Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book


Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Peter Kujawinski  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Fiction Non-Fiction

Audience: Young Adult;

Born: in Chicago


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Illinois Connection

Kujawinski was born in Chicago and while living in many different countries he lives there again today.

Biographical and Professional Information

Peter Kujawinski was an American diplomat for eighteen years. He was on assignment in places like Israel, Haiti and France and at the United Nations in New York. Most recently, he was the U.S. Consul General in western Canada, which included Alberta, Saskatchewan and the Northwest Territories. While working as a diplomat, he started to write for adults and children. He has contributed to the international edition of the ''New York Times'', and with co-author Jake Halpern, has written the ''Dormia'' trilogy.


Published Works Expand for more information


Titles At Your Library

Dormia
ISBN: 0547328877

HMH Books for Young Readers. 2010

Introducing Alfonso Perplexon, hero of the epic fantasy tale Dormia!

Alfonso Perplexon is an unusual sleeper. He climbs trees, raises falcons, even shoots deadly accurate arrows, all in his sleep. No one can figure out why.
Then one evening a man arrives at Alfonso’s door, claiming to be Alfonso’s long-lost uncle Hill. This uncle tells a fantastical tale: Alfonso’s ancestors hail from Dormia—an ancient kingdom of gifted sleepers—which is hidden in the snowy peaks of the Ural Mountains. According to Hill, Dormia exists thanks to a tree known as the Founding Tree, with roots that pump life into the frozen valley. But the Founding Tree is now dying, and in a matter of days, Dormia faces an icy apocalypse.
Dormia’s salvation lies with the Great Sleeper, who possesses the special powers to enter a sleep trance and grow a new Founding Tree. Hill suspects that Alfonso is just such a person. In fact, Alfonso’s sleeping-self has already hatched this tree. Now the question is: Can Alfonso and his uncle deliver it in time? They must hurry, but they also must be careful not to be followed by Dormia’s age-old enemy, the Dragoonya, who are always hunting for one of the secret entryways into Dormia.
Alfonso agrees to take the tree to Dormia, and thus begins one of the greatest adventures a twelve-year-old boy could ever wish for.

As he woke up from a late afternoon nap, Alfonso blinked open his eyes and discovered that he was perched at the top of a gigantic pine tree – some two-hundred feet above the ground. The view was spectacular. Alfonso could see for miles in every direction and he could even make out his house in the distant hamlet of World’s End, Minnesota. Unfortunately, there was no time to enjoy the view. The small branch that Alfonso stood upon was covered with gleaming snow and creaked dangerously under the pressure of his weight. Icy gusts of wind shook the entire treetop. Alfonso looked down grimly at the ground far below. If he fell, he would most certainly die.
“Oh brother,” muttered Alfonso to himself. “Not again.”

World's End (Dormia)
ISBN: 0547577192

HMH Books for Young Readers. 2012

Something is calling Alphonso back to Dormia!

Ever since he returned from Dormia, Alfonso Perplexon has enjoyed sleeping like a normal person. No dropping off to sleep in the middle of school. No waking up at the top of a tree. In fact, no sleepwalking at all. But on a class trip to France, his sleeping self takes over and he finds himself doing things his wakeful self would never do—like stowing away on a ship headed for Egypt.

Something is calling him back to Dormia. With only a backpack, some books, and a feeling of dread, Alfonso sets off once again.

Shadow Tree
ISBN: 1492211206

CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. 2013

In this long-awaited finale to the Dormia trilogy, the dreaded nursery rhyme comes to life at last as a “dark shadow tree” threatens to cause the “world’s end.” And who will stop it? Alfonso is now an ageling, Resuza and Hill are slaves, Bilblox appears to be a traitor, and Leif is shipwrecked on the edge of a forbidding forest. An ancient prophecy states that the tree can be destroyed, but the price must be paid in blood, and whoever tries faces certain death. Nonetheless, a hero must journey northward, across the great polar expanse, to Dargora – the mythical city built of ice and human bones – and make the sacrifice before it’s too late. All hope rests with a hooded girl, trudging her way through miles of desolate land. She walks slowly, carefully, methodically. Every so often, she stops to listen. She senses that she is being followed, but she is more concerned with the contents of her backpack. Nestled inside is a newborn baby, and he must be protected. He is all that matters. Soon the world will be as lifeless as the ground she is walking on, and only her charge can change the course of fate.

Nightfall
ISBN: 0399175806

G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers. 2015

The dark will bring your worst nightmares to light in this gripping and eerie survival story, perfect for fans of James Dashner and Neil Gaiman.

On Marin’s island, sunrise doesn’t come every twenty-four hours—it comes every twenty-eight years. Now the sun is just a sliver of light on the horizon. The weather is turning cold and the shadows are growing long.

Because sunset triggers the tide to roll out hundreds of miles, the islanders are frantically preparing to sail south, where they will wait out the long Night.

Marin and her twin brother, Kana, help their anxious parents ready the house for departure. Locks must be taken off doors. Furniture must be arranged. Tables must be set. The rituals are puzzling—bizarre, even—but none of the adults in town will discuss why it has to be done this way.

Just as the ships are about to sail, a teenage boy goes missing—the twins’ friend Line. Marin and

Kana are the only ones who know the truth about where Line’s gone, and the only way to rescue him is by doing it themselves. But Night is falling. Their island is changing.

And it may already be too late.

Edgeland
ISBN: 0399175814

G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers. 2017

An upper-middle grade thriller by the

New York Times

bestselling

Nightfall

authors–perfect for fans of James Dashner’s Maze Runner books.

Thousands of miles south of the island of Bliss, day and night last for 72 hours. Here is one of the natural wonders of this world: a whirlpool thirty miles wide and a hundred miles around. This is the Drain. Anything sucked into its frothing, turbulent waters is never seen again.

Wren has spent most of her life on Edgeland, a nearby island where people bring their dead to be blessed and prepared for the afterlife. There the dead are loaded into boats with treasure and sent over the cliff, and into the Drain. Orphaned and alone, Wren dreams of escaping Edgeland, and her chance finally comes when furriers from the Polar north arrive with their dead, and treasure for their dead.

With the help of her friend Alec, Wren plans to loot one of the boats before it enters the Drain. But the boat--with Alec and Wren onboard--is sucked into the whirlpool. What they discover beyond the abyss is beyond what anyone could have imagined.


Awards

'''''Nightfall'''''

Bestseller, New York Times

Bestseller, Indie

ILLINOIS READS Book Selection, Illinois Reading Council, 2017'''''Edgeland'''''

Starred Review, Booklist, 2017

Availability for Public Speaking

Speaking Engagement Availability: (Yes)

Kujawinski loves doing school visits! If you’re interested in organizing a visit, contact him at [mailto:peterkujawinski@gmail.com peterkujawinski@gmail.com].