Deborah Heiligman

Heiligman was born in Allentown, Pennsylvania and lived in the same house her entire childhood. One of her favorite school memories is of her fourth grade teacher, Mrs. Ryan, who created magical reading nooks for her students — like an old clawfoot bath tub where Heiligman would climb in for a long read. She majored in religious studies as an undergraduate at Brown University, and in those classes discovered how to ask good, probing questions and to write with discipline, detail, and intent. Her writing career started kind of by accident — but a very happy accident - when she landed her first professional job as a writer for Scholastic New Explorer in New York City. At Scholastic she wrote about a wide range of subjects, everything from panda bears for first graders to pesticides for sixth graders. Heiligman loves the research process and says she is good at it because of her natural inquisitiveness (she calls it "being nosy"). Her freelance writing career began when she became a mom and wanted to balance a writing life with family life.

Heilgman has written more than 26 books, including the acclaimed Holidays Around the World series. Her fascination with the marriage of Charles and Emma Darwin led her on a great research adventure that brought her to the Galapagos Islands and the Darwin home in England as well as deep inside their diaries and letters. Heiligman is an active blogger on the I.N.K. (Interesting Nonfiction for Kids) blog and recently helped establish a companion site for teachers called INK Think Tank, which connects great nonfiction books with curriculum standards.

Books by This Author

Babies: All You Need to Know

Age Level: 6-9
Babies are special and so grow as only they can. How a baby develops is introduced through interesting information in lucid language accompanied by full color illustrations.

Celebremos Navidad con Villancicos, Regalos y Paz

Age Level: 6-9
La serie Fiestas del mundo de National Geographic ofrece a los lectores de primero hasta cuarto grado una introducción a las distintas fiestas religiosas y culturales que se celebran en distintas partes del mundo. Deborah Heiligman presenta las celebraciones y tradiciones navideñas de gente por todo el mundo.

Charles and Emma: The Darwins' Leap of Faith

Darwin is presented in a fresh and engaging way in the context of his marriage. Known for list-making, this unique and riveting biography begins with Darwin's list of the pros and cons of marriage and proceeds to explore his life with Emma, the highly religious woman he married, and the evolution of his Origins of the Species.

Holidays Around the World: Celebrate Diwali: With Sweets, Lights, and Fireworks

Age Level: 6-9

In Deborah Heiligman's inviting global odyssey of this holiday from National Geographic, we learn that Diwali is celebrated differently in different places, but it is universally viewed as a time of great joy, celebrated with fireworks, sweets, and gifts. The informative back matter includes Diwali recipes, a glossary, a Diwali card game, a map, and a resource list of books and Web sites. Also included is a note to parents and teachers from the book's consultant, Dr. Vasudha Narayanan.

Holidays Around the World: Celebrate Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr

Age Level: 6-9

Product Description: Ramadan, the Muslim holy month of fasting, and Eid Al-Fitr, which marks the fast's end, are sacred times for millions throughout the world. Celebrate Ramadan and Eid Al-Fitr examines the reasons for the month-long dawn-to-dusk fast and observes some of the wide variety of celebrations at the end of the fast worldwide.

The Boy Who Loved Math: The Improbable Life of Paul Erdos

Illustrated by: LeUyen Pham
Age Level: 6-9

Paul Erdos grew up in Hungary and was always an unusual child. He enjoyed numbers, was inept at everyday activities (like tying his shoes), and hated rules but grew up to be a famous mathematician. Witty illustrations and a fluid narrative (which imbeds mathematical language), and fascinating author and illustrator notes introduce this mathematically gifted man.