Middle-grade & picture book

 "Brings everything to life." 
 — Tess, age 9, Chicago reader on The Great Chicago Fire  

 "A winning blend of comedy, superheroics, inspirational women from history, and puzzle-solving."  
 — Kirkus Reviews for MASK  
 “A stunning, fast-paced yarn that champions smarts, 
 problem-solving, women, and the importance of family. 
 Great role models for girls." 
 — Common Sense Media 5-star review for The Detective’s Assistant  

School Visits

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Kate Fourth Grade.jpg

Growing up in Tulsa, Oklahoma, I always saw my parents reading books and newspapers. So I quickly learned that words were powerful and storytelling was important.


When I was in the fourth grade (rocking the freckles in the photo here!) I knew I wanted to be a writer. My teacher, Miss Tucker, had us craft mysteries in the spirit of Encyclopedia Brown, and the bravest of us read them out loud to the class each Friday. I was hooked! 


I loved language. I loved interesting people. And I was very nosySo I worked on school newspapers in middle school, high school, and college, and then I went on to work at daily newspapers in different cities around the country  — including The Dallas Morning News and The San Francisco Chronicle. California living was the greatest, and some of my favorite places on Earth are there!

Now I live in Chicago with my own family — three awesome kids, two high-energy dogs, and one fabulous husband. I still love language and interesting people, and I'm still nosy. So I spend a lot of time researching and writing fiction and nonfiction for readers like you.

Kate Hannigan Head Shot.jpg

About the author

Favorite Food

Blueberry pie

Nutella + bananas


Saag paneer

Peanut-Butter Crunch cereal


Philz Coffee

Salted caramels


Peanut Butter Kandy Kakes

Any kind of cheese

Favorite Activities

RIding my bike

Reading a good book

Going to the library (free books!)

Walking & hiking

Throwing a Frisbee with my dog


Swimming in Lake Michigan

Hanging out with friends

Roadtrips with my family

FaceTiming with my mom

And my sibs (they made me say this)

Favorite Places

Big Sur, California

Point Lobos in Carmel

Fort Funston in San Francisco

Cinque Terre, Italy

Petoskey, Michigan

Sleeping Bear Dunes

The Library of Congress

My dining room table

County Donegal, Ireland

Mom & Dad's house

Wherever my book club meets

Favorite Books

Island of the Blue Dolphins

Code Name Verity


Anne of Green Gables

The Meaning of Maggie

Any Bad Kitty story

Anything by Frances O'Roarke Dowell

One Crazy Summer

Our Only May Amelia

Anything by Raina Telgemeier

We Don't Eat Our Classmates

Baby Kevin.jpg

Kate Talks to Kidlit authors

Author Of is a conversation around children's literature featuring interviews with writers for young readers. Learn about the inspiration behind their books and the "spark" that made them write their stories. Superpups Kevin and Bella find it fascinating! 


Contact Kate

Send an email to


Or contact Kate's agent,
Jennifer Mattson,
at Andrea Brown Literary 

Girl with Flower
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