Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Katherine Alice Applegate  

Pen Name: 

Genre: Fiction

Born: 1956 in Michigan


Illinois Connection

Applegate lived in Illinois.

Biographical and Professional Information

Katherine Applegate is a prolific author of science-fiction and fantasy stories for middle-grade readers. She has also written adult fiction. She has lived in Texas, Florida, California, Minnesota, Illinois, North Carolina, and after living in Pelago, Italy for a year, she moved back to Southern California.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

Jack Rabbit and the Beanstalk
ISBN: 1577191080

Inchworm Pr. 1997

A giant at the top of a beanstalk that Jack Rabbit accidentally grows in his backyard thunders "Fee fi fo funny. I smell the blood of a curious bunny!" Jack finds a very unusual way to foil the fiendish giant and return home again in this clever version of a well-loved tale. Full-color illustrations.

The Buffalo Storm
ISBN: 0544339215

HMH Books for Young Readers. 2014

Hallie isn't afraid of anything—that is, anything but storms, which she braves along with her grandmother, huddled beneath a special quilt. When her family

joins a wagon train headed west, leaving her grandmother—and everything Hallie has ever known—behind, Hallie knows she will have to be braver than she's ever been before. But can she summon

the courage to help

a young buffalo

stuck on a rocky ridge during

a wild storm?

The Newbery medalist

Katherine Applegate has paired

lyrical text

with gorgeous watercolors throughout.

Ivan: The Remarkable True Story of the Shopping Mall Gorilla
ISBN: 0544252306

Clarion Books. 2014

In a spare, powerful text and evocative illustrations, the Newbery medalist Katherine Applegate and the artist G. Brian Karas present the extraordinary real story of a special gorilla.

Captured as a baby, Ivan was brought to a Tacoma, Washington, mall to attract shoppers. Gradually, public pressure built until a better way of life for Ivan was found at Zoo Atlanta. From the Congo to America, and from a local business attraction to a national symbol of animal welfare, Ivan the Shopping Mall Gorilla traveled an astonishing distance in miles and in impact.

This is his true story and includes photographs of Ivan in the back matter.

The Story of Two American Generals: Benjamin O. Davis Jr. and Colin L. Powell
ISBN: 0440405955

Yearling. 1991

Examines the lives of generals Colin Powell and Benjamin O. Davis

The World's Best Jinx McGee (Young Camelot Book)
ISBN: 0380767287

Avon Books. 1992

Jinx McGee is only the second-best runner in the second grade, but she wants to be the best at something--although she doesn't expect to become the best at making a fool of herself

Disney's Christmas With All the Trimmings: Original Stories and Crafts from Mickey Mouse and Friends
ISBN: 0786830034

Hyperion. 1994

Mickey and his friends celebrate Christmas together, in stories with instructions for making decorations

Disney's Enter If You Dare!: Scary Tales from the Haunted Mansion
ISBN: 0786850027

Hyperion. 1995

A spooky collection of six original tales is based upon the popular Walt Disney theme park attraction and highlights such characters as the fortune-telling Madame Blackheart and the clarinet-playing Brandon Morrell.

Sharing Sam
ISBN: 0785752056

Bt Bound. 1999

How can you take the guy your best friend loves . . . when your best friend’s going to die?

Alison Chapman has always believed she’d fall in love hard. And she does—with Sam Cody, a new guy with a gorgeous face and brooding eyes, a guy who’s impossible to resist. When Sam asks her to the Valentine’s Day dance, Alison is elated . . . until she finds out that her best friend, Isabella Cates-Lopez, has fallen for Sam,
too . . . until she finds out that Isabella is dying. Now Alison wants Isabella’s last days to be her happiest ever—even if she and Sam have to hide their love. Even if, by sharing Sam, Alison risks losing him forever.

Home of the Brave
ISBN: 0312535635

Square Fish. 2008

A man I helped to settle here
taught me a saying from Africa.
I'll bet you would like it:
A cow is God with a wet nose.

Kek comes from Africa where he lived with his mother, father, and brother. But only he and his mother have survived. Now she's missing, and Kek has been sent to a new home. In America, he sees snow for the first time, and feels its sting. He wonders if the people in this new place will be like the winter―cold and unkind. But slowly he makes friends: a girl in foster care, an old woman with a rundown farm, and a sweet, sad cow that reminds Kek of home. As he waits for word of his mother's fate, Kek weathers the tough Minnesota winter by finding warmth in his new friendships, strength in his memories, and belief in his new country.

The One and Only Ivan
ISBN: 0061992259

HarperCollins. 2012

Winner of the Newbery Medal and a #1 New York Times bestseller!

This stirring and unforgettable novel from renowned author Katherine Applegate celebrates the transformative power of unexpected friendships. Inspired by the true story of a captive gorilla known as Ivan, this illustrated novel is told from the point of view of Ivan himself.

Having spent 27 years behind the glass walls of his enclosure in a shopping mall, Ivan has grown accustomed to humans watching him. He hardly ever thinks about his life in the jungle. Instead, Ivan occupies himself with television, his friends Stella and Bob, and painting. But when he meets Ruby, a baby elephant taken from the wild, he is forced to see their home, and his art, through new eyes.

The One and Only Ivan was hailed as a best book of the year by Kirkus, School Library Journal, and Amazon, demonstrating it is a true classic in the making.

In the tradition of timeless stories like Charlotte's Web and Stuart Little, Katherine Applegate blends humor and poignancy to create Ivan's unforgettable first-person narration in a story of friendship, art, and hope. An author's note depicts the differences between the fictional story and true events.

Eve and Adam
ISBN: 0312583516

Feiwel & Friends. 2012

In the beginning, there was an apple –

And then there was a car crash, a horrible injury, and a hospital. But before Evening Spiker's head clears a strange boy named Solo is rushing her to her mother's research facility. There, under the best care available, Eve is left alone to heal.

Just when Eve thinks she will die – not from her injuries, but from boredom―her mother gives her a special project: Create the perfect boy.

Using an amazingly detailed simulation, Eve starts building a boy from the ground up. Eve is creating Adam. And he will be just perfect . . . won't he?

ISBN: 1250043239

Feiwel & Friends. 2015

In her first novel since The One and Only Ivan, winner of the Newbery Medal, Katherine Applegate delivers an unforgettable and magical story about family, friendship, and resilience.

Jackson and his family have fallen on hard times. There's no more money for rent. And not much for food, either. His parents, his little sister, and their dog may have to live in their minivan. Again.

Crenshaw is a cat. He's large, he's outspoken, and he's imaginary. He has come back into Jackson's life to help him. But is an imaginary friend enough to save this family from losing everything?

Beloved author Katherine Applegate proves in unexpected ways that friends matter, whether real or imaginary. This title has Common Core connections.

ISBN: 1250043220

Feiwel & Friends. 2017

"Warm and thoughtful, this story is told from the perspective of an ancient oak tree who has seen it all. Bestselling author Katherine Applegate gets readers rooting for the old tree, along with the people and animals who come to depend on it. The shorter length and strong plot are appealing for middle grade readers who are growing into novels with less illustrated narrative and more complex subject matter." - Seira Wilson, Amazon Editor

An Amazon Top 20 Children's Books of 2017

The New York Times-bestselling story of kindness, friendship, and hope.

Trees can't tell jokes, but they can certainly tell stories. . . .
Red is an oak tree who is many rings old. Red is the neighborhood "wishtree"―people write their wishes on pieces of cloth and tie them to Red's branches. Along with a crow named Bongo and other animals who seek refuge in Red's hollows, this wishtree watches over the neighborhood.
You might say Red has seen it all.
Until a new family moves in. Not everyone is welcoming, and Red's experience as a wishtree is more important than ever.
Funny, deep, warm, and nuanced, this is Katherine Applegate at her very best―writing from the heart, and from a completely unexpected point of view.
This book has Common Core connections.


-- '''''Home of the Brave''''' -- *Best New Children's Book Series Award, Publishers Weekly, 1997

-- *Golden Kite Award for Best Fiction, SCBWI, 2008

-- *Josette Frank Award, Bank Street, 2008

-- *Honor Book, Judy Lopez Memorial Award

-- *Starred Review, School Library Journal


-- '''''The One and Only Ivan''''' -- *Winner, Newberry Medal, 2013

-- *Winner, Christopher Medal, 2012

-- *Gold Medal in Juvenile Literature, California Book Award, 2012

-- *Crystal Kite Award Winner, Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, 2013

-- * #1 Bestseller, New York Times

-- * #1 Bestseller, Indie

-- *Book of the Month Pick, Amazon

-- *Bestseller, USA Today

-- *Notable Book, ALA

-- *Best of Children's Books, School Library Journal, 2012

-- *Top Ten Pick for Winter, Kid's Indie Next List, 2011-2012

-- *Best of Children's Books, Kirkus, 2012

-- *Best Books of the Year, Middle Grade, Amazon, 2012

-- *Best Children's Book, Amazon, 2012

-- *Best of the Best, Chicago Public Library, 2012

-- *100 Titles for Reading and Sharing Pick, New York Public Library, 2012

-- *Shortlisted, Middle Grade Fantasy, Cybils(Children’s and Young Adult Bloggers’ Literary Awards), 2012

-- *Best Children's Book of the Year, Bank Street College of Education, 2013

-- *Master List, Texas Bluebonnet Award, 2013-14

-- *Gold Medal in Juvenile Literature, 82nd Annual California Books Award

-- *Nerdies Book Award, Middle Grade Fiction, 2012

-- *Starred Review, Kirkus

-- *Starred Review, School Library Journal

-- *Starred Review, Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

-- *Children's and Young Adult Bloggers' Literary Awards Shortlist, 2012 Middle Grade Fantasy

-- *Readers Choice Masterlist Selection, Virginia

-- *Nerdies Book Award, Middle Grade Fiction, 2012

-- *Best-of-the-Year List, Cooperative Children's Book Center, 2013

-- *Backseat Book Club Must-Read for Kids 9-14, NPR

-- '''''Ivan: The Remarkable True Story of the Shopping Mall Gorilla''''' -- *Best Book for Children, ABC, 2014

-- *Top Twenty Best Children's Book, Amazon, 2014

-- *Honorable Mention, Huffington Post’s Best Picture Books, 2014

-- *Best Book of 2014, Chicago Public Library

-- *Honor Book, Charlotte Zolotow Award

-- *Honor Book, Green Earth Book Award, 2015

-- *Winner, Northern California Book Award for Children's Literature, 2015

-- *Starred Review, Shelf Awareness

-- '''''Crenshaw''''' -- *Bestseller, New York Times

-- *Read-Aloud Honor Book, E. B. White, 2016

-- * Best Book of the Month, Amazon

-- *Best Book of the Year, Bank Street, 2016

-- *Middle grade Book Award winner, Northern California Independent Booksellers Association

-- *Starred Review, Publishers Weekly

-- *Starred Review, School Library Journal

-- *Starred Review, The Horn Book