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

Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt

Illustrated by: James Ransome
Age Level: 6-9
Clara is born into slavery but learns an important skill when she becomes a seamstress. Her quilting ability allows Clara to put together directions to escape north to freedom when she overhears a conversation about a route to Canada.

Under the Quilt of Night

Illustrated by: James Ransome
Age Level: 6-9
An enslaved family escapes bondage via the Underground Railroad. Tension builds as they are travel, hide, and are almost discovered in both text and darkly hued, dramatic paintings. The young narrator’s hopes soar with the brilliant sunrise.

Up Before Daybreak

Age Level: 12-14
Cotton has played a significant role in the history of the United States. Archival photographs and a clear text are used to explore King Cotton from Colonial times to the Industrial Revolution.