Deborah Hopkinson has written over sixty books for young readers, varying from picture books, middle grade fiction, to nonfiction. After receiving a B.A. in English from the University of Massachusetts and an M.A. in Asian Studies from the University of Hawai'i at Manoa, she now lives in Portland, Oregon, and writes full time. Hopkinson says she was always an avid reader and was drawn to historical writing, in particular.
Hopkinson's first book was Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt, illustrated by James Ransome. It tells the story of an enslaved girl, Clara, who learns of a quilt that describes a path to freedom. Her picture books range from imagined stories like A Letter to My Teacher, books based on true events, like Follow the Moon Home, to biographies including A Boy Called Dickens.
Hopkinson's books are thoughtful, insightful, and well-researched. She goes to great lengths to be historically accurate in both her fiction (I think of The Great Trouble: A Mystery of London, the Blue Death, and a Boy Called Eel) and her nonfiction (my favorite being We Must Not Forget: Holocaust Stories of Survival and Resistance, about which you can read here). Hopkinson's biographies are particularly captivating because of the care she takes to humanize her subjects, taking them out of the world of "history" and bringing them to life for children living in the modern world. Between this year and next, two books in a new series "Then and Now" will join her vast shelves: Deadliest Diseases Then and Now and Deadliest Hurricanes Then and Now. These books have been flagged particularly for fans of Who Was/Is and Who Would Win? series.
We have a variety of Hopkinson's books both in print and digital form. You can put these books and more on hold by visiting www.richlandlibrary.com, or by calling (803) 929-3434 to talk to a librarian in the Children's Room at Richland Library Main.