Credit: Erielle Bakkum Photography
Chicago children’s author Kate Hannigan used to work for daily newspapers, but now she writes fiction and nonfiction for young readers, digging up remarkable people from history and sharing their stories. Her newest titles (her 10th and 11th) are nonfiction picture books: NELLIE VS. ELIZABETH, which follows barrier-busting journalists Nellie Bly and Elizabeth Bisland as they race around the world. Publishing in February 2022. And BLIPS ON A SCREEN, which tells the story of Ralph Baer, the "father of video games" and his incredible story from refugee to inventor. Publishing in April 2022. Kate's historical fantasy series for middle-grade, THE LEAGUE OF SECRET HEROES (Simon & Schuster/Aladdin), is part of a three-book series that blends superheroes and real-life women from World War II — the original computer programmers called the ENIAC Six, brilliant code-crackers, courageous spies, and daring WASP pilots — and includes graphic novel elements. Book 1 is titled CAPE (August 2019) and was named to the Illinois READS State List, received the Oklahoma State Book Award, as well as being optioned for film; Book 2 MASK published in August 2020; and Book 3 BOOTS in August 2021.
While the series features chapters that are written in graphic novel format, Kate's newest nonfiction THE GREAT CHICAGO FIRE: RISING FROM THE ASHES (First Second) is entirely a graphic novel and is part of the new "History Comics" nonfiction line. Kate’s historical mystery THE DETECTIVE'S ASSISTANT (Little, Brown) about America's first woman detective, won SCBWI's Golden Kite Award for best middle-grade novel and was a California Young Reader Medal nominee. Her picture book biography of Belva Lockwood, A LADY HAS THE FLOOR (Boyd’s Mills), spotlights an early suffragette and first woman on the ballot for president. It was a Chicago Public Library "Best of the Best" 2018 pick, a Junior Library Guild selection, and a Mighty Girl "Best of 2018" pick. Kate lives in Chicago with her three delightful kids, two noisy but lovable dogs, and one wonderful husband. Visit her online at KateHannigan.com