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Elizabeth Cody Kimmel Biography - Personal, Addresses, Career, Writings, Work in Progress, Sidelights

review lily brink york

Born New York, NY; Education: Attended Kenyon College. Hobbies and other interests: Reading, hiking, singing, rock climbing.

Addresses

Agent—c/o Author Mail, HarperCollins, 10 E. 53rd St., 7th Fl., New York, NY 10022.

Career

Children's book writer.

Writings

FICTION

In the Stone Circle, Scholastic (New York, NY), 1998.

Balto and the Great Race, illustrated by Nora Koerber, Random House (New York, NY), 1999.

Visiting Miss Caples, Dial (New York, NY), 2000.

To the Frontier ("Adventures of Young Buffalo Bill" series), HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2001.

One Sky above Us ("Adventures of Young Buffalo Bill" series), illustrated by Scott Snow, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2002.

My Wagon Will Take Me Anywhere, illustrated by Tom Newsom, Dutton (New York, NY), 2002.

In the Eye of the Storm ("Adventures of Young Buffalo Bill" series), HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2003.

West on the Wagon Train ("Adventures of Young Buffalo Bill" series), illustrated by Scott Snow, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2003.

Lily B. on the Brink of Cool, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2003.

What Do You Dream?, Candlewick (Cambridge, MA), 2003.

My Penguin Osbert, illustrated by H.B. Lewis, Candlewick (Cambridge, MA), 2004.

Lily B. on the Brink of Love, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2005.

Lily B. on the Brink of Paris, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2006.

Kimmel's "Lily B." books have been translated into several languages.

NONFICTION

Ice Story: Shackleton's Lost Expedition, Clarion (New York, NY), 1999.

Before Columbus: The Leif Eriksson Expedition, Random House (New York, NY), 2003.

As Far as the Eye Can Reach: Lewis and Clark's Westward Quest, Random House (New York, NY), 2003.

The Look-It-up Book of Explorers, Random House (New York, NY), 2004.

Ladies First: Forty Daring American Women Who Were Second to None, National Geographic (Washington, DC), 2005.

Work in Progress

Osbert in Love, for Candlewick Press; a book for the "Little House" series published by HarperCollins.

Sidelights

Elizabeth Cody Kimmel grew up in both New York and Brussels, Belgium. As a writer of fiction and nonfiction for children and young adults, she has worked to weave subjects she finds interesting—from Antarctica to ghost stories to medieval history—into her books. Many of her nonfiction titles, such as Ice Story: Shackleton's Lost Expedition and As Far as the Eye Can Reach: Lewis and Clark's Westward Quest, tell the stories of explorers, while her teen novels deal with such themes as multi-generational friendships and being true to yourself.

The Lewis and Clark Expedition is the subject of As Far as the Eye Can Reach, which follows the explorers' efforts to locate a northern route to the Pacific Ocean. The book was considered "a well written, lively account for young readers" by a contributor to Kirkus Reviews. As Booklist critic Carolyn Phelan commented, "this clearly written summary provides a useful overview for students," while Renee Steinberg commented in School Library Journal, commented that "a book Kimmel presents the story of the eleventh-century Viking who bravely sailed from Greenland to North America in Before Columbus: The Leif Eriksson Expedition. (Copyright © 2003 by Elizabeth Cody Kimmel. Published by Landmark Books. Reproduced by permission of Random House Children's Books, a division of Random House, Inc.)such as this can excite young readers to delve further into U.S. history." Another of Kimmel's nonfiction titles, Before Columbus: The Leif Eriksson Expedition, introduces readers to the Viking exploration of the Americas. The book is a "small, readable volume," according to Booklist contributor Roger Leslie, while a Kirkus Reviews contributor deemed it "more a quick once-over than a systematic study" and "well designed to stimulate an early interest" in its subject. Ginny Gustin, writing in School Library Journal, noted that the nonfiction title reads more like an historical novel, and acknowledged that "Kimmel's book will captivate and entertain young readers." The author's reference resource, The Look-It-up Book of Explorers, covers the expeditions of explorers through the ages. Carol Wichman, writing in School Library Journal, considered the work "a concise and useful guide to virtually all of the explorers usually studied in public schools."

Kimmel's first teen novel, Visiting Miss Caples, is the story of thirteen-year-old Jenna, whose father abandons her family. To make things worse, her best friend no longer speaks to her. Jenna assumes that a class project to visit an elderly-shut in will be another bad thing in her year, but she learns that Mrs. Caples, despite her difference in age, understands a lot of what Jenna is going through. "Kimmel ably articulates a young person's experience," wrote Gillian Engberg in Booklist.

Kimmel has written three books in the "Lily B." series, all of them featuring the spunky teen heroine and her misadventures. In Lily B. on the Brink of Cool Lily is convinced that her family is anything but cool. When she meets distant cousin Karma and Karma's family, Lily is determined to fit in, becoming more sophisticated by proximity. However, it soon appears that Karma's family has more in mind than befriending Lily, and the teen ultimately learns that sometimes first impressions are deceiving. "Lily is a likable teen who wants more than she has, only to discover that what she has is pretty darn good," wrote Linda Binder in School Library Journal. A Kirkus Reviews contributor found Lily to be "a delightful heroine, sweeter than [other teen heroines] and hilarious," while Louise Bruggemann noted in her Booklist review that the book is a
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"funny, fast-moving, if somewhat self-conscious, novel." A Publishers Weekly critic considered Lily "by turns chirpy, sardonic, glib, and melodramatic—and always likable."

Lily's adventures continue in Lily B. on the Brink of Love, wherein, as her middle-school paper's advice columnist, she discovers that dealing with love in her own life is more difficult than answering readers' love questions. "Lily's journal entries and advice columns … deliver laughs and substance," wrote Wendi Hoffenberg in School Library Journal. A Kirkus Reviews contributor found the book "heartwarming and funny," and Heidi Hauser Green felt that "Lily's over-the-top narrative voice will likely appeal to many middle school readers."

Along with nonfiction and novels, Kimmel has also crafted picture books, including My Penguin Osbert. The book tells the story of a Christmas wish gone wrong; Joe wanted a live penguin, but when Osbert is delivered by Santa, the boy realizes that having a pet penguin is not quite what he imagined. When Joe finally brings Osbert to a new home in the zoo, both boy and penguin end up happy. "Kimmel sneaks some sly humor into the well-told, nicely paced tale," wrote Ilene Cooper in Booklist. A Kirkus Reviews contributor found the tale to be "salutary reading for all children campaigning for a pet," and Horn Book critic Lauren E. Raece likewise found the story to be a "satisfying tale." Readers should "find much to enjoy in this lighthearted fantasy with realistic holiday roots," according to a Publishers Weekly contributor.

On her home page, Kimmel explained where she came up with the idea for My Penguin Osbert. "I love the idea of all that ice and snow and wind," she wrote, referring to the weather in Antarctica, "and I can imagine myself bundling up to hike through the winter wonderland. But when reality sets in, I can't stand the cold, and I think that is how Osbert was born." Kimmel expects to write additional books about Osbert, including Osbert in Love.

Biographical and Critical Sources

PERIODICALS

Booklist, May 15, 2000, Gillian Engberg, review of Visiting Miss Caples, p. 1739; January 1, 2003, Carolyn Phelan, "Lewis & Clark on the Road Again," p. 885; July, 2003, Roger Leslie, review of Before Columbus: The Leif Eriksson Expedition p. 1882; October 1, 2003, Lauren Peterson, review of What Do You Dream?, p. 328; December 1, 2003, Louise Brueggemann, review of Lily B. on the Brink of Cool, p. 666; December 1, 2004, Ilene Cooper, review of My Penguin Osbert, p. 659; October 1, 2005, Anne O'Malley, review of Lily B. on the Brink of Love, p. 58.

Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, April, 2000, review of Visiting Miss Caples, p. 285; February, 2004, review of Lily B. on the Brink of Cool, p. 237.

Horn Book, November-December, 2004, Lauren E. Raece, review of My Penguin Osbert, p. 662.

Kirkus Reviews, December 15, 2002, review of As Far as the Eye Can Reach, p. 1851; July 15, 2003, review of Before Columbus, p. 965; October 15, 2003, review of Lily B. on the Brink of Cool, p. 1272; November 1, 2004, review of My Penguin Osbert, p. 1051; August 1, 2005, review of Lily B. on the Brink of Love, p. 851.

Kliatt, July, 2004, Sherri Ginsberg, review of Lily B. on the Brink of Cool, p. 53; September, 2005, Heidi Hauser Green, review of Lily B. on the Brink of Cool, p. 20.

Publishers Weekly, December 10, 2001, review of Visiting Miss Caples, p. 73; June 9, 2003, review of "Adventures of Young Buffalo Bill" series, p. 54; December 8, 2003, review of Lily B. on the Brink of Cool, p. 62; June 14, 2004, audiobook review of Lily B. on the Brink of Cool, p. 38; November 22, 2004, review of My Penguin Osbert, p. 60.

School Librarian, autumn, 2004, Chris Brown, review of Lily B. on the Brink of Cool, p. 156.

School Library Journal, July, 2002, Anne Knickerbocker, review of My Wagon Will Take Me Anywhere, p. 94; March, 2003, Renee Steinberg, review of As Far as the Eye Can Reach, pp. 172, 253; October, 2003, Ginny Gustin, review of Before Columbus, p. 152, and Linda Binder, review of Lily B. on the Brink of Cool, p. 169; February 2004, Sanda Kitain, review of What Do You Dream?, p. 116; January, 2005, Wendi Hoffengberg, review of Lily B. on the Brink of Love, p. 104, and Carol Wichman, review of The Look-It-up Book of Explorers, p. 149; October, 2005, review of The Look-It-up Book of Explorers, p. S48.

Voice of Youth Advocates, August, 2000, review of Ice Story, p. 165; October, 2003, review of Lily B. on the Brink of Cool, p. 312.

ONLINE

Elizabeth Cody Kimmel Home Page, http://www.codykimmel.com (April 27, 2006).

Kids Reads Web site, http://www.kidsreads.com/ (April 27, 2006), profile of Kimmel.

Leslie (Grodinsky) Kimmelman (1958-) Biography - Personal, Addresses, Career, Honors Awards, Writings, Sidelights [next] [back] Cleve Killingsworth Jr. Biography - Encountered Hostile Reception at Planetarium, Sought Out Executive Positions, Laid Out Health-Care Cost Philosophy

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over 6 years ago

Good afternoon,

My daughter, Nadia-Camille loves to read your books. She is a 4th grader at Chambers school and your book, "Spin the bottle" she is reading now and you signed for the school,she was soo tickled by that.I was wondwerig if you have any words for her and myself so that i can better help her writing skills. She is 9 already writing little books and plays, acting them out for me and her brother. There is nothing this way for young writers and she is soo intrested. Can you help please. My email address is shakeirariddick@yahoo.com. Thank you so much for encouraging children, especially mine to do something more positive and writing for their enjoyment.

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almost 10 years ago

Hi Mrs. Kimmel I would just like to say that I liked your book "in the stone circle" a lot. Now I'm very intrested in reading more books from you and more different ghost stories. It was a very very interestung story!!!!!!!!! I LOVED IT!!!!!!!!!!!!

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almost 6 years ago

OMG!!! i love uur books i just cant stopp readiing cuz of you !!! you inspired me to read !!

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about 5 years ago

I loved suddenly supernatural it is my fav book i read them all the time make more pleas

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over 5 years ago

Hi! I liked your Suddenly Supernatural books! I just finished book 2 and I like what I've read! I can't wait to read the other ones!!!
Your Fan,
Quinn

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over 6 years ago

Your Awesome!