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Daniel Kraus

Born: 1975 Midland, Michigan
Pen Name: None

Connection to Illinois: Kraus lives in Chicago.

Biography: Daniel Kraus is a New York Times bestselling author of numerous novels, including Rotters, the Death and Life of Zebulon Finch duology, and Bent Heavens. With Guillermo del Toro, he wrote the New York Times bestselling The Shape of Water (the companion novel to the Academy Award-winning film) and Trollhunters (the inspiration for the Netflix series). The Living Dead, is a posthumous collaboration with legendary filmmaker George A. Romero. An editor and film director, Kraus has directed six feature films, including Sheriff and Musician. An editor at the American Library Association, Krause is also a regular contributor to different publications including Cosmopolitan, Playboy, Maxim, and

  • """The Monster Variations"""
  • -- 100 Best Stuff for Teens, New York Public Library, 2009
  • """Rotters"""
  • -- Top 10 Horror Fiction, Booklist
  • -- Blue Ribbon List Winner, BCCB
  • -- Editors Choice List, Booklist
  • -- Amazing Audiobooks List, American Library Association
  • -- Earphones Award Winner, AudioFile
  • -- Bram Stoker Award Finalist, 2011
  • -- Top Fiction Book, Rue Morgue Magazine, 2011
  • -- Odyssey Award, 2012
  • -- Parent's Choice Gold Award for Fiction, 2012
  • -- Top 10 Youth Books, Minneapolis Star Tribune, 2012
  • -- ILLINOIS READS Selection, 2015
  • """Scowler"""
  • -- Best Fiction for Young Adults, YALSA
  • -- Tayshas Reading List
  • -- A Best Book of the Year, Stacked
  • -- A Best Book of the Year, Liz Burns
  • -- Editor's Choice, Booklist
  • -- Best YA/Kids Books, Buzzfeed, 2013
  • -- Junior Library Guild Selection, 2013
  • -- 20 Best YA Books, Chicago Public Library, 2013
  • -- Top 10 Horror Novels, Bloody Disgusting, 2013
  • -- Top 10 Audiobooks, YALSA, 2014
  • -- Odyssey Award, 2014
  • """The Death and Life of Zebulon Finch"""
  • -- Top Ten Books of the Year, Entertainment Weekly, 2015
  • """The Shape of Water"""
  • -- New York Times Bestseller
  • """Bent Heavens"""
  • -- Starred Review, Booklist, 2020
  • -- Starred Review, School Library Journal, 2020
  • """Blood Sugar"""
  • -- Best of the Year Pick, LitReactor, 2019
  • -- Starred Review, Booklist, 2019

Primary Literary Genre(s): Fiction

Primary Audience(s): Adult readers; Young adult readers


Selected Titles

Bent heavens /
ISBN: 1250151678 OCLC: 1089263150

"Two years after the disappearance of her father, seventeen-year-old Liv and her friend capture an alien in the Iowa countryside, and instead of turning him over to the authorities, they choose a different path." --

Blood sugar /
ISBN: 1789091934 OCLC: 1112386411

"At the end of Yellow Street, in a ruined junkyard of a house, an angry outcast hatches a scheme to take revenge for all the wrongs he has suffered. With the help of three alienated neighborhood kids, he plans to hide razor blades, poison, drugs, and broken glass in Halloween candy and use the deadly treats to maim or kill dozens of innocent children. But as the clock ticks closer to sundown, will one of his helpers--an innocent himself, in his own streetwise way--carry out or defeat the plan?"--Provided by publisher.

Rotters /
ISBN: 0385738579 OCLC: 598304908

Delacorte Press, New York : ©2011.

Sixteen-year-old Joey's life takes a very strange turn when his mother's tragic death forces him to move from Chicago to rural Iowa with the father he has never known, and who is the town pariah.

Scowler /
ISBN: 0385743092 OCLC: 781594011

Delacorte Press, New York : ©2013.

In the midst of a 1981 meteor shower in Iowa, a homicidal maniac escapes from prison and returns to the farm where his nineteen-year-old son, Ry, must summon three childhood toys, including one called Scowler, to protect himself, his eleven-year-old sister, Sarah, and their mother.

The death and life of Zebulon Finch.
ISBN: 148141139X OCLC: 894670557

"The story follows Zebulon Finch, a teenager murdered in 1896 Chicago who inexplicably returns from the dead and searches for redemption through the ages"--

The death and life of Zebulon Finch.
ISBN: 148141142X OCLC: 957414200

"The conclusion to Daniel Kraus's saga about a murdered teen who is resurrected to walk the earth for decades to come"--

The living dead :
ISBN: 1250305128 OCLC: 1176469794

"Set in the present day, The Living Dead is an entirely new tale, the story of the zombie plague as George A. Romero wanted to tell it. A pair of medical examiners find themselves battling a dead man who won't stay dead. In a Midwestern trailer park, a Black teenage girl and a Muslim immigrant battle newly-risen friends and family. On a US aircraft carrier, living sailors hide from dead ones while a fanatic makes a new religion out of death. At a cable news station, a surviving anchor keeps broadcasting while his undead colleagues try to devour him. In DC, an autistic federal employee charts the outbreak, preserving data for a future that may never come."--Provided by publisher.

The monster variations /
ISBN: 0385737335 OCLC: 237324956

Delacorte Press, New York : ©2009.

On his way to State University, nineteen-year-old James runs into a former friend and is immersed in memories from the year they were twelve and learned that monsters exist in the world--and within themselves.

The shape of water /
ISBN: 1250165342 OCLC: 1023432577

In an otherworldly story set against the backdrop of Cold War-era America, an amphibious man is discovered in the Amazon--and subsequently finds love within the human race. In 1962, Elisa Esposito-- mute her whole life-- works as a janitor working the graveyard shift at Baltimore's Occam Aerospace Research Center. Only Zelda, a protective coworker, and Giles, her loving neighbor, help her make it through her day. Then she sees something she was never meant to see: an amphibious man, captured in the Amazon, to be studied for Cold War advancements. Using sign language, the two learn to communicate. Richard Strickland, the obsessed soldier who tracked the asset through the Amazon, wants nothing more than to dissect it before the Russians get a chance to steal it.

ISBN: 125022442X OCLC: 1201179991

They threw us away /
ISBN: 1250224403 OCLC: 1145104783

Buddy wakes up in a garbage dump and, after finding other teddy bears there, becomes their leader as they embark on a perilous journey to fulfill their destiny.

Trollhunters /
ISBN: 1423125983 OCLC: 883650064

Jim Sturges is your typical teen in suburban San Bernardino-one with an embarrassingly overprotective dad, a best friend named "Tubby" who shares his hatred of all things torturous (like gym class), and a crush on a girl who doesn't know he exists. But everything changes for Jim when a 45-year old mystery resurfaces, threatening the lives of everyone in his seemingly sleepy town. Soon Jim has to team up with a band of unlikely (and some un-human) heroes to battle the monsters he never knew existed.