"Readers across genres will be enamored by this blend of history, mystery, and superpowered action."
— Booklist 


"An absolutely original story, filled with so much excitement that the pages practically turn themselves.”
—Frances O’Roark Dowell,
Edgar Award winning author of Dovey Coe


“A one-two punch of heroism
and fun!”

—Ingrid Law, Newbery Honor winner and
New York Times bestselling author of Savvy


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“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,
winner of the 2016 Golden Kite Award for Best Middle-Grade

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 at left!) I knew I wanted to be a writer. My teacher, Mrs. 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 — my husband, three kids, and nervous Australian shepherd. 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 — including mysteries! — for readers like you.

About the author

Favorite Food

Nutella + bananas


Saag paneer

Peanut-Butter Crunch cereal


English breakfast tea

Salted caramels


Coffee + cream

Peanut Butter Kandy Kakes

Fried okra

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

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


'Author Of'

Kate Hannigan talks to other 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.



Contact Kate

Send an email to



contact Kate's agent,

Jennifer Mattson,

at Andrea Brown Literary 

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