Betsy Hearne celebrates her birthday on October 6th. She grew up in Alabama and Tennessee, the daughter of a doctor and a homemaker who told wonderful stories.
She majored in history in college, seeking employment in a public library upon graduation. There was an opening in the children's department, if she could tell storiesher storytelling program was soon attended by more than one hundred children each week. She began to review children's books for Booklist and the Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books. She studied children's literature and folklore, got a Ph.D. at the University of Chicago's Graduate Library School, and became a professor.
Ms. Hearne is currently a professor at the University of Illinois/Urbana-Champaign, where she teaches children's literature and storytelling. In 2001, she was elected president of USBBY, the United States chapter of the International Board on Books for Young People.
Her book, Seven Brave Women, won a host of awards, including The Jane Addams Childrens Book Award in 1998. Choosing Books for Children: a commonsense guide is commonly chosen as a textbook for children's literature classes. More recent books are story collections, such as Hauntings and The Canine Collection.