Jim Murphy (author)

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Murphy in 2018

Jim Murphy (born September 25, 1947)[1] is an American author of more than 35 nonfiction and fiction books for children, young adults, and general audiences, including more than 30 about American history.[2] He won the Margaret A. Edwards Award from the American Library Association in 2010 for his contribution in writing for teens.[3]


James John Patrick Murphy was born in Kearny, New Jersey.[1][4]

Murphy is married to the writer and editor Alison Blank.[2] They are co-authors of Invincible Microbe: Tuberculosis and the Never-Ending Search for a Cure, published by Clarion in 2012.


The ALA Margaret A. Edwards Award recognizes one writer and a particular body of work for "significant lasting contribution to young-adult literature". Murphy won the annual award in 2010, citing five nonfiction books published from 1992 to 2003: The Long Road to Gettysburg, The Great Fire, A YOUNG PATRIOT: The American Revolution as Experienced by One Boy, BLIZZARD! The Storm That Changed America, and An American Plague: The True and Terrifying Story of the Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1793 (‡). According to the citation, "Murphy's well-researched books bring history alive through multiple narratives involving young people. Primary sources, maps, photos, illustrations and dialogue reveal the drama of historical events, making Murphy's books fast-paced reading of particular interest for young adults. The reader participates in the lives of these individuals and the events that shaped history."[3]

Beside the Edwards Award for lifetime achievement in young-adult literature, the American librarians have named Murphy a runner-up for annual Newbery Medals twice, in 1996 for The Great Fire and in 2004 for An American Plague. The Newbery is the ALA's premier book award for children's literature.[5] He won the ALA award for children's information books, the Robert F. Sibert Medal, for The American Plague in 2004 and he was a runner-up for BLIZZARD! in 2001.[6] (The American Plague was also a finalist for the 2003 National Book Award for Young People's Literature.)

Murphy has also won three NCTE Orbis Pictus Awards, three Jefferson Cup Awards, two SCBWI Golden Kite Awards, The Washington Post/Children's Book Guild Award for Distinguished Nonfiction, and the Boston Globe–Horn Book Award.[2] In 2013 he received the Anne V. Zarrow Award for Young Readers' Literature, presented by the Tulsa Library Trust.[7]

Selected works[edit]


(‡) Five nonfiction books were cited by the panel of American librarians who awarded Murphy the 2010 Edwards Award.[3]


  • Night Terrors (Scholastic, 1994)
Children's picture books
  • The Last Dinosaur, illustrated by Mark Alan Weatherby (Scholastic, 1988)
  • The Call Of The Wolves, illus. Weatherby (Scholastic, 1989)
Dear America books
  • My Face to the Wind: the diary of Sarah Jane Price, a prairie teacher (Scholastic, 2001)
  • The Journal of James Edmond Pease, a Civil War Union Soldier (Scholastic, 1998)
  • West to a Land of Plenty : the diary of Teresa Angelino Viscardi (Scholastic, 1998)
  • The Journal of Brian Doyle: a greenhorn on an Alaskan whaling ship (Scholastic, 2003)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b For vital data Library of Congress Authorities cites 1978 communication with publisher, 1994 communication with Murphy, and the Scholastic Books website.[1] Retrieved 2013-09-26.
  2. ^ a b c "About the Author". Jim Murphy: Making History Come Alive. Retrieved 2013-03-13.
  3. ^ a b c "2010 Margaret A. Edwards Award Winner Jim Murphy". Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA). American Library Association (ALA).
      "Edwards Award". YALSA. ALA. Retrieved 2013-10-11.
  4. ^ "Jim Murphy". Scholastic Teachers. Retrieved 2013-09-26.
  5. ^ "Newbery Medal and Honor Books, 1922–Present". ALSC. ALA. Retrieved 2013-03-13.
  6. ^ "Robert F. Sibert Medal and Honor Books, 2001–present". Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC). ALA. Retrieved 2013-03-13.
  7. ^ "Jim Murphy wins 2013 Anne Zarrow Award". James D. Watts Jr. Tulsa World. February 10, 2013. Retrieved 2013-02-12.

External links[edit]