Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information


Pen Name: None

Genre: C:CHILDREN C:YOUNG ADULT Fiction History Non-Fiction

Born: in Arlington Heights, Illinois


Illinois Connection

Powell was born and raised in Arlington Heights. She currently resides in Champaign.

Biographical and Professional Information

Patricia Hruby Powell is an author, storyteller and dancer. She has graduated from London School of Contemporary Dance, University of Illinois – Urbana Champaign with a BFA in Dance, Temple University in Philadelphia with a MFA in Dance and the University of Illinois – Urbana Champaign with a MS in Library and Information Science. As a dancer/choreographer, Powell worked in London, Winnipeg, and New York City. She has also traveled over North and South America, Europe and the Caribbean with her own dance company ONE PLUS ONE. Powell uses her dance experience to accentuate her presentations and storytelling along with worldwide percussion instruments and animal sounds. She has also worked as a lithographer (printing from large stone slabs), trapeze artist, ballet teacher, modern dance teacher, composition teacher, mime and a substitute librarian. Her first book, ''Blossom Tales: Flower Stories of Many Folk'', is a beautifully illustrated collection of fourteen retold folktales from around the world, each one about a flower. Her books, ''Zinnia'' and ''Frog Brings Rain'', are bilingual Navajo/English picture books.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library


-- """Frog Brings Rain"""

-- *Spur Storyteller Finalist Award, 2007

-- *Aesop Accolade Award, American Folklore Society, 2006


-- """Zinnia"""

-- *Land of Enchantment Book, 2006-07


-- """Josephine"""

-- *NPR Best Books of the Year List, 2014

-- *Boston Globe Horn Book Nonfiction Honor, 2014

-- *Parents Choice Gold Award for Poetry, 2014 *International Bologna/Ragazzi Nonfiction Honor, 2014 *Junior Library Guild Selection, 2014

-- *Huffington Post Best Picture Book of the Year, Biography (artist), 2014

-- *Wall Street Journal's 10 Best Children's Books of the Year List, 2014

-- *Best Picture Books of 2014


-- """Loving vs Virginia"""

-- *Junior Library Guild Selection 2017

-- *Winter Kids’ Indie Next List Pick, Teen Readers

-- *Arnold Adoff Poetry Award Honor

-- *Audie Award for History/Biography 2018

-- *2018 CBC Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People

-- *2018 NCTE Notable Children’s Books in Language Arts

-- *2018 International Literacy Association (ILA) Young Adult Choices

-- *2017 Kirkus Reviews Best Teen Romances of the Year

-- *2018 YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults Nominee

-- *2018 Texas Tayshas Reading List Top Ten

-- *2018 Kansas NEA Reading Circle Catalog

-- *Eureka Nonfiction Children’s Book Awards 2017

-- *Great Lakes Great Books Reading List 2018-19

-- *2017 Winter Okra Picks from Southern Independent Book Stores (SIBA)

-- *Amazon Best YA Books of the Month, February 2017

-- *100 Best Children’s Books for Black History Month

-- *10 new children’s books for Black History Month

-- *Alexander Prew Library Media Center Pick of the Week

-- *7 Books That Will Inspire You to #Resist

-- *African American Literature Book Club Best Seller List

-- *Top 10 Tuesday: Middle Grade Episodes of the All The Wonders Podcast

-- *King County, Washington Best Teen Books of 2017

-- *Nerdy Book Club Best Poetry and Novels-in-Verse List 2017

-- *Buzzfeed Books to Read to Escape the Freeze

-- *Capitol Choices 2018 – Category: 10-14

-- *WSRA Just One More Page! 2018 Nominees – Category: YA

-- *TeenReads List

-- *Common Sense Media List

-- *Barnes & Noble List

-- *A Word Edgewise recommended middle grade books in verse List

-- *Learning History Through Story List

-- *A Mighty Girl List

-- *50 Must-Read Books For Sixth Graders – Bored Teachers List

-- *2019-2020 Virginia Readers’ Choice Lists

-- *Starred Review, Kirkus

-- *Starred Review, Booklist


-- """Struttin' with some Barbecue"""

-- *2020 Arnold Adoff Poetry Awards – Honor Award for Middle Readers

-- *Winner of Society of Midland Authors Children’s Nonfiction 2019

-- *Junior Library Guild Selection 2019

-- *The Children’s Book Council: Best Middle-Grade of 2018 from Kirkus Reviews

-- *SCBWI Recommended Reading List 2018

-- *Betsy Bird’s Best Nonfiction Chapter Books of 2018

-- *2018 Unique Biographies – Betsy Bird List

-- *A Word Edgewise recommended middle grade books in verse List

-- *The NCSS-CBC Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People 2019

-- *Trio – collaboration of book, songwriter, artist List