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Mike Graf (1960-) Biography

Personal, Addresses, Career, Honors Awards, Writings, Work in Progress, Sidelights

(Michael Graf)


Born 1960, in Los Angeles, CA; Education: California State University, Chico, B.A. (child development) and teaching credential, 1983; California Polytechnic State University, M.A. (education) and administrative credential. Politics: "Liberal." Hobbies and other interests: Travel, hiking, biking, science and weather.


Office—California State University, Chico, 400 W. 1st St., Chico, CA 95929.


Educator and author. Fourth-and fifth-grade teacher, Arroyo Grande, CA, 1984–97; television meteorologist in Reno, Chico, Redding, and San Luis Obispo, CA for five years; California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, instructor and master's degree supervisor, 1994–97; California State University, Chico, instructor in child development and children's literature, 1998–. Consultant to children's book division, McClean Literary Agency. Actor in community theatre.

Honors Awards

Recipient of several outstanding teacher honors; Book of the Year nomination in reluctant reader category, American Library Association, 1998, for Lighting! and Thunderstorms.


The Weather Report, Fearon Teacher Aids, 1989.

National Parks Projects: A Complete Guide to National Park Education for Classroom Use, Fearon Teacher Aids, 1993.

Cave Story: An Underground Adventure, Perfection Learning (Logan, IA), 1998.

Lightning! and Thunderstorms, Simon Spotlight (New York, NY), 1998.

Tornado!: The Strongest Winds on Earth, Perfection Learning (Logan, IA), 1999.

The World's Best Places: Classroom Explorations in Geography and Environmental Science, Heinemann (Portsmouth, NH), 2000.

Somalia, Bridgestone Books (Mankato, MN), 2002.

Teacher's Guide to Explorers of North America for Grades 4-6, Evan-Moor Corp. (Monterey, CA), 2002.

Teacher's Guide to Fifth-Grade Reading at Various Levels, Evan-Moor Corp. (Monderey, CA), 2002.

Switzerland, Bridgestone Books (Mankato, MN), 2002.

Rocky Mountain National Park, Bridgestone Books (Mankato, MN), 2003.

South America, Bridgestone Books (Mankato, MN), 2003.

Olympic National Park, Bridgestone Books (Mankato, MN), 2003.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Bridgestone Books (Mankato, MN), 2003.

Grand Canyon National Park, Bridgestone Books (Mankato, MN), 2003.

Yellowstone National Park, Bridgestone Books (Mankato, MN), 2003.

Explorers of North America, Evan-Moor Corp. (Monterey, CA), 2003.

Yosemite National Park, Bridgestone Books (Mankato, MN), 2003.

Europe, Bridgestone Books (Mankato, MN), 2003.

Asia, Bridgestone Books (Mankato, MN), 2003.

Africa, Bridgestone Books (Mankato, MN), 2003.

White-Water Kayaking, Capstone Press (Mankato, MN), 2004.

Zion National Park, Bridgestone Books (Mankato, MN), 2004.

The Nile River, Capstone Press (Mankato, MN), 2004.

Oregon, Capstone Press (Mankato, MN), 2004.

Montana, Capstone Press (Mankato, MN), 2004.

Washington, Capstone Press (Mankato, MN), 2004.

Mammoth Cave National Park, Bridgestone Books (Mankato, MN), 2004.

Spelunking—cave exploration—and rock climbing are just a few of author Mike Graf's passions, and he shares them with young readers in a series of informative, well-illustrated books for young readers.

Glacier National Park, Bridgestone Books (Mankato, MN), 2004.

Everglades National Park, Bridgestone Books (Mankato, MN), 2004.

The Amazon River, Capstone Press (Mankato, MN), 2004.

Author of fiction readers for Thomson Learning, including Whirlwind, Wolves, Water, Dinosaurs?, Underground Adventure, and Measure for Measure. Also author of other works of juvenile nonfiction and fiction. Creator of Cloud Kit and Weather Lab Kit, produced by Science Kit; creator of brochures for Weather Channel; creator of "The Weather Report," 1989, and "National Parks Projects," 1993, both for Fearon Teacher Aids.

Graf's works have been translated into Japanese.

Work in Progress

Volumes in the "National Park Adventure" series, forthcoming from Fulcrum Press.


College professor, meteorologist, and long-time children's book writer, Mike Graf has over sixty titles to his credit, some included in book series that seek to educate and aid teachers in the classroom by focusing on topics such as weather, America's national parks, and the life and geography of countries throughout the world. Karen Stuppi, writing in School Library Journal, reviewed The Amazon River and The Nile River and explained that both books present data about these major rivers, discuss the cities and other points of interest along their banks, and contain "sufficient information for reports." Karen Land, also writing in School Library Journal, wrote of Graf's book Africa that the volume, part of the "Continents" series, combines "visual comparisons, geographical facts, and color-coded Mercator maps with well-written explanatory texts." Land went on to praise the book's "full-color graphics," which she described as "well done and inviting."

Graf told SATA: "I have written stories ever since I was a child. My first published book was The Weather Report—a teacher's guide to teaching about weather. Now I have over sixty books out for children and teachers, many of them fiction adventure stories for eight through twelve year olds. That means I get to go places like national parks and caves, storm chase and rock climb, and write about it! Last summer I hiked across the Grand Canyon while doing research for my newest book.

"My favorite children's book is Norton Juster's The Phantom Tollbooth because it is so creative and interesting. I would advise aspiring writers to keep pressing on. Practice your craft and keep writing whether your stories get recognition or not. Keep editing them and seeking feedback and save them. You never know when the first published book is going to come! When I am writing I like to get away from the busy lives that we have and go do something like hike or bike ride where my mind can just wander. This is when I get my best ideas!"

Biographical and Critical Sources


Curriculum Review, January, 1990, review of The Weather Report, p. 19.

School Library Journal, October, 2000, Linda R. Skeele, review of Lightning! and Thunderstorms, p. 98; August, 2002, Ajoke T. I. Kokodoko, review of Somalia, p. 176; April, 2003, Edward Sullivan, review of Grand Canyon National Park, p. 150; April, 2003, Karen Land, review of Antarctica, p. 146; March, 2004, Susan Shaver, review of Washington, p. 192; October, 2004, Karen Stuppi, review of The Amazon River, p. 140.

Science Books & Films, January, 1990, review of The Weather Report, p. 124; March, 2001, review of The World's Best Places, p. 58.


Mike Graf Web site, http://www.author-illustr-source.com/ (August 10, 2005).

Additional topics

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