singer and activist Miriam Makeba. Erskine grew up in six countries, attending eight schools and four universities. She has been a State Department employee, an attorney and is currently studying pharmacy. She loves drawing and painting, learning languages and playing the flute, all very poorly, but she still enjoys the effort. Travel comes naturally to Erskine, and she has given workshops around the world, including in Singapore, Panama, Italy, Brazil, Scotland and Guam. She takes trips far and wide for research, as well as for teaching and public speaking. Erskine draws on her life stories—and those of her children—and world events for her writing and is currently working on several picture books and novels for both children and adults. Her characters are often marginalized or underdogs and, while her stories address tough topics, they always culminate in hope, giving children, and all of us, permission to change our world.

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