Juvenile Books Author of the Month
9 October 1937 -- ???
Johanna Frank was born on October 9, 1937 in New York City, New York to Nelson and Tillie (Miller) Frank. Her father was a journalist and a bookseller, and her mother was a library assistant.
Johanna's parents met in a bookstore. That seemed to be the perfect starting point for the family since books were always an important part of the family life. In fact, as soon as she was old enough, she signed up to get a library card so she could get more books that she had never read before.
Her interest in the library did not stop with being a visitor. Johanna started working for the New York Public Library while she was still in high school Upon graduation, she went to Queen's College (now the City University of New York) and received a B.A. in 1958. She went on to get her Master's in Library Science from Columbia University the following year.
In 1959, Johanna became a Children's Librarian at the New York Public Library, which was a position she held until 1963.
Johanna married her husband Uri Levi Hurwitz, a college professor and author, on February 19, 1962. They have two children: Nomi and Beni.
Johanna returned to Queens College of the City University of New York in 1965 to take a position as a lecturer on children's literature. Three years later, she returned to the field of librarianship when she to a position as Children's Librarian at the Calhoun School in New York City. She would keep the same position but move twice over the years until she started writing full time. She took a position at the Manor Oaks School in New Hyde Park, New York in 1975, and she found herself in Great Neck, New York in 1977.
While her first book was published in 1976, she was not quite ready to quit her job as a librarian to work full-time on her writing until 1977.
In 1981, Johanna taught a series of workshops on children's literature at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York in 1981 and 1986.
Over the years, she has kept herself busy writing books, visiting schools and libraries as a storyteller, and caring for her family. When she is not writing, Johanna cooks and tries to play piano, which she claims she plays only moderately well.
Information for this biography was taken from:
1) Tracy Chevalier (ed.). Twentieth Century Children Writers; St. James Press: New York, 1989.
2) Anne Commire (ed.). Something About the Author, #20; Gale Research Company: Detroit, Mich., 1980.
J-P-HUR Aldo Ice Cream (1981) -- Nine year old Aldo discovers the pleasures of doing volunteer work to help the older citizens of the community and the satisfactions of earning his first money on his own for unselfish reasons.
J-Hurwitz Ali Baba Bernstein, Lost and Found (1992) -- Throughout a series of adventures, ten year old "Ali Baba" Bernstein spends most of his time thinking about becoming a detective and getting a dog.
J-P-HUR Baseball Fever (1981) -- Ten year old Ezra tries to convince his scholarly father that his baseball fever is not wasting his mind.
J-Hurwitz/J-P-HUR Class Clown (1987) -- Lucas Cott, the most obstreperous boy in the third grade, finds it very hard to turn over a new leaf when he decides to become the perfect student.
J-HUR Class President (1990) -- Julio hides his own leadership ambitions to help another candidate win the nomination for class president.
J-HUR DeDe Takes Charge! (1984) -- A year after her father left home for good, fifth-grader DeDe helps her mother cope with realities of life after divorce.
J-Hurwitz The Hot and Cold Summer (1984) -- Two inseparable ten year old boys discover there is room in their friendship for another person and it really doesn't matter that she is a girl.
J-HUR Hurricane Elaine (1986) -- Fifteen year old Elaine suddenly finds her life very interesting as her family deals with the death of a cat, her little brother gets five dogs for his birthday, and she begins a promising romance.
J-Hurwitz Ozzie on His Own (1995) -- When Ozzie's best friend, his niece Roz, goes away for the summer, he makes some new friends, but then his father has a heart attack and he feels very much alone.
J-Hurwitz Spring Break (1997) -- Cricket's spring break turns out to be pretty eventful, even though her broken ankle means she cannot go to Washington, D.C. with her best friend as they planned.
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