Janet Riehecky is a freelance writer for children. She published her first book, Sharing, in 1988 and since then has published 132 books for children. Her work includes both fiction and nonfiction and ranges from preschool picture books and character values to science, history and biography for elementary-aged students. Her twenty-four volume series Dinosaurs! won the 1989 Summit Award for Best Children’s Nonfiction, and her Tasmanian Tiger was a 2008 Junior Library Guild selection. In fiction, she has done a series of fairy tale rewrites and several mystery novels.
Janet has worked as a high school English teacher, a college professor, and a children’s book editor. She earned a B.A. in English Education at Illinois Wesleyan University, Bloomington, Illinois; an M.A. in Speech Communication at Illinois State University, Normal, Illinois; and an M.A. in English Literature from Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois. She served two terms on the Midwest Board of Mystery Writers of America, and she served as the National Director of Mystery Writers of America’s literacy outreach, Kids Love A Mystery, from 1998 to 2004. She is an adjunct writing professor at Judson College in Elgin, Illinois, and a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, Mystery Writers of America, and the Society of American Magicians. She is a popular speaker in elementary schools where she gives a variety of talks, including The Magic of Writing, in which she uses magic tricks and illusions to illustrate the fiction writing process; Writing Magical Nonfiction, in which she uses magic tricks and illusions to illustrate the nonfiction writing process; and Dinosaur Encounter, in which she uses her extensive collection of fossils and casts of dinosaur bones to teach how scientists learn about dinosaurs. She also has a program for young children, The Care and Feeding of Pet Dinosaurs, which is just for fun.
Janet is married and has one son. She loves to read, is active in her church, and volunteers her time with the American Baptist Church’s White Cross, which helps disadvantaged kids and disaster victims. She also loves dinosaurs. On a dig in western Colorado she dug up the first bone found of a brand new dinosaur, Mymoorapelta. She currently lives in Elgin, Illinois, USA.
Connect with Janet on her website.