10 minute read

Michael Burgan (1960–) Biography

Personal, Addresses, Career, Member, Writings, Sidelights

Born 1960, in Hartford, CT; Education: University of Connecticut, B.A., 1983; attended Emerson College, 1987–88. Politics: Democrat. Religion: Unitarian-Universalist. Hobbies and other interests: Playwriting, films, music, travel, cooking, sports.

Addresses

Agent—c/o Author Mail, Compass Point Books, Compass Point Books, 3109 W. 50th St., No. 115, Minneapolis, MN 55410.

Career

Weekly Reader Corp., Middletown, CT, editor, 1988–94; freelance writer, 1994–. Hartford Food System, member of board of directors, 1997–.

Member

Dramatists Guild of America, Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Kappa Phi.

Writings

Boris Bigfoot's Big Feat, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 1995.

The Curse of Cleo Patrick's Mummy, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 1996.

Zelda's Zombie Dance, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 1996.

(Reteller) Stephen Crane, The Red Badge of Courage, illustrated by Kathryn Yingling and Ed Parker, Harper-Collins (New York, NY), 1996.

(Reteller) Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, Frankenstein, illustrated by Kathryn Yingling and Ed Parker, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 1996.

(Reteller) Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote, illustrated by Kathryn Yingling, Lars Hokanson, and Frances Cichetti, Harper-Collins (New York, NY), 1996.

Tiki Doll of Doom, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 1997.

Chocolate Cake, Huckleberry Press (South Glastonbury, CT), 1997.

The Prize, Huckleberry Press (South Glastonbury, CT), 1997.

The Pro Sports Halls of Fame: Basketball, two volumes, Grolier, 1997.

The Associated Press Library of Disasters, four volumes, Grolier, 1998.

American Immigration, two volumes, Grolier, 1998.

Madeleine Albright, Millbrook Press (Brookfield, CT), 1998.

Dominik Hasek, Chelsea House (Philadelphia, PA), 1999.

Maryland, Children's Press (New York, NY), 1999.

Argentina, Children's Press (New York, NY), 1999.

England, Children's Press (New York, NY), 1999.

The Pontiac Firebird, RiverFront Books (New York, NY), 1999.

The Porsche 911, RiverFront Books (New York, NY), 1999.

The Toyota Land Cruiser, RiverFront Books (New York, NY), 1999.

Belgium, Children's Press (New York, NY), 2000.

Travel Agent, Capstone Books (Mankato, MN), 2000.

Veterinarian, Capstone Books (Mankato, MN), 2000.

U.S. Army Special Forces: Airborne Rangers, RiverFront Books (New York, NY), 2000.

U.S. Navy Special Forces: SEAL Teams, RiverFront Books (New York, NY), 2000.

U.S. Navy Special Forces: Special Boat Units, RiverFront Books (New York, NY), 2000.

Dino-Might! (includes games), illustrated by Bernard Adnante, Innovative KIDS (Norwalk, CT), 2000.

The World's Fastest Military Airplanes Capstone Books (Mankato, MN), 2001.

Supercarriers, Capston High Interest (Mankato, MN), 2001.

Sheryl Swoopes, Chelsea House (Philadelphia, PA), 2001.

Nuclear Submarines, Capstone High Interest (Mankato, MN), 2001.

John F. Kennedy, World Almanac Library (Milwaukee, WI), 2001.

John Adams: Second U.S. President, Chelsea House (Philadelphia, PA), 2001.

Henry Ford, Industrialist, Ferguson Publishing (Chicago, IL), 2001.

The World's Wildest Roller Coasters, Capston Books (Mankato, MN), 2001.

Leif Eriksson, Heinmann Library (Chicago, IL), 2002.

Henry Ford, World Almanac Library (Milwaukee, WI), 2002.

Great Moments in the Olympics ("Great Moments in Sports" series), World Almanac Library (Milwaukee, WI), 2002.

Great Moments in Basketball ("Great Moments in Sports" series), World Almanac Library (Milwaukee, WI), 2002.

Great Moments in Baseball ("Great Moments in Sports" series), World Almanac Library (Milwaukee, WI), 2002.

George Rogers Clark: American General, Chelsea House (Philadelphia, PA), 2002.

The Beatles, World Almanac Library (Milwaukee, WI), 2002.

William Henry Seward: Senator and Statesman, Chelsea House (Philadelphia, PA), 2002.

The Story of Levi's, illustrated by Ronald Himler, Scholastic (New York, NY), 2002.

Marco Polo: Marco Polo and the Silk Road to China, Compass Point (Minneapolis, MN), 2002.

Magellan: Ferdinand Magellan and the First Trip around the World, Compass Point (Minneapolis, MN), 2002.

Puerto Rico, Children's Press (New York, NY), 2003.

Puerto Rico and Outlying Territories, World Almanac Library (Milwaukee, WI), 2003.

New Mexico, Land of Enchantment, World Almanac Library (Milwaukee, WI), 2003.

The Korean War, Heinemann Library (Chicago, IL), 2003.

Connecticut, Benchmark Books (New York, NY), 2003.

The Connecticut Colony, Child's World (Chanhassen, MN), 2003.

Colonial and Revolutionary Times: A Watts Guide, Franklin Watts (New York, NY), 2003.

California, Benchmark Books (New York, NY), 2003.

Buddhist Faith in America, Facts on File (New York, NY), 2003.

Maryland, Children's Press (New York, NY), 2004.

John Paul Jones: Naval Hero, Child's World (Chanhassen, MN), 2004.

Henry Clay: The Great Compromiser, Child's World (Chanhassen, MN), 2004.

Christopher Columbus: Opening the Americas to European Exploration, Child's World (Chanhassen, MN), 2004.

African Americans ("Our Cultural Heritage" series), Child's World (Chanhassen, MN), 2004.

The Vietnam War, Heinemann Library (Chicago, IL), 2004.

Inuit, Gareth Stevens (Milwaukee, WI), 2005.

George W. Bush: Our Forty-third President, Child's World (Chanhassen, MN), 2005.

Empire of the Mongols ("Great Empires of the Past" series), Facts on File (New York, NY), 2004.

Empire of Ancient Rome, Facts on File (New York, NY), 2005.

Bigfoot, Edge Books (Mankato, MN), 2005.

The Automobile, World Almanac Library (Milwaukee, WI), 2005.

Voices from Colonial America: Massachusetts, 1620–1776, National Geographic Society (Washington, DC), 2005.

The Valley of the Kings: Egypt's Greatest Mummies, Capstone Press (Mankato, MN), 2005.

Thomas Paine: Great Writer of the Revolution ("Signature Lives" series), Compass Point Books (Minneapolis, MN), 2005.

Samuel Adams: Patriot and Statesman ("Signature Lives" series), Compass Point Books (Minneapolis, MN), 2005.

King Tut's Tomb: Ancient Treasures Uncovered, Capstone Press (Mankato, MN), 2005.

Jim Morrision, Capstone Press (Mankato, MN), 2005.

Japan, Capstone Press (Mankato, MN), 2005.

Italian Immigrants ("Immigration to the United States" series), Facts on File (New York, NY), 2005.

John Winthrop: First Governor of Massachusetts ("Signature Lives" series), Compass Point Books (Minneapolis, MN), 2006.

Hillary Rodham Clinton: First Lady and Senator, Compass Point Books (Minneapolis, MN), 2006.

Escaping to Freedom: The Underground Railroad, Facts on File (New York, NY), 2006.

Elizabeth Cady Stanton: Social Reformer ("Signature Lives" series), Compass Point Books (Minneapolis, MN), 2006.

Voiced from Colonial America: New York, 1609–1776, National Geographic Society (Washington, DC), 2006.

Spying and the Cold War, Raintree (Chicago, IL), 2006.

Roger Williams: Founder of Rhode Island ("Signature Lives" series), Compass Point Books (Minneapolis, MN), 2006.

Thomas Alva Edison: Great American Inventor ("Signature Lives" series), Compass Point Books (Minneapolis, MN), 2006.

Miranda v. Arizona: The Rights of the Accused ("Snapshots in History" series), Compass Point Books (Minneapolis, MN) 2007.

J. Pierpont Morgan: Industrialist and Financier ("Signature Lives" series), Compass Point Books (Minneapolis, MN), 2007.

Alexander the Great: World Conqueror ("Signature Lives" series), Compass Point Books (Minneapolis, MN), 2007.

Contributor to books, including Leading American Businesses: Profiles of Major American Companies and the People Who Made Them Important, UXL (Farmington Hills, MI), 2003.

Burgan's books have been translated into Spanish.

"COLD WAR" SERIES

The Threats, Raintree Steck-Vaughn (Austin, TX), 2001.

Hot Conflicts, Raintree Steck-Vaughn (Austin, TX), 2001.

The Separation, Raintree Steck-Vaughn (Austin, TX), 2001.

The Collapse, Raintree Steck-Vaughn (Austin, TX), 2001.

"PRO-WRESTLER" SERIES

Goldberg: Pro Wrestler Bill Goldberg, Capston High Interest (Mankato, MN), 2002.

Stone Cold: Pro Wrestler Steve Austin, Capston HighInterest (Mankato, MN), 2002.

The Rock: Pro Wrestler Rocky Maivia, Capston Press (Mankato, MN), 2002.

"WE THE PEOPLE" SERIES

The Boston Tea Party, Compass Point Books (Minneapolis, MN), 2000.

The Trail of Tears, Compass Point Books (Minneapolis, MN), 2001.

The Declaration of Independence, Compass Point Books (Minneapolis, MN), 2001.

The Battle of Gettysburg, Compass Point Books (Minneapolis, MN), 2001.

The Alamo, Compass Point Books (Minneapolis, MN), 2001.

The Great Depression, Compass Point Books (Minneapolis, MN), 2002.

The Bill of Rights, Compass Point Books (Minneapolis, MN), 2002.

The Louisiana Purchase, Compass Point Books (Minneapolis, MN), 2002.

Valley Forge, Compass Point Books (Minneapolis, MN), 2004.

The Titanic, Compass Point Books (Minneapolis, MN), 2004.

Monticello, Compass Point Books (Minneapolis, MN), 2004.

Great Women of the American Revolution, Compass Point Books (Minneapolis, MN), 2005.

The Boston Massacre, Compass Point Books (Minneapolis, MN), 2005.

The Assassination of Abraham Lincoln, Compass Point Books (Minneapolis, MN), 2005.

The Nineteenth Amendment, Compass Point Books (Minneapolis, MN), 2005.

The Stamp Act of 1765, Compass Point Books (Minneapolis, MN), 2005.

The Salem Witch Trials, Compass Point Books (Minneapolis, MN), 2005.

The Lincoln-Douglas Debates, Compass Point Books (Minneapolis, MN), 2006.

The Haymarket Square Tragedy, Compass Point Books (Minneapolis, MN), 2006.

The Gettysburg Address, Compass Point Books (Minneapolis, MN), 2006.

Fort Sumter, Compass Point Books (Minneapolis, MN), 2006.

The Battle of the Ironclads, Compass Point Books (New York, NY), 2006.

The Reconstruction Amendments, Compass Point Books (Minneapolis, MN), 2006.

The Missouri Compromise, Compass Point Books (Minneapolis, MN), 2006.

"PROFILES OF THE PRESIDENTS" SERIES

George Washington, Compass Point Books (Minneapolis, MN), 2002.

Franklin D. Roosevelt, Compass Point Books (Minneapolis, MN), 2002.

John Quincy Adams, Compass Point Books (Minneapolis, MN), 2003.

Andrew Johnson, Compass Points Books (Minneapolis, MN), 2003.

Lyndon Baines Johnson, Compass Point Books (Minneapolis, MN), 2004.

George W. Bush, Compass Point Books (Minneapolis, MN), 2004.

William Howard Taft, Compass Point Books (Minneapolis, MN), 2004.

"GRAPHIC LIBRARY" SERIES

The Curse of King Tut's Tomb, illustrated by Barbara Schulz, Capstone Press (Mankato, MN), 2005.

The Boston Massacre, illustrated by Keith Williams, Capstone Press (Mankato, MN), 2005.

The Battle of Gettysburg, illustrated by Steve Erwin, Keith Williams, and Charles Barnett III, Capstone Press (Mankato, MN), 2006.

Nat Turner's Slave Rebellion, illustrated by Richard Dominguez, Bib Wiacek, and Charles Barnett III, Capstone Press (Mankato, MN), 2006.

Sidelights

A prolific writer of nonfiction for younger readers, Michael Burgan has contributed to numerous book series since beginning his publishing career in the mid-1990s. Although he has produced fiction and adaptations of several literary works, Burgan focuses for the most part on American history and on writing biographies of notable men and women from history. In addition to conventional histories such as The Trail of Tears, which was dubbed "concise" and objective by School Library Journal contributor Ann Welton, he has also helped encourage reluctant readers by penning boy-centered books such as The World's Fastest Military Airplanes, Great Moments in Basketball, biographies of professional wrestlers "Stone Cold" Steve Austin and The Rock, and several titles in Capstone Press's "Graphic History" series. Presenting factual topics in a fully illustrated graphic-novel format, book such as Burgan's The Curse of King Tut's Tomb were praised by School Library Journal contributor Peg Glisson as "historically accurate" as well as "fun and interesting reads" capable of inspiring further research into their "high-interest subject matter."

Burgan once told SATA: "I had originally hoped to be a teacher, but one semester of student-teaching during graduate school convinced me that I should stick to my first love, writing—if I could make a living at it. Thankfully I took a job at Weekly Reader and found my niche: writing social studies for children. I was able to pursue my interest in history and current events while feeling I was making a contribution as an educator (of a sort). Freelancing has enabled me to pursue a wide range of topics and also try some children's fiction. With the fiction, I get to use some of my skills as a would-be playwright and, I hope, make kids laugh."

Biographical and Critical Sources

PERIODICALS

Booklist, May 1, 2002, Heather Hepler, review of Henry Ford, p. 1519; May, 1, 2004, Jennifer Mattson, review of The Titanic, p. 1556.

Burgan recounts the adventures of British archaeologist Howard Carter who, in 1922, discovered the first intact tomb of an Egyptian pharaoh to survive antiquity. (Cover illustration by Barbara Schulz.)

National Geographic World, January, 1999; May, 1999; October, 1999; December, 1999; April, 2000.

Publishers Weekly, September 11, 2000, review of Dino-Might!, p. 93.

School Library Journal, June, 1999, p. 140; June, 2001, Ann Welton, review of The Trail of Tears, p. 134, and Steve Clancy, review of The World's Fastest Military Airplanes, p. 164; August, 2001, John Sigwald, review of The Alamo, p. 167; October, 2001, Elizabeth Talbot, review of The Collapse, p. 179; December, 2001, David M. Alperstein, review of The Separation, p. 153; January, 2002, Pamela K. Bomboy, review of Magellan: Ferdinand Magellan and the First Trip around the World, p. 146, and Janie Schomberg, review of The Great Depression and The Bill of Rights, p. 148; June, 2002, Tim Wadham, review of The Beatles, p. 154; July, 2002, Dona J. Helmer, review of The Louisiana Purchase, p. 131; August, 2002, Mary Mueller, review of Marco Polo: Marco Polo and the Silk Road to China, p. 202; March, 2003, Kate Kohlbeck, review of Great Moments in Basketball, p. 247; July, 2003, Jeffrey A. French, review of Colonial and Revolutionary Times: A Watts Guide, p. 138; March, 2004, Andrew Medlar, review of Great Moments in the Olympics, p. 69; February, 2005, Kathleen Kelly MacMillan, review of Maryland, p. 114; April, 2005, Linda Greengrass, review of Italian Immigrants, p. 81; June, 2005, Janet Gillen, review of Great Women of the American Revolution, p. 175; July, 2005, Peg Glisson, review of The Curse of King Tut's Tomb, p. 124; September, 2005, Heather Ver Voort, review of George W. Bush, p. 219; December, 2005, Anne L. Tormohlen, review of Spying and the Cold War, p. 150.

Additional topics

Brief BiographiesBiographies: Shennen Bersani (1961-) Biography - Personal to Mark Burgess Biography - Personal