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.

Cool Dog, School Dog

Illustrated by: Tim Bowers
Age Level: 3-6
Trinka, the happy hound (first introduced in Fun Dog, Sun Dog with similar bouncy language) misses her boy while he's at school and so decides to visit him there. Though the results aren't quite as anyone expected, all ends on a happy and satisfying note.

Fun Dog, Sun Dog

Illustrated by: Tim Bowers
Age Level: 3-6
Trinka, a floppy golden retriever, and her boy spend a day at the beach. There the friends play Frisbee, Trinka snitches candy (only to be reprimanded) and more. The rhythmic language is deal for sharing aloud and is accompanied by joy-filled illustrations.

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.