Deborah Hopkinson

Deborah Hopkinson was born in Lowell, Massachusetts. From an early age she was an avid reader, even hiding her own books inside the school textbooks she was supposed to be reading in class. History and science were her favorite school subjects, and remain topics she frequently writes about.

After reading many children's books to her young daughter, Hopkinson began her own career as an author and quickly found an audience. Her first published work, the picture book Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt, was recognized by the International Reading Association and Reading Rainbows. From picture books like Birdie's Lighthouse to non-fiction for young adults like Up Before Daybreak and Shutting Out the Sky, Hopkinson's award-winning books combine attention to small details with a presentation — text, illustration, and photographs — that engage young people with history.

Hopkinson has produced an impressive body of work, even as she worked full-time in philanthropy at the University of Hawaii, Oregon State University, and now at the Pacific Northwest College of Art.

Deborah Hopkinson and her family live in Corvallis, Oregon.

Books by This Author

A Band of Angels

Illustrated by: Raúl Colón
Age Level: 6-9

Ella Sheppard was one of the original Jubilee Singers from what is now known as Fisk University. This is a touching story, told by Ella's great-great-granddaughter, accompanied by gentle, poignant illustrations. Golden Kite Award Winner.

Annie & Helen

Illustrated by: Raúl Colón
Age Level: 6-9

Anne Sullivan arrived at the Keller home in 1887, writing letters to a friend about how she worked with a deaf and blind girl named Helen. Anne's words combine with a straightforward narration and gentle illustrations to provide deeper insight into how Helen Keller grew into a brilliant woman.

Apples to Oregon

Illustrated by: Nancy Carpenter
Age Level: 3-6

This richly told original tale provides a glimpse at one family's trek from Iowa to Oregon where they begin an orchard. As daughter Delicious describes it, the fruit trees get a bigger wagon than the family.

Fannie in the Kitchen

Illustrated by: Nancy Farmer
Age Level: 6-9

Animated illustrations combine with lively text to reveal the story behind the woman whose name is synonymous with cooking. Before Fannie Farmer took to the kitchen, recipes were not as easy to follow!

Girl Wonder: A Baseball Story in Nine Innings

Age Level: 6-9

She seemed born to pitch when growing up in a small Ohio town and pitch she did at a time when women only wore skirts or dresses. Stylized illustrations combine with the fictionalized voice of Alta Weiss to present a memorable glimpse of early baseball, one young woman's passion for the game, and a quick look at women in the sport.

Home on the Range

Illustrated by: S. D. Schindler
Age Level: 6-9

The folksongs of cowboys weren't always well known. In fact, it was a young man who who helped record the country's history and popularize traditional songs was inspired by a teacher. This slice of an early musicologist's life is sure to intrigue readers.

Keep On!

Illustrated by: Stephen Alcorn
Age Level: 6-9

Matthew Henson, the African American who accompanied Robert Peary on an expedition to the North Pole in the early 20th century, required both stamina and bravery. The man and his times are introduced here.

Maria's Comet

Illustrated by: Deborah Lanino
Age Level: 6-9

Maria Mitchell grew up in a big family with big dreams herself. It becomes clear in through the imagined, poetic voice of Maria Mitchell that childhood dreams can grow into reality as an adult.

Shutting Out the Sky

Life for immigrants in the late 19th and early 20th centuries was filled with challenges, documented here through the lives of five young people from different countries. Black & white photographs add riveting detail.