Alison McGhee

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Alison McGhee
Born (1960-07-08) July 8, 1960 (age 59) [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 grown children.[2]


Novels for Adults[edit]

  • 1998 - Rainlight
  • 2000 - Shadow Baby
  • 2003 - Was It Beautiful?
  • 2007 - Falling Boy
  • 2018 - Never Coming Back
  • 2020 - The Opposite of Fate

Young Adult and Middle-Grade Novels[edit]

  • 2004 - Snap
  • 2008 - All Rivers Flow to the Sea
  • 2016 - Firefly Hollow
  • 2017 - Pablo and Birdy
  • 2017 - Maybe a Fox (co-written with Kathi Appelt)
  • 2018 - What I Leave Behind

Children's Chapter Books[edit]

  • 2018 - Dear Sister, a graphic novel illustrated by Joe Bluhm
  • 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
  • 2008 - Bink and Gollie, Marvelous Companions (co-written with Kate DiCamillo)
  • 2009 - Bink and Gollie, Two for One (co-written with Kate DiCamillo)
  • 2010 - Bink and Gollie, Best Friends Forever (co-written with Kate DiCamillo)

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
  • 2011 - Making a Friend, illustrated by Marc Rosenthal
  • 2013 - The Case of the Missing Donut, illustrated by Isabel Roxas
  • 2014 - Star Bright, illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds
  • 2015 - The Sweetest Witch Around, illustrated by Harry Bliss
  • 2016 - Tell Me a Tattoo Story, illustrated by Eliza Wheeler
  • 2017 - Percy, Dog of Destiny, illustrated by Jennifer K. Mann
  • 2020 - World So Wide, illustrated by Kate Alizadeh


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

1999 Minnesota Book Award (Rainlight) 2000 Minnesota Book Award (Shadow Baby) 2003 Minnesota Book Award (Countdown to Kindergarten) 2008 Minnesota Book Award (All Rivers Flow to the Sea)

2017 Christopher Medal (Firefly Hollow)

The Great Lakes College Association National Fiction Award


  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 Archived 2012-03-19 at the Wayback Machine 8,2011

External links[edit]