The Children’s Book Guild is pleased to welcome several new members:
Tami Lewis Brown has worked as a lawyer and, more recently, as writer-in-residence and librarian at the Sheridan School in Washington, D.C. She is the author of two books for young readers, both of which have been well received by critics and children.
Soar, Elinor! (Farrar, 2010) is a thrilling biography of an early but little known, very daring and downright fascinating female aviator. To research this book, Tami and her son flew in an antique plane much like the one Elinor flew.
In The Map of Me (Farrar, 2011), 12-year old Margie and her nine-year old sister travel to find their mother, all the while growing up and learning about family in this touching, often humorous novel for middle-grade readers.
Tami grew up in Kentucky, attended Smith College in Northampton, Mass., and now lives in Washington, D.C.
Kem Knapp Sawyer writes primarily nonfiction books for young people, and is a former writing professor at the Corcoran College of Art and Design. Kem is the author of more than a dozen well-reviewed books for children—most recently Champion of Freedom: Nelson Mandela. She has also written biographies of Gandhi, Harriet Tubman, Abigail Adams, Eleanor Roosevelt and Anne Frank. She likes to write about issues related to peace and social justice—other books include Refugees Seeking a Safe Haven and The Amazing Underground Railroad (reissued in 2012).
Kem has written one novel, Freedom Calls: Journey of a Slave Girl, the story of a friendship between two girls: Louisa, who escapes from slavery, and Abby, the daughter of an abolitionist newspaper publisher. Freedom Calls, based on a true incident from 1848—the escape of 76 slaves from a Georgetown harbor and their capture aboard the Pearl—was listed in the Pennsylvania School Librarian Association's “Top Ten (Or So) Fiction Titles for 2001.”
Kem has written for Cobblestone, Scholastic News and KidsPost. She is also a contributing editor to the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting and a book reviewer. She enjoys talking to schools and has spoken at various venues, including the FDR Presidential Library in Hyde Park, the Southeastern World Affairs Institute and the Salem College Center for Women Writers. She taught writing in the BFA program at the Corcoran College of Art and Design for more than 15 years. Kem is active in her community and has served as PTA president at her children’s schools: Woodrow Wilson High School and John Eaton Elementary School in Washington, D.C.
Kristin Levine's first book, The Best Bad Luck I Ever Had, was published by G. P. Putnam's Sons in 2009. It was named one of the American Library Association's 2010 Best Books for Young Adults, and it was a 2010-2011 Virginia Readers' Choice selection.
Kristin's second book, The Lions of Little Rock, was published in January 2012, also by G. P. Putnam's Sons. It has received starred reviews from Kirkus, Publishers Weekly and School Library Journal. It also received a lovely review in the February 10 New York Times, in which it was named an “Editor's Pick.”
Kristin is a former teacher who has taught everything from third-grade German immersion in Fairfax County to screenwriting at American University. She lives in Alexandria with her husband and two small daughters.
Jean Heilprin Diehl writes for both children and adults. She is the author of the picture books Three Little Beavers and Loon Chase, as well as Paloma’s Pie (an e-book), and she was a finalist for an SCBWI Work in Progress award for a contemporary novel. Her short fiction has appeared in literary journals, magazines and anthologies. She has received a James Michener Award as well as awards from the Maryland State Arts Council and the Copernicus Society of America.
Jean has worked as a newspaper and radio reporter; a teacher, editor and book reviewer; and a writer for educational publishers. She has also had a few more colorful avocations, such as circus clown, fish cutter and radio folk show host. Jean has lived on four continents and currently resides in Maryland with her husband, journalist Jackson Diehl, and their children.