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Janice N. Harrington

Born: in Vernon, Alabama
Pen Name: None

Connection to Illinois: Harrington lives in Champaign.

Biography: Janice N. Harrington writes poetry and is the author of award-winning children's books. Growing up in Alabama and Nebraska, both settings figure prominently in her writing. A Cave Canem Fellow, Harrington is also the winner of a 2007 National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship for Poetry. Her poetry appears regularly in American literary magazines and has led to awards from the Illinois Arts Council and appearances on ''Poetry Daily'' and ''Verse Daily''. Previously a public librarian and a professional storyteller, she told stories at festivals around the country, including the National Storytelling Festival. Harrington currently teaches in the creative writing program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

    Busy-Busy Little Chick
  • -- ILLINOIS READS Book Selection, Illinois Reading Council, 2014
  • Even the Hollow My Body Made Is Gone
  • -- A. Poulin, Jr. Poetry Prize, BOA Editions
  • -- Kate Tufts Discovery Award
  • The Chicken Chasing Queen of Lamar County
  • -- Top 10 Children's Books, ''Time'' magazine, 2007
  • Going North
  • -- Ezra Jack Keats New Writer Award, New York Public Library, 2005
  • Buzzing with Questions: The Inquisitive Mind of Charles Henry Turner
  • -- Best STEM Book, NSTA/CBC, 2020
  • -- Starred Review, School Library Journal

Primary Literary Genre(s): Fiction; Non-Fiction; Poetry

Primary Audience(s): Adult readers; Children


Selected Titles

Busy-busy Little Chick /
ISBN: 0374347468 OCLC: 780398154

Farrar Straus Giroux, New York : 2013.

Mama Nsoso knows her chicks need a warm new house, but each day when they set out to collect sticks and mud she is distracted by good things to eat, while Little Chick stays busy gathering the building materials himself.

Buzzing with questions :
ISBN: 1629795585 OCLC: 1122932056

Questions buzzed endlessly in Charles Henry Turner's mind. Fascinated by bugs and other animals, he wondered: Can spiders learn? How do ants find their way home? Can bugs see color? --from dust jacket.

Catching a storyfish /
ISBN: 1629794295 OCLC: 936534411

"Keet knows the only good thing about moving away from her Alabama home is that she'll live near her beloved grandfather. When Keet starts school, it's even worse than she expected, as the kids tease her about her southern accent. Now Keet, who can 'talk the whiskers off a catfish, ' doesn't want to open her mouth. Slowly, though, while fishing with her grandfather, she learns the art of listening. Gradually, she makes her first new friend. But just as she's beginning to settle in, her grandfather has a stroke, and even though he's still nearby, he suddenly feels ever-so-far-away. Keet is determined to reel him back to her by telling him stories; in the process she finds her voice and her grandfather again. This lyrical and deeply emotional novel-in-verse celebrates the power of story and of finding one's individual voice."--Publisher's website.

Even the hollow my body made is gone :
ISBN: 1929918895 OCLC: 71350581

"Memory and its embodiment in a colloquial, yet highly wrought musical language are what originally drew me to Harrington's manuscript and what continues to pull me back. We learn the story of Lillian and Webster and their children and grandchildren, a black family living a hardscrabble life in the rural South more than sixty years ago. Set on the cusp of the Civil Rights era, the poems chronicle a way of life that has long since vanished."--Elizabeth Spires, from the foreword

Going North /
ISBN: 0374326819 OCLC: 50520395

Melanie Kroupa Books/Farrar Straus and Giroux, New York : ©2004

A young African American girl and her family leave their home in Alabama and head for Lincoln, Nebraska, where they hope to escape segregation and find a better life.

Primitive :
ISBN: 9781942683209 OCLC: 940795165

Roberto walks home
ISBN: 9780670063161 OCLC: 216938218

Viking, New York : 2008.

Roberto is very angry when his older brother Miguel promises to walk him home from school and then forgets.

The chicken-chasing queen of Lamar County /
ISBN: 0374312516 OCLC: 61881193

A young farm girl tries to catch her favorite chicken, until she learns something about the hen that makes her change her ways.

The hands of strangers :
ISBN: 9781934414545 OCLC: 697808320