Johanna Hurwitz, Children's Book Writer

Storyteller and Lecturer — Book Lover

I have loved books since before I knew how to read myself. My parents read to me and that was the beginning of a lifelong love affair.  I began writing when I was eight but I was 38 before my first book was actually published. Before that, I graduated from Queens College, in New York, got a Masters Degree in Library Science, became a children's librarian at the New York Public Library, married and had two children.

Now, I have published 74 books and have spoken at schools in 45 states. I've also been invited to speak in international schools abroad: South Africa, India, Morocco,  eastern Europe, Spain, and many more. I talk about my books but because I worked for 30 years as a librarian, I also speak about other people's books as well. I love sharing my enthusiasm for books with students, teachers and parents.              

The most important thing the author wants readers to gain from her book:

I want my readers to enjoy my books so much that they can't wait to read another book either by me or another author.  I want my enthusiasm for books to be as catching as chicken pox.

Why the author is an authority on the subject of her book:

I am an authority because if the book is non-fiction, I've done serious research. For example, I wrote a biography of Anne Frank, but first I traveled to Amsterdam, visited the Anne Frank Haus, walked the streets, saw the sites where Anne had lived and gone to school, and spoke with people who had actually known Anne, etc. As for my books of fiction, I've created the characters in the stories and I know them as well as if they were my children. In fact, they are my other children.


Speaking Engagements and School Presentations:

As a former librarian, I have been trained as a storyteller. Therefore, I always tell (not read) stories to my  audiences. I tell how I got the ideas for my books, explain the writing and the publishing process and always leave time to answer questions. My talks are aimed at the age of my audience so I give a different program for K-1, 2-3, and 4-6.

Presentation Audience:

Grades K-3

Grades 4-6

Middle School



301 + appearances


New York

Willing to travel

Book Type:

Picture book

Children's Fiction

Children's Non-Fiction


Education/College Preparation/Special Education