Alison McGhee

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Alison McGhee
Born (1960-07-08) July 8, 1960 (age 58) [1]
New York, United States[2]
OccupationNovelist, Professor
Nationality[unreliable source?]
GenreFiction, Young Adult, Children's Picture Books
Notable worksShadow Baby

Alison McGhee (born July 8, 1960) is an American author, who has published several picture books, books for children, and adult novels. She is a New York Times bestselling author, the winner of numerous awards.


Holland Patent High School, New York[1]
Middlebury College, Vermont[1]


Alison McGhee's first novel, Rainlight, follows the characters left behind after the sudden and accidental death of Starr Williams. It received positive reviews and won both the Great Lakes College Association National Fiction Award and the Minnesota Book Award in 1999.[2] McGhee's sophomore effort, Shadow Baby, is witnessed through the eyes of a young girl who befriends an old man as part of a school project. It was a Pulitzer Prize nominee. McGhee continued her adult themes with 'Was It Beautiful?.

She then began writing children's pictures. Countdown to Kindergarten and Mrs. Watson Wants Your Teeth, both share the same main character who begins the first story as she enters kindergarten and is in first grade by the second book. Turning her hand to young adult novels, McGhee introduced Snap and All Rivers Flow to the Sea.

In Only a Witch Can Fly McGhee focuses on poetry. In this story-poem, created in sestina form, a little girl dreams about flying on her broom.[3]

In addition to being an award-winning author, McGhee is a professor of creative writing at Metropolitan State University in Saint Paul, Minnesota.

Personal life[edit]

McGhee is single with three children.[2]



  • 1998 - Rainlight
  • 2000 - Shadow Baby
  • 2003 - Was It Beautiful?
  • 2007 - Falling Boy
  • 2016 - Maybe a Fox (with Kathi Appelt)

Young Adult Novels[edit]

  • 2004 - Snap
  • 2005 - All Rivers Flow to the Sea

Children's Chapter Books[edit]

  • 2008 - Julia Gillian and the Art Of Knowing - Illustrated by Drazen Kozjan
  • 2009 - Julia Gillian and the Quest for Joy - Illustrated by Drazen Kozjan
  • 2010 - Julia Gillian and the Dream of a Dog

Picture Books[edit]

  • 2002 - Countdown to Kindergarten - Illustrated by Harry Bliss
  • 2004 - Mrs. Watson Wants Your Teeth - Illustrated by Harry Bliss
  • 2006 - A Very Brave Witch - Illustrated by Harry Bliss
  • 2007 - Someday - Illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds
  • 2008 - Bye-bye, Crib - Illustrated by Ross MacDonald
  • 2008 - Little Boy - Illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds
  • 2009 - Always - Illustrated by Pascal Lemaitre
  • 2009 - Song of Middle C - Illustrated by Scott Menchin
  • 2009 - Only a Witch Can Fly - Illustrated by Taeeun Yoo
  • 2010 - So Many Days - Illustrated by Taeeun Yoo
  • 2010 - Bink and Gollie (with Kate DiCamillo) - Illustrated by Tony Fucile


2011 Theodor Seuss Geisel Award with co-author Kate DiCamillo and illustrator Tony Fucile (Bink and Gollie)[4]

2003 Minnesota Book Award (Countdown to Kindergarten)

The Great Lakes College Association National Fiction Award
1999 Minnesota Book Award (Rainlight)


  1. ^ a b c Simon and Schuster Homepage.
  2. ^ a b c Contemporary Authors Online, Gale, 26 July 2007. Reproduced in Biography Resource Center. Farmington Hills, Mich.: Gale, 2009.
  3. ^ Downes, Lawrence. "Once Upon a Broomstick." The New York Times Book Review. (11 Oct. 2009): Book Review Desk: p12(L). Literature Resource Center. Gale. Hennepin County Library. 4 Jan. 2010 <>.
  4. ^ American Libraries,,March 8,2011

External links[edit]