Kathleen Karr

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karr@bellatlantic.net

Kathleen Karr was born in Allentown, Pennsylvania, and grew up on a chicken farm in Dorothy, New Jersey. After escaping to college, she worked in the film industry, and also taught in high school and college. She seriously began writing fiction on a dare from her husband. After honing her skills in women’s fiction, her children asked her to write a book for them, (It Ain’t Always Easy, Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1990), and she discovered she loved writing for young readers.

"I find it a pleasure to be able to invent my own worlds. To watch a character come alive--become real flesh and blood and take the reins of a story in hand--is an exhilarating experience. It's also hard work. I love historical settings, and feel quite comfortable in the 19th and early 20th centuries. It's a challenge to try to recreate a specific time and place, with its specific language patterns. Short of inventing a time machine, this is my way of reentering the past. It's my way of showing my readers that while events may change, the nature of human beings is fairly constant. Courage and common decency against difficult odds have always existed."

Kathleen Karr’s books have been translated into French, Italian, Danish, Catalan, Korean, and Burmese.

 

My Books

Fortune’s Fool
2008, Alfred A. Knopf, Ages 10 up, $15.99. ISBN: 978-0-375-84816-2

A Premiere Selection of the Junior Library Guild

Conrad the Good, fifteen-year-old fool of all trades in medieval Germany, has received one too many beatings at the hand of his lord—Otto “the Witless”—for telling the truth. Determined to find a wiser master, Conrad sets forth on a quest through plague-stricken villages and wolf-filled forests with only his wit, his great warhorse Blackspur—and Christa the Fair, his lady love. Like the vibrant illuminated manuscripts he admires, the 14th century world bursts to life as Conrad the Jester spins his rhymes and truths into a brutal universe.

"Fine historical fiction."
-Kliatt

"Enchanting characters keep the pages turning. It is hard to deny Conrad's Robin Hood charm or the gallows cheat's wit . . . consistently entertaining."
-Caitlin Augusta, School Library Journal

"Karr does a splendid job of recreating the medieval milieu . . . readers will be captivated by Conrad's cleverness, charmed by his relationship with Christa, and intrigued by the several hints of magic at work in the real world."
-Michael Court, Booklist

"Karr fashions a convincing fourteenth-century landscape . . . She likewise peoples her tale with characters on the fringe who ring true. Add a fair measure of self-deprecating humor from narrator Conrad, some truly tense encounters with wolves and bandits, and enough sexual tension between the lovers-in-waiting to keep middle-schoolers rapt, and you have a well-mapped medieval road trip."
-EB, The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

"In this robust 14th-century tale . . . (Conrad's) distinct narrative voice and sturdy optimism will put readers solidly on his side."
-Kirkus Reviews

"Extensive research on medieval Germany has been expertly distilled by Karr to create a readable novel on the life and times of this difficult era in human history. The cadence and syntax of the language . . . gives the reader a sense of actually being immersed in the era."
-Sheilah Egan, Children's Literature

Born for Adventure
2007, Marshall Cavendish, Ages 12 up, $16.99. ISBN: 978-0-7614-5348-2

Riveting adventure in the Congo as young Tom Ormsby signs on with the great explorer Henry Morton Stanley's "Relief of Emin Pasha Expedition" in 1887.

“Born for adventure, indeed! . . . Karr immerses the reader so thoroughly in the world of the ill-fated Relief of Emin Pasha Expedition that we feel the same oppressive jungle heat that Tom does, and the same affection for his dark-skinned porters, the same revulsion at the groundless praises of Stanley’s valor, and the same dark irony when it turns out that Emin Pasha in fact needs no relief and is only destroyed by his “rescue.” This complex and many-layered story makes for a challenging read, but one that will richly reward the sophisticated and thoughtful teen reader.”
Claudia Mills -Children’s Literature

“Karr’s story has plenty of humor and gives readers a front-row seat in one of Stanley’s thrilling yet perilous expeditions.”
-Kirkus Reviews

“Karr suffuses this coming-of-age story with a wealth of historical detail and a steady stream of action, sure to captivate readers who may harbor their own dreams of adventure.”
-Publishers Weekly

“Karr never lets her exhaustive research get in the way of her ripping good yarn, narrated in Tom’s fast-moving and occasionally humorous voice. The incidents Tom describes often relate to the current problems in many parts of Africa, and this well-crafted story offers a view of history that will be unfamiliar to most young readers.”
Todd Morning -Booklist

"Plenty of authors have infiltrated historical treks and voyages with their fictional creations, but not always with Karr's skillfulness. . . . Pack the quinine and mosquito netting for a memorable trip."
~The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

"There is no doubt that Karr is a great writer, given the book's quality of craftsmanship . . . This is a truly informative and eye-opening read."
~School Library Journal

"The book offers a genuine picture of time and place through the eyes of its only fictional character, engaging and entertaining Tom Ormsby."
~VOYA

Awards
~Best Children's Books of the Year,2008, Bank Street College of Education
~The New York Public Library Books for the Teen Age 2008

Worlds Apart
2005, Marshall Cavendish, Ages 10 up, $15.95. ISBN: 0-7614-5195-1

Two boys, two Cultures, one colony: Fifteen-year-old Christopher West narrates this tale of British colonists who braved the Atlantic to become the first to arrive in the New World of Carolina. The others who welcome them—Sewee Indians—fascinate Christopher. He soon makes fast friends with Asha-po, a young Sewee his own age. Asha-po teaches Christopher to hunt, and Christopher teaches Asha-po to play chess. Too soon, tension develops between the tribe and the colonists, with the boys stuck in the middle. This action packed adventure, filled with marauding Spaniards, warring Indian tribes, and family conflict is based on records from the actual colony, and echoes the trials that faced the first European settlers in a strange new world.

A gripping story of friendship and adventure.
-School Library Journal

Karr spins a tale of the first European colonists in the Carolinas around a haunting historical episode . . . . A poignant chapter in our country's early history.
-Kirkus Reviews

Awards
~NCSS-CBC Notable Social Studies Trade Book, 2006
~Bank Street College Best Children’s Book of the Year, 2005

Mama Went to Jail for the Vote
Illustrated by Malene Laugesen
2005, Hyperion, Ages 5 to 10, $15.99. ISBN: 0-7868-0593-5

“Women are in chains, daughter!” Mama exclaims. “We are half the population of this great nation, yet haven’t any say in how it’s run.” Susan Elizabeth’s mother is always making statements like that. Mama is a suffragist, fighting for women’s right to vote. Soon Mama begins picketing the White House and really does end up in chains. Then Susan Elizabeth begins to appreciate her mother’s valiant fight, and joins it—in her own small but powerful way. This is a humorous and eye-opening fictional story of the women’s suffrage movement.

Humor, spunk, and drama.
-School Library Journal

As a read aloud for the classroom or as an independent read, this excellent historical fiction picture book will be enjoyed by those who are attracted to a good story with rich and engaging illustrations.
-Susan Borges, Children's Literature

The book has lovely illustrations by Malene Laugesen, and Susan Elizabeth, the daughter, makes a sympathetic and extremely perky narrator.
~Gail Collins, New York Times

Awards
~ALA Amelia Bloomer Project List, 2006
~PBS Teacher Source Recommended Book, 2006




Exiled: Memoirs of a Camel
2004, Marshall Cavendish, Ages 10 up, $15.95. ISBN: 0-7614-5164-1.
Paper, $6.95, ISBN-13: 978-0-7614-5291-1; ISBN-10: 0-7614-5291-5

Who would think that a camel could be so eloquent? Ali is a young camel in Egypt when he is captured by humans. Determined to "work, but never surrender," he earns a reputation for disobedience and is sold in 1856 to become part of the U.S. Camel Corps. Crossing the landscape of 19th century America, Ali learns to balance his pride with the needs of his new companions and matures into a noble creature. Compellingly written from the camel's point of view, this unique book offers a fresh perspective on a little-known piece of American history.

Ali tells his tale with the certainty of innate superiority, his voice an endearing combination of noblesse oblige and eagerness, peppered with just the right number of "Humph!"s. Karr presents a full cast of supporting characters, both camel and human, who provide the narrative tension that runs underneath the story: how does Ali reconcile his drive for freedom with the regard, and even love, he feels for the men-beasts? A gem.
~Kirkus Reviews

We're all familiar with stories and movies told in the voice of a mouse, even a badger or a dog. But a camel? Camels are mysterious and exotic. They smell and spit. But tell stories? Stories with pathos, intelligence and suspense? Yes to all of the above in Kathleen Karr's Exiled. The camel Ali is born near Luxor, Egypt, but he is soon captured, separated from his beloved mother and shipped to the United States to become part of the U.S. Camel Corps, a mid-nineteenth century experiment to help American soldiers function in the desert. Karr marvelously embellishes the real, historical "soldier-beasts" like Edward Beale as well as the Egyptian cameleer Hi-Jolly (Hadji Ali), creating a touching story of camel-love for Ali and his beautiful, gentle mate Fatinah. . . . Karr's studied original documents about the Camel Corps, rode camels over the sand dunes of Egypt and Morocco, even found appropriate references from the Muslim holy book, the Qur'an ("Do they not look at the Camels, How they are made?"), for Ali is a devoutly Muslim camel. Exiled is a perfect way to absorb history and culture and enjoy a good story all at once. You'll never look at a camel the same way again.
-Karen Leggett, Children's Literature


Awards
~NCSS-CBC Notable Social Studies Trade Book, 2005
-VOYA Top Shelf Fiction for Middle School Readers List, 2004
-Children's Literature Choice List, 2005
-The New York Library Books for the Teen Age, 2005 and 2006
-Best Book of 2004 for Young Readers, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
- Book Sense Children's Pick List, 2004

Gilbert & Sullivan Set Me Free
2003, Hyperion, Ages 10 up, $15.99. ISBN: 0-7868-1916-2.
Paper, $5.99, ISBN: 0-7868-5185-6
Full Cast Audio (All singing! All dancing! Unabridged!) $34.00. ISBN: 1-932076-74-3

A Junior Library Guild Selection

"Never mind what I'm in for. Where I hang my hat is the Sherborn Women's Prison." Sixteen-year-old Libby Dodge has a lot of adjusting to do when she finds herself an inmate in 1914. The new prison chaplain changes everything when she trains a chorus to perform Gilbert & Sullivan's comic opera, The Pirates of Penzance. Based on a true event, the world of a woman's prison is recreated with humor and frankness.

"The novel starts off strong, propelled by the comic voice of 16-year-old narrator Libby Dodge and titillating clues about what this elegant, educated heroine did to land among a company of reprobates . . . Freely importing the spirit of light opera, Karr creates an atmosphere not wholly dissimilar to a madcap multi-age dormitory, despite the grim conditions; and her heroine, during a week in solitary confinement, recounts a past that is full of melodramatic reversals while she heads toward a triumphant future. Wittily illuminating the issues of another era, this novel both stimulates and entertains."
~Publisher's Weekly

"The feminist message is strong, and the social oppression is made personal through the women who speak directly about their lives . . . Karr brings close a huge cast of characters--in prison and onstage--never downplaying their anguish, even as she celebrates the spirited community that comes together to find the best in each other and put on a spectacular show."
~Hazel Rochman, Booklist

Awards:
- ALA Amelia Bloomer Project List, 2004
- Bank Street College of Education Best Children’s Book of the year, 2004
- CCBC Choice, 2004
- Children's Literature Choice List, 2004
- Kansas State Reading Circle Top Pick, 2004
- Middle and Junior High School Library Catalog, Supplement to the Eighth Edition, 2004
- Audie Award Finalist, 2006

 

The 7th Knot
2003, Marshall Cavendish, Ages 10 to 14, $15.95. ISBN: 0-7614-5135-8.

It's summer vacation, 1896. Brothers Wick and Miles Forrester are banished to Europe for the Grand Tour with rich and cantankerous Uncle Eustace. The resourceful teens fall into incredible adventures as they track their uncles' mysterious valet across Europe in search of the missing art of Renaissance superstar Albrecht Dürer--and along the way survive medieval dungeons, proto-zeppelins, and a dangerous secret society.

"Karr offers an offbeat turn-of-the-last-century novel that dances on the edge of the fantastical. . . Dürer's knot woodcuts (hence the title) and the secret society add weight to the adventures, which combine delightful elements of Indiana Jones, Around the World in 80 Days, and P.G. Wodehouse's Bertie Wooster stories."
~GraceAnne A. DeCandido, Booklist

"The action-filled, fast-paced plot and maturing of the boys from delinquents into heroes--and their interest in nude paintings--will appeal to a wide audience . . . The well-crafted plot and nonstop action will catch readers' attention from the first chapter and lead them to the satisfying conclusion, and they may even be motivated to look at an art book or two."
~School Library Journal

"This period piece perfectly captures the language, style, and financial exuberance of the turn of the century. . . Engaging characters and fantastic plot make this story lots of fun. Try this book on reluctant readers who love adventure and sly humor."
~Elisabeth Greenberg, Children's Literature

Awards:
- 2003 Agatha Award, Best Children's/YA Novel
- Anthony Award Nominee, 2004
- VOYA Best Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror List, 2004
- The New York Public Library, Books for the Teen Age, 2004
- Kansas State Reading Circle Top Pick, 2004

 

Shelf Life: Stories by the Book
Ten Original Stories to Benefit ProLiteracy Worldwide
Gary Paulsen, Ed.

2003, Simon & Schuster, Ages 10 to 14, $16.95. ISBN: 0-689-84180-9.

A Junior Library Guild Selection

"What's a Fellow to Do?," short story included in anthology.



Awards:
- Middle and Junior High School Library Catalog, Supplement to the Eight Edition, 2004
- Middle and Junior High School Library Catalog, Ninth Edition, 2005




Bone Dry
2002, Hyperion, Ages 10 up, $15.99. ISBN: 0-7868-0776-8. Paper, $5.99. ISBN: 0-7868-1594-9.

This thrilling sequel to Skullduggery follows the young hero Matthew Morrissey and his mentor, Dr. ABC, from 1840's Paris to the beautiful, bizarre and deadly world of the Sahara Desert.

"This is historical fiction that goes down very easily . . . a terrific adventure story."
~School Library Journal

"Karr hurls her plot forward with the breakneck pacing and thrilling improbability of an Indian Jones flick . . . When the kids have exhausted the summer's big-screen blockbusters, hand them a ticket to Matthew Morrissey's latest action adventure."
~The Bulletin

"In this exhuberant sequel to Skullduggery . . . Karr deftly weaves information about Egypt, its landscape and peoples, and daily life in a caravan into the story. Matthew Morrissey and his mentor, the phrenologist Dr. Asa B. Cornwall, are engaging and fascinating characters. With so many skulls yet to discover . . . their fans can look forward to many more adventures."
~Children's Literature

Awards:
- The New York Public Library, Books for the Teen Age 2003
- Children’s Catalog, Eighteenth Edition, Supplement, 2003
- Middle and Junior High School Library Catalog, Supplement to the Eighth Edition, 2003

State Lists:
- Michigan: Battle of the Books 2004, Farmington
- New Hampshire: Great Stone Face Children's Book Award Nominee 2003-2004

 

Playing With FirePlaying With Fire
2001, Farrar, Straus & Giroux,Ages 10 up, $16.00. ISBN: 0-374-23453-1.

Drawing on the 1920's craze for spiritualism, here's a tale taut with intrigue and suspense, the story of a girl who must face down the past to find her future.

"Supposedly rigged seances summon a genuine Presence through the Infernal Gates in this deliciously, melodramatic page-turner set in the Roaring '20s... Karr builds suspense with fine expertise."
~Kirkus

"Playing with Fire is a story of the triumph of good over evil, but the ambiguity in the means by which this triumph occurs ~ is it a result of Greer's supernatural powers or her inner strength? ~ keeps the narrative from being formulaic.  Ultimately, Karr has written a novel about self-acceptance and the need to exorcise our own ghosts-real or imagined.  It's a fantastical trip into the world of the occult, but it's also the story of one girl's triumph over the demons of her past and present, and the strength she gains in finding the courage to live her own life." 
~Riverbank Review

Awards:
- The New York Public Library, Books for the Teen Age 2002

The BoxerThe Boxer
2000, Farrar, Straus & Giroux, Ages 12 up, $16.00. ISBN: 0-374-30921-3.
Paper, $6.95, ISBN: 0-374-40886-6

Enter the tough tenement world of New York City's Lower East Side in 1885 to watch Johnny "the Chopper" Woods ¾ a boxer with smarts, determination, and an explosive uppercut ¾ fight his battles against poverty, the legal system, and his own overpowering desire to win.

"An enticing mix of sports action, family drama and period detail in this saga of an amateur boxer growing up in 19th-century Manhattan...The book's one-two-punch pacing and warmhearted resolutions will keep the pages turning."
~Publishers Weekly

"Karr does an admirable job of creating a vivid sense of time and place. Besides all of the interesting details about boxing, there are plenty of descriptions of the economic and social conditions of the day. The ringside action is quite exciting. The characters are also well developed, particularly Johnny, who matures in the course of the story. A wonderful blend of fascinating history and compelling drama."
~School Library Journal

"This is a great, colorful read that goes the full 10 rounds."
~Seattle Post-Intelligencer

"Johnny 'the chopper' Woods is an unforgettable American hero."
~Starred/Five Owls

Awards:
- The Golden Kite Award, best fiction of 2000, SCBWI
- ALA Best Books for Young Adults, 2001
- ALA Popular Paperback for Young Adults, 2006
- Jefferson Cup Honor Book, 2002
- NCSS-CBC Notable Children's Trade Book in the field of Social Studies, 2001
- 2001 Books for the Teen Age, New York Public Library
- Children's Literature Choice Book for 2001
- Capitol Choices, 2000
- Riverbank Review, 2001 Books of Distinction Finalist
- Best Fiction 2001, M. Netters
- Best Children's Books of the Year List, Bank Street College of Education
- Middle and Junior High School Library Catalog, Supplement to the Eighth Edition, 2001

State Lists:

- Georgia: Georgia Children's Book Award Nominee, 2004-2005
- Indiana: Young Hoosier Book Award Nominee, 2003-2004
- New Mexico: Statewide Battle of the Books Reading List, 2002
- Oklahoma: Young Adult Sequoia Masterlist, 2002-2003
- Pennsylvania: Keystone State Reading Association Young Adult Book Award, 2001-2002

It Happened in the White HouseIt Happened in the White House:
Extraordinary Tales from America's Most Famous Home

Illustrated by Paul Meisel, 2000, Hyperion, Ages 7 to 10, $16.99. ISBN: 0-78680369-X; and $5.99 paper. ISBN: 0-78681560-4.
~Scholastic Book Club, 2001

Ghosts in the bedrooms, dinosaur bones in the East Room, and the entire White House painted in camouflage colors? Get the real lowdown on what was truly going on in the President's House during its 200-year history!

"Two centuries of presidents are seen at home in this jaunty chapter book peppered with funny sidebars and scratchy ink drawings... Clever and kid-friendly."
~San Francisco Examiner and Chronicle

SkullduggerySkullduggery
2000, Hyperion, Ages 10-14, $15.99. ISBN: 0-78680506-4. Paperback, $5.99, ISBN: 0-7868-1698-8.

 

When Matthew Morrissey apprentices himself to Dr. ABC he has little idea that the study of phrenology will take him from the graveyards of New York City to the heads of Europe. Suspense and mystery follow in this adventure on the high seas of 1839-40.

"A historical novel that is remarkably cheerful, considering that among its key elements are grave-robbing and a hideous criminal on the prowl...The thrilling denouement takes place on St. Helena and involves the body of Napoleon himself; this novel is rich in period color and good old-fashioned derring-do."
~Kirkus

"Karr's comical, fast-paced novel reveals the seedy practices of 19th - century scientists... Part history lesson and all entertainment." ~Publishers Weekly

Awards:
- Bank Street College of Education Best Children's Books of the Year, 2001
- 2000 Editors' Choice, Amazon.com
- Chicago Public Library "Best of the Best" for 2000
- Michigan: Battle of the Books 2003, Farmington
- Missouri State Teachers Association, Reading Circle Program
- Children’s Catalog, Eighteenth Edition, 2001
- Middle and Junior High School Library Catalog, Supplement to Eighth Edition, 2001
- Adventures in Books: A Booklist for Pre-K-Grade 6, 13th Edition, 2002

Man of the Family
1999, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, Ages 10 up, $16.00. ISBN: 0-374-34764-6.

Transforming her own family history into compelling historical fiction, Karr brings to life a pivotal year in her father's childhood~a year that changed his life forever.

"A touching novel, part historical fiction and part family story from Karr; the protagonist is based on her father, whose family fled Hungary before WWI. . . This is a moving tribute to a fragile American family; Karr writes with feeling of the trials and tribulations their new homeland holds out, and the bittersweet triumph of their survival.
~Kirkus

"Add this to the urban immigrant stories and the gold rush sagas and other accounts that personalize the first generation's coming to America."
~Booklist

"The episodes are amusing and sometimes fascinating, but the warm relationship between father and son lies at the heart of this excellent novel."
~School Library Journal

"Describing the events that changed him from a boy of ten to a man of eleven is the central thread of an ingenuous first-person narrative dealing with the immigrant experience in the years between the two World Wars. . . There is no grand scheme here, no breathtaking adventure, only a gentle slice-of-life story that insinuates itself into the heart."
~The Horn Book

"Apa is an immigrant version of Clarence Day, Sr.~opinionated and autocratic, but ruling the roost with a measure of sense, and clearly suffused with the deepest love for his wife and their many children. By the time Apa succumbs to complications from appendicitis in the final pages, there won't be a dry eye in the house."
~The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

"Historical details abound (e.g., the second son's passionate interest in autombiles conveys their novelty; Istvan and Apa construct their own radio set), yet the childhood themes will be easily recognizable to readers today. They will root for Istvan as he steps into his father's shoes and remember these winning characters long after the final page has turned."
~Publisher's Weekly

Awards:
- ALA Notable Book for 2000
- Bank Street College of Education Best Children's Books of the Year, 2000
- Children’s Catalog, Eighteenth Edition, 2001

The Great Turkey Walk
1998, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, Ages 10 up, $17.00. ISBN: 0-374-32773-4 and $4.95 paper. ISBN: 0-374-42798-4. Recorded Books, ISBN: 0-7887-3522-5
~Scholastic School Book Club, 2000

Yeeeee-haw! Fifteen-year-old Simon Green is off to make his fortune herding one thousand turkeys from Missouri to Denver in 1860.

"A charmer. Full of good humor and page-turning quest-style events, the story smacks of legend."
~STARRED/School Library Journal

"Readers will gobble up Karr's hilarious novel...The gifted Karr has a cheerful, sassy down-home writing style and a perfect pitch for dialogue."
STARRED/Publishers Weekly

"A darn good yarn!"
The Christian Science Monitor

"Outstanding achievement honor book."
Parent's Guide to Children's Media

Awards:
- ALA Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults, 2001
- ALA Notable Children's Recording, 2001
- Best Book of 1998, School Library Journal
- Best Book of 1998, Publisher's Weekly
- Best Children's Books of the Year, Bank Street College of Education
- Children's Books to Read and Own: Cuyahoga County Public Library/Sun Newspapers
- The Children's Literature Choice List for 1999
- Chicago Public Library Best of the Best, 1999
- NCSC Notable Children's Books in the Language Arts list
- NCSC Notable Children's Trade Book in the field of Social Studies
- Recommended Literature: Kindergarten through Grade Twelve, 2002; California Department of Education
- Parent’s Guide Children’s Media Award, 1998

State Lists:
Arkansas: Charlie May Simons Children's Book Award Master List for 2000-2001
California: California Young Readers Medal Program 2000-2001
Connecticut: 2002 Connecticut Nutmeg Children's Book Award Master List
Florida: Master list finalist for 1999-2000 Sunshine State Young Readers Award
Georgia: Children's Book Award List, 1999-2000
Hawaii: Nene Award Nominee, 2002-2003
Indiana: 1999-2000  Young Hoosier Book Award Nominee
Indiana: Eliot Rosewater Indiana High School Book Award Nominee, 2003-2004
Kansas: William Allen White Award Master List 2000-2001
Maine: Maine Student Book Award List,1999-2000
Missouri: Mark Twain Award List 2000-2001
Nevada: Nevada Young Readers Award Nomination, 2001
New Hampshire: Great Stone Face Award Nominee, 2000-2001
New Jersey: Garden State Book Award List 2001
New Mexico: Land of Enchantment Book Award Young Adult Master List, 2000-2001
North Carolina: Cumberland County Battle of the Books Master List 2008-2009
Oklahoma: Sequoyah Book Award Nominee, 2000-2001
Pacific Northwest Library Association, 2001 Young Readers Award Master List (Alaska, Alberta, British Columbia, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington)
South Carolina: South Carolina Children's Book Award Nominee, 2000-2001
Tennessee: Intermediate Volunteer State Book Award 2000-2001 Master List
Texas: Texas Bluebonnet Award Master List 1999-2000
Vermont: 1999-2000 Dorothy Canfield Fisher Children's Book Award Master List
Virginia: State Reading Association Young Readers' List, 2001-2002

International Lists:
- A selection of the National Ministry of Education of France
- Le Prix des Lecteurs 2000 Mediateque Louis Aragon and la Bibliotheque Departementale de la Sarthe, Le Mans, France, Finalist.
- Prix des Jeunes Lecteurs de la ville de Nanterre, France, 2000-2001.
- Le Prix Bernard Versele, Belgium, 2001.
- Young Reader's Book Festival, Cherbourg, France, 2002.

Spy in the Sky
1997, Hyperion, Ages 6-10, $13.89, ISBN: 0-7868-2239-2 and $3.95, ISBN:0-7868-1165-X

In this fascinating story about a little-known episode of the Civil War, orphan Ridley Jones from the piney woods of South Carolina gets to help aeronaut Thaddeus Lowe set up the Balloon Corps for Abraham Lincoln.

"This breezy entry in the Chapters series will have emerging readers gliding right along. Ridley provides appropriate perspective, and the story--ending as the Balloon Corps is underway--will have wide appeal. . . the tale is exciting and sure to pull in readers from both the high and low ends of proficiency."
~Kirkus Reviews

State Lists:
~Virginia State Reading Association's Young Reader's Program, 2001-2002
~Texas Reading Club, 2003

The Lighthouse Mermaid
1998, Hyperion, Ages 8 to 9, $13.89. ISBN: 0-7868-2297-X; $3.95 paper ISBN: 0-7868-1232-X

Kate becomes the lighthouse keeper when her father is stranded off-island during a terrible storm.

"Karr gives readers a good sense of what it was like to live such an isolated existence and one with such responsibility...Readable historical fiction featuring a spunky heroine."
~Booklist

Go West, Young Women!
(Part 1 of the "Petticoat Party" series) 1996, HarperCollins, Ages 10 up, $14.95, ISBN: 0-06-027151-5 and $4.50, ISBN: 0-06-440495-1

Meet the first feminists of the frontier: the fearless, formidable Petticoat Party wagon train! They're ready to hit the trail and take on hardship and hunger--even lovesick Indians--with aplomb. The Wild West--not to mention the course of American history--may never be the same!

"Very enjoyable. . . Kathleen Karr does a good job of communicating the sense of hope and adventure, the details of life on the trail, and the problems and hardships that plagued those courageous enough to venture across the country in rickety wagons. I'm of the opinion that we need many more heroines as funny, brave, clearsighted, and determined as Phoebe, and I can't wait to find out what she does in--and to--Oregon."
-Karen Cushman

"A good adventure tale by Karr and a real consciousness-raiser to boot."
-Kirkus Reviews

Phoebe's Folly
(Part 2 of the "Petticoat Party" series) 1996, HarperCollins, Ages 10 up, $14.95, ISBN: 0-06-027154-X and $4.50, ISBN: 0-06-440496-X

"The second episode in the Petticoat Party series picks up the story of 12-year-old Phoebe Brown and her companions on the primarily female wagon train bound for Oregon in 1846. . . This is 99 percent entertainment. . . Phoebe is a likable, spunky heroine who will attract a loyal following."
~Booklist

Oregon, Sweet Oregon
(Part 3 of the "Petticoat Party" series) 1998, Harper Trophy, Ages 10 up, $4.95. ISBN: 0-06-440497-8 
~Missouri Reading Circle State List, 1999-2000

Phoebe Brown learns what the Promised Land is really like as she grows to fifteen, still searching for adventure.

"Karr creates intelligent characters and examines thought-provoking themes. Phoebe realizes that she has the power to find freedom within herself and learns that "all of us have something worth fighting for." With dashes of humor and romance, this is a fine addition to the series."
~School Library Journal

Gold-Rush Phoebe
(Part 4 of the "Petticoat Party" series) 1998, HarperTrophy, Ages 10 up, $4.95. ISBN: 006-440498-6 
~Missouri Reading Circle State List, 1999-2000

The intrepid Phoebe Brown, with her partner Robbie Robson, hits the road in search of California gold. She's ready to handle any adventure that comes her way, including mean-tempered sea captains, intemperate miners, gold-hungry rogues and a little romance!

"Karr combines action, adventure, romance, humor, and a dash of tension in a novel that also explores identity. Readers witness Phoebe's self-discovery and acceptance of her femininity. Fans of the series will welcome this addition."
School Library Journal

In the Kaiser's Clutch
1995, Farrar, Straus & Giroux, Ages 10 up, $16.00, ISBN: 0-374-33638-5
Junior Library Guild Selection

Fitz and Nelly Dalton, fifteen-year-old twins, are the stars of an anti-German World War I propaganda serial. When the twins lives begin to imitate their art, they must solve a real-life mystery before it's too late.

"Karr accurately recreates the early film industry, and those who can give themselves up wholeheartedly for some of the campier aspects of this will have a ball."
~Kirkus Reviews

Awards:
-Books for You: An Annotated Booklist for Senior High, Thirteenth Edition, 1997

The Cave
1994, Farrar, Straus & Giroux, Ages 9 up, $16.00, ISBN: 0-374-31230-3

In South Dakota during the dust storms of the Great Depression, Christine finds a cave and a secret that could save her family's farm.

"Karr creates an active and believable girl in the throes of both physical and emotional change--a sort of Depression-era Caddie Woodlawn--and sets her in a historical background deftly seen from a child's angle."
-Booklist

"Fine period detail and masterful writing grace Karr's story of quiet courage during hard times."
~Kirkus Reviews

Awards/Lists

~Lamplighter Award list, 1997-1998
~South Dakota Prairie Pasque Masterlist 1996-1997
~South Carolina Junior Book Award nominee for 1996-1997 
~a  New York Public Library Book for the Teen Age
~Book It! An Amazing Century: A New Millennium 1999-2000 List

Gideon and the Mummy Professor
1993, Farrar, Straus & Giroux, Ages 9 up, $16.00, ISBN: 0-374-32563-4

While performing a stage act with his father along the Mississippi in 1855, Gideon makes a dangerous discovery about the real Egyptian mummy they use for a prop.

"Why can't more historical fiction be as much fun to read?"
-STARRED/Publisher's Weekly

"Peopled with wild and outrageous characters who keep the story moving through hairpin curves and plot twists at breakneck speed. . . Rollicking adventure."
~Booklist

"This is one of those great reads that combine picaresque adventure, humorous incident, quirky characters, eerie elements, and a style in charge of it all."
~Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

Best Books-Adventuring with Books: A Booklist for Pre-K-Grade 6, 1997; NCTE

Oh, Those Harper Girls!
1992, Farrar, Straus & Giroux, Ages 10 up, $16.00, ISBN: 0-374-35609-2 and $4.95, 0-374-45599-6
Trumpet Book Club Selection

A rollicking spoof set in the Old West.

"Stand back! The six Harper sisters--March, April, May, June, July, and Lily, the youngest--set out to pay off their daddy's debts on his broken-down South Texas ranch . . . A happy, rip-roaring adventure, capped by a whirlwind of marriages, family reunions, and wishes fulfilled."
~POINTER/Kirkus Reviews

Awards
~Parents' Choice Award Book
~Books for You: An Annotated Booklist for Senior High, Twelfth Edition, 1995
~Middle and Junior High School Library Catalog, Eighth Edition, 2000

International Awards
~Le Prix des Lectures 2002 Mediateque Louis Aragon et la Biblioteque Departmentale de la Sarte, Le Mans, France. Finalist
~Le Prix Frissons du Vercors, Echirolles, France, 2002.

It Ain't Always Easy
1990, Farrar, Straus & Giroux, Ages 9 up, $14.95, ISBN: 0-374-33645-8

Jack and Mandy--part of the army of street children in New York City in 1882--search for a home in bakeries, factories, abandoned houses, and finally in the surrounding countryside. Will they ever find adults who might love them?

"A promising new author for young people debuts in this intriguing novel of survival set in the late 1800's. . . Jack is reminiscent of Cynthia Voigt's Dicey as he shepherds his adopted sister . . . on a journey that takes on the dimensions of a quest."
~The Horn Book

Awards
~New York Public Library One Hundred Titles for Reading and Sharing
~Adventuring with Books: A Booklist for Pre-K-Grade 6, Tenth Edition, 1993

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