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Karen Hesse Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Wish on a Unicorn (1991)Description / Buy at Amazon
Letters from Rifka (1992)Description / Buy at Amazon
Phoenix Rising (1994)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Time of Angels (1995)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Music of Dolphins (1996)Description / Buy at Amazon
Out of the Dust (1997)Description / Buy at Amazon
Just Juice (With: Robert Andrew Parker) (1998)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Stowaway (2000)Description / Buy at Amazon
Witness (2000)Description / Buy at Amazon
Young Nick's Head (2001)Description / Buy at Amazon
Aleutian Sparrow (2003)Description / Buy at Amazon
Brooklyn Bridge (2008)Description / Buy at Amazon
Safekeeping (2012)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Chapter Books

Publication Order of Picture Books

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

A Light in the Storm: The Civil War Diary of Amelia Martin (1999)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Young Hans Christian Andersen (2005)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Dear America Books

When Will This Cruel War Be Over?: The Civil War Diary of Emma Simpson, Gordonsville, Virginia, 1864 (By: Barry Denenberg) (1996)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Journey to the New World: The Diary of Remember Patience Whipple, Mayflower, 1620 (By: Kathryn Lasky) (1996)Description / Buy at Amazon
Winter Of Red Snow: The Revolutionary War Diary Of Abigail Jane Stewart (By: Kristiana Gregory) (1996)Description / Buy at Amazon
I Thought My Soul Would Rise and Fly: The Diary of Patsy, a Freed Girl, Mars Bluff, South Carolina, 1865 (By: Joyce Hansen) (1997)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Picture Of Freedom (By: Patricia McKissack) (1997)Description / Buy at Amazon
Early Sunday Morning: the Pearl Harbor Diary of Amber Billows, Hawaii, 1941 (By: Barry Denenberg) (1998)Description / Buy at Amazon
Dreams in the Golden Country: The Diary of Zipporah Feldman, a Jewish Immigrant Girl, New York City, 1903 (By: Kathryn Lasky) (1998)Description / Buy at Amazon
West to a Land of Plenty: The Diary of Teresa Angelino Viscardi (By: Jim Murphy) (1998)Description / Buy at Amazon
Standing in the Light: The Captive Diary of Catharine Carey Logan, Delaware Valley, Pennsylvania, 1763 (By: Mary Pope Osborne) (1998)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Line in the Sand: The Alamo Diary of Lucinda Lawrence (By: Sherry Garland) (1998)Description / Buy at Amazon
Stationery Pack (By: Patricia McKissack) (1998)Description / Buy at Amazon
Voyage on the Great Titanic: The Diary of Margaret Ann Brady, R.M.S. Titanic 1912 (By: Ellen Emerson White) (1998)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Great Railroad Race: The Diary of Libby West, Utah Territory 1868 (By: Kristiana Gregory) (1999)Description / Buy at Amazon
My Heart is on the Ground (By: Ann Rinaldi) (1999)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Girl Who Chased Away Sorrow: The Diary of Sarah Nita, a Navajo Girl (By: Ann Turner) (1999)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Light in the Storm: The Civil War Diary of Amelia Martin (1999)Description / Buy at Amazon
Color Me Dark: The Diary of Nellie Lee Love, the Great Migration North (By: Patricia McKissack) (2000)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Coal Miner's Bride: The Diary of Anetka Kaminska, Lattimer, Pennsylvania, 1896 (By: Susan Campbell Bartoletti) (2000)Description / Buy at Amazon
My Secret War: The World War II Diary of Madeline Beck, Long Island, New York 1941 (By: Mary Pope Osborne) (2000)Description / Buy at Amazon
One Eye Laughing, the Other Weeping: The Diary of Julie Weiss, Vienna, Austria to New York 1938 (By: Barry Denenberg) (2000)Description / Buy at Amazon
Christmas After All: The Great Depression Diary of Minnie Swift, Indianapolis, Indiana 1932 (By: Kathryn Lasky) (2001)Description / Buy at Amazon
Valley of the Moon: The Diary of María Rosalía de Milagros, Sonoma Valley, Alta Valley, California, 1846, (By: Sherry Garland) (2001)Description / Buy at Amazon
Seeds of Hope: The Gold Rush Diary of Susanna Fairchild, California Territory 1849 (By: Kristiana Gregory) (2001)Description / Buy at Amazon
My Face to the Wind: The Diary of Sarah Jane Price, a Prairie Teacher, Broken Bow, Nebraska 1881 (By: Jim Murphy) (2001)Description / Buy at Amazon
When Christmas Comes Again: The World War I Diary of Simone Spencer (By: Beth Seidel Levine) (2002)Description / Buy at Amazon
My Secret War : The World War II Diary of Madeline Beck (By: Kathryn Lasky) (2002)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Time for Courage: The Suffragette Diary of Kathleen Bowen, Washington, D.C. 1917 (By: Kathryn Lasky) (2002)Description / Buy at Amazon
Where Have All the Flowers Gone? (By: Ellen Emerson White) (2002)Description / Buy at Amazon
Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: The Diary of Bess Brennan, The Perkins School for the Blind, 1932 (By: Barry Denenberg) (2002)Description / Buy at Amazon
Survival in the Storm: The Dust Bowl Diary of Grace Edwards, Dalhart, Texas 1935 (By: Katelan Janke) (2002)Description / Buy at Amazon
So Far From Home: the Diary of Mary Driscoll, an Irish Mill Girl, Lowell, Massachusetts, 1847 (By: Barry Denenberg) (2003)Description / Buy at Amazon
Love Thy Neighbor: The Tory Diary of Prudence Emerson (By: Ann Turner) (2003)Description / Buy at Amazon
Land of the Buffalo Bones: The Diary of Mary Ann Elizabeth Rodgers, An English Girl in Minnesota (By: Marion Dane Bauer) (2003)Description / Buy at Amazon
All the Stars in the Sky (By: Megan McDonald) (2003)Description / Buy at Amazon
Look to the Hills: The Diary of Lozette Moreau, a French Slave Girl, New York Colony 1763 (By: Patricia McKissack) (2004)Description / Buy at Amazon
Hear My Sorrow: The Diary of Angela Denoto, a Shirtwaist Worker, New York City 1909 (By: Deborah Hopkinson) (2004)Description / Buy at Amazon
I Walk in Dread: The Diary of Deliverance Trembley, Witness to the Salem Witch Trials, Massachusetts Bay Colony, 1691 (By: Lisa Rowe Fraustino) (2004)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Fences Between Us: The Diary of Piper Davis, Seattle, Washington, 1941 (By: Kirby Larson) (2010)Description / Buy at Amazon
Like the Willow Tree (By: Lois Lowry) (2011)Description / Buy at Amazon
Cannons at Dawn (By: Kristiana Gregory) (2011)Description / Buy at Amazon
With the Might of Angels: The Diary of Dawnie Rae Johnson, Hadley, Virginia, 1954 (By: Andrea Davis Pinkney) (2011)Description / Buy at Amazon
Behind the Masks: The Diary of Angeline Reddy, Bodie, California, 1880 (By: Susan Patron) (2012)Description / Buy at Amazon
Down the Rabbit Hole, Chicago, Illinois, 1871: The Diary of Pringle Rose (By: Susan Campbell Bartoletti) (2013)Description / Buy at Amazon
A City Tossed and Broken: The Diary of Minnie Bonner, San Francisco, California, 1906 (By: Judy Blundell) (2013)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Anthologies

The Stone Lamp(2003)Description / Buy at Amazon
What You Wish For: A Book for Darfur(2011)Description / Buy at Amazon

Karen S. Hesse is a renowned poet and children’s fiction and historical fiction author. The author was born in Baltimore, Maryland in 1952 and had a very difficult childhood living in row houses with very little privacy.

Nonetheless, she always felt isolated even though she was always surrounded by people. It was from her feelings of isolation that she began reading as she combined this with a need for privacy to spend hours on the bough of an apple tree behind her house.
She still remembers how she used to get in trouble at night as she often read when she should have been sleeping. During this time, she loved reading the works of Dr. Seuss before she moved on to Katherine Paterson.

Growing up, she was a shy girl who felt different from the other girls and never felt a sense of belonging. She had many friends but she could never feel close enough to trust anyone with her deepest secrets.

Consequently, she was a very lonely girl who spent much of her time lost in the worlds of the books she read. It was the reading she did during this time that fueled her imagination and made her into the bestselling author she is today.

While Karen S. Hesse had all manner of dreams about what she wanted to be, her fifth-grade teacher believed she would make a very good professional author.

When her mother remarried, Hesse suddenly had a stepsister and father. She was initially very jealous of her stepsister as she seemed to get all the attention as she was a very good dancer.

In order to get some attention she got into acting in school plays and dramas and proved a very good actress. In 1969, she went to Townson State College to study theater and this is where she met her future husband Randy.
Feeling that she could not do theater and love at the same time, she decided to drop out. Aged only 19, she eloped with Randy, and soon after their wedding vows, her husband was deployed to Vietnam.

While he was away with the Navy, Hesse moved into a hotel in Virginia and it was during this time that she went back to college. She got her bachelor of arts degree from the University of Maryland minoring in anthropology and psychology.
It was also at this time that she got back to writing poetry and would become known for her very popular readings of her poetry.

Over the years, Hesse has held all manner of jobs that have had a significant influence on her later writing. Some of the jobs that she has held include book reviewer, librarian, proofreader, advertising secretary, and substitute teacher.
In 1976, Hesse and Randy her husband packed their camping equipment and clothing and traveled all over the US for half a year.

When they landed in Vermont, they knew they had found what they wanted in a home. They would end up living in southern Vermont for years and still call it their home.

When she got her two daughters, she concentrated more on raising them and put her writing of poetry on hold for the time being.

Still, it was about this time that she began penning children’s fiction that would culminate in the publishing of “Wish on a Unicorn” in 1991. When her children were older, Karen S. Hesse got back to poetry writing.
She would get the reward she deserved when she won the Newbery Medal in 1998 after she published the novel “Out of the Dust.”

“Out of the Dust” by Karen S. Hesse is set in 1934 and 1935 when Oklahoma’s economy was in depression following the dust storm and drought that happened at the time.

During that time, such things did not get much coverage from the media and there was only scanty information in journals and newspapers.

The lead in the work is Billy Jo who begins writing in 1934 as she describes her love for music and physical characteristics.

All she wanted was flowers in bloom and green fields in the morning but all she got was a dust storm and a great drought that killed animals, plants her family, friends, and even her dreams.
Even though she was a simple kid, she had some very big dreams of playing the piano even as she developed crushes just like any other normal kid.

Her dreams had blown up like a balloon when her father accidentally stored a bucket of kerosene. The container had subsequently exploded burning her mother, her fetus brother, and her delicate hands.
In one stroke she lost her dream of leaving Oklahoma to go become a piano prodigy.

Karen S. Hesse’s novel “Letters from Rifka” tells the riveting tale of a young girl and her family that make a courageous and daring escape from Russia during the 1919 pogroms.

The work is told in the form of several letters that Rifka pens to Tovah her cousin who is still living in Russia. While on their quest to escape the pogroms, the family contracts Typhus and barely survives to make it to Antwerp.
But Rifka is detained as she is suffering from ringworm which forces the family to make the hard decision to continue on without her. She stays behind with a Belgian family who takes her to a nunnery where she is to be treated by nuns.
Ultimately, she is allowed to make the voyage to the United States all alone. When she finally makes it to the Americas she is held at Allis Island for her baldness.

Government officials believe her bald condition makes her unmrriageable, which makes her a risk of becoming a ward of the state.

Her loving kindness, courage, determination, and brilliance make for an unforgettable portrayal of the immigrant experience.

“The Music of Dolphins” by Karen S. Hesse tells the story of Mila a little girl who was traveling with her parents. Their plane had gone down and her entire family was presumed dead until Mila was found several years later.
She had been spotted by airplanes walking on the edge of the sea and had been brought to safety. But she never wanted to be brought to normal human society as she has been living for years with her new Dolphin family.

They had been responsible for saving her and she had become a part of their life. Together, they lived in playful solidarity even if Mila has legs and arms.

She has learned to sing their music and glides on their shoulders and back as they glide among the waves and catch fish for food.

She has even come to speak their language but all the government wants is to study the mysterious Dolphin Girl.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Karen Hesse

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