Awards & Honors

The Cemetery Keepers of Gettysburg

Kirkus starred review; March 1, 2007!!!!!

Book Sense Summer Reading Selection

City of Snow:  The Great Blizzard of 1888

Notable Social Studies Trade Book 2005 (CBC/NCSS)

A Children's Literature Choice picture book 2005

Sister Slam and The Poetic Motormouth Road Trip

A VOYA Poetry Pick 

"New and Notable" -

"Bill's Best Books; May 2004" (ALAN:  Assembly on Literature for Adolescents of NCTE)

Featured on Embracing The Child:

Praise for Sister Slam and The Poetic Motormouth Road Trip:

"This ultra-hip Cinderella tale, written entirely in verse, introduces an unconventional, memorable heroine. . .High creates events and people bigger than life, yet readers will find some very genuine emotions beneath Laura's loud, cynical front. Her transformation from outcast to superstar, lyrically captured through snappy rhymes, is satisfying as well as hilarious." —--Publisher's Weekly

"High's pulsating rap balladry makes [the book] a vigorous and stylish outing . . .  The unashamedly oversized heroine is a refreshing literary original . . . Readers who disdain more conventional narratives of tender romance or performance success will rejoice in the edgy and offbeat approach, which will allow them to keep their dignity while warming to the tender tale." ——— The Bulletin for the Center of Children's Books, June 2004

"The character of Sister Slam—big, brash, naive, and completely winning—will stay with  readers long after." ——— School Library Journal, May 2004

"High makes everything work in this. . .exceedingly clever [and]. . .surprisingly sweet  tale." ——— Booklist, May 1, 2004

"A wild, rollicking roller-coaster fairy tale in verse . . . Readers will delight in this happy, hip fairy tale in which true love triumphs over tragedy." --Voya, August 2004

"[Sister Slam] is part realism, part fairy tale, all slam-style poetry, and full of spark and attitude.  [Sister's] first-person verse, entirely slam-style free verse, reveals depth and vulnerability, as well as a fierce strength that Sister herself is only beginning to notice."--Ruminator Review

Sister Slam and the Poetic Motormouth Road Trip was selected as one of ten best books for May 2004 on the ALAN Web site (National Council of Teachers of English)

The Girl on the High-Diving Horse

Starred review, Kirkus, March 2003

Reviewer's Choice, Midwest Book Review, June 2003

Nominated for 2004/2005 KSRA (Keystone State Reading Association) award

A summer reading recommendation of the Baltimore Jewish Times


The "world's playground" of 1930s Atlantic City is as much a character in The Girl on the High-Diving Horse as Ivy Cordelia, the young heroine who gets her chance to dive-dive-dive from the high platform on the Steel Pier into the deep-deep-deep pool, holding on to Arnette French, a "crazy-brave" diving horse girl.

Wow-wow-wow! That adventure alone is worth the read. Linda Oatman High's wonderful story is part history, part adventure and all-engaging. As Ivy Cordelia and her photographer father spend the summer at a castle-shaped hotel on the boardwalk, they ride the rolling chair to the Steel Pier, where well-dressed crowds are entertained by the card-playing cats, the boxing kangaroos and the human cannonballs. Ivy has entered another world! She is most entranced, however, by the high-diving horses and their riders, and she watches as "an enormous white horse sprints fast up a steep slanting ramp, hooves hammering and his flashing dark eyes sparking stars of fire."

Oh, to be the girl on that horse!

Artist Ted Lewin has painted Ivy's longing in a poignant wash of color and emotion. His depiction of Atlantic City in the 1930s and '40s is nothing short of stunning. Mimicking the style of linen postcards that were so popular during that time, Lewin first executed his pictures in black-and-white, then applied thin washes of a limited number of colors, thereby transporting us into another time—a pastel, spirited world of purple early mornings and salt-water taffy afternoons, wide open skies and endless sea-sprays of lightness and possibility.

Extensive author and illustrator notes accompany the text and further enhance the story. Details in "postcards" throughout the book impart a feeling of nostalgia and . . . love! Love for a time gone by, love of a father for a daughter, love of the ocean piers, boardwalks, haberdashers, fortune tellers and daredevil stunts that defined the city by the sea.

Step right up!

Winter Shoes for Shadow Horse

Nominated for 2004-2005 Young Hoosier's Book Award

Soul Searching Stories 

(My story "The Shunning of Sadie B. Zook" is the opening story)

Starred review, Kirkus

Selection of the Junior Library Guild

Hound Heaven

Selection of Jr. Library Guild

Short-listed for state book awards in Illinois and Oklahoma

Nominated for Rebecca Caudill award

A Stone's Throw From Paradise

Included in curriculum of Institute of Children’s Literature.

A Christmas Star

Featured by New York Times as one of the best Christmas books of the year!


Nominated for New York State’s Charlotte award

Barn Savers

Top of the List Best Picture Book of 1999, American Library Association’s Booklist (link)

Nominated for Bill Martin Jr. Picture Book award in Kansas

A Notable Book in the Language Arts (K-8) - National Council of Teachers of English

Short-listed on Pennsylvania’s Keystone to Reading Book Award List

Under New York

Named a Blue Ribbon book by the Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

Featured on the April 2001 cover of the Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

Featured in New York Times, Time Out New York, and New York magazine  

Best Book 2001, Nick Jr. Magazine

Reading Magic Award, Parenting Magazine

A PBS Teachers' Source Recommended Book:  May 2005

A Humble Life

2002 Great Lakes Book Award

Named a Notable Social Studies Book for Young People

Named a finalist for the NAPRA Nautilus Award

2002 Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award Honor Book