Katy Kelly (1955–) Biography
Personal, Addresses, Career, Writings, Adaptations, Sidelights
Born 1955; children: Emily, Marguerite.
Agent—c/o Author Mail, Delacorte Press, Bantam Dell, 1745 Broadway, New York, NY 10019.
Journalist. People magazine, reporter; USA Today, feature writer for Life section; U.S. News &World Report, currently senior editor.
Lucy Rose: Here's the Thing about Me, illustrated by Adam Rex, Delacorte Press (New York, NY), 2004.
Lucy Rose: Big on Plans, illustrated by Adam Rex, Delacorte Press (New York, NY), 2005.
Lucy Rose: Busy like You Can't Believe, illustrated by Adam Rex, Delacorte Press (New York, NY), 2006.
The "Lucy Rose" novels have been adapted as audio-books, Listening Library, 2005.
Growing up in Washington, DC, as the daughter of two journalists, Katy Kelly knew what would be involved in pursuing a career as a reporter and writer. In addition to a successful journalism career that has included stints at People, USA Today, and U.S. News &World Report, where she now works as a senior editor, Kelly was inspired to begin a series of books for younger readers that feature the vivacious eight-year-old Lucy Rose. Including the novels Lucy Rose: Here's the Thing about Me and Lucy Rose: Big on Plans, Kelly's novels have been praised for her engaging fourth-grade heroine and their use of the diary format. "I lifted a lot of Lucy Rose's life from my own," the author told Publishers Weekly interviewer Sally Lodge, "and then … stirred it around." Commenting on her second job, Kelly added: "It's not work for me, since I have so much fun with Lucy Rose. And writing each book is a very different experience. I learn something new with every go."
Readers meet Lucy Rose in Lucy Rose: Here's the Thing about Me, as the girl moves from Michigan to Washington, DC on the heels of her parents' separation. Living with her mother, Lucy Rose also learns a lot from her grandmother, an advice columnist who lives nearby and becomes the young girl's confidante. Dealing with the ups and downs of a new school in fine style, Lucy Rose "narrates in breathless run-on sentences" and "has a truly original perspective," according to a Publishers Weekly reviewer. In School Library Journal Linda Zeilstra Sawyer noted that Lucy Rose confronts the problems shared by many children dealing with broken homes, and "meets her challenges with humor and honesty," while a Kirkus Reviews critic noted that Kelly's text successfully "delivers … mature and complex concepts simply enough for her young audience."
A busy summer vacation rolls out in Lucy Rose: Big on Plans, as the young diarist expresses her worries about everything from her parent's divorce and her grandparents' problem with hungry squirrels to a bully who seems determined to cause Lucy Rose grief. "The book's language is rich and the characters are likeable," Teresa Bateman noted in School Library Journal, while in Booklist Cindy Dobrez wrote that "Lucy Rose's exuberance is evident in her long, run-on sentences." "Lucy is energetic and positive, but her life is a realistic blend of fun and challenges," according to a Kirkus Reviews contributor.
Biographical and Critical Sources
Booklist, November 1, 2004, Ilene Cooper, review of Lucy Rose: Here's the Thing about Me, p. 485; April 15, 2005, Patricia Austin, review of Lucy Rose: Here's the Thing about Me, p. 1476; August, 2005, Cindy Dobrez, review of Lucy Rose: Big on Plans, p. 2028.
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, October, 2004, Timnah Card, review of Lucy Rose: Here's the Thing about Me, p. 83.
Kirkus Reviews, September 1, 2004, review of Lucy Rose: Here's the Thing about Me, p. 868; June 1, 2005, review of Lucy Rose: Big on Plans, p. 638.
Library Media Connection, January, 2005, Terry Day, review of Lucy Rose: Here's the Thing about Me, p. 75.
Publishers Weekly, September 20, 2004, review of Lucy Rose: Here's the Thing about Me, p. 63; December 20, 2004, "Flying Starts," p. 30.
School Library Journal, September, 2004, Linda Zeilstra Sawyer, review of Lucy Rose: Here's the Thing about Me, p. 170; June, 2005, Terrie Dorio, review of Lucy Rose: Big on Plans, p. 118; September, 2005, Teresa Bateman, review of Lucy Rose: Big on Plans, p. 78.
U.S. News &World Report, October 11, 2004, Vicky Hallett, "Born to Write a Kid's Book," p. 68.
Random House Web site, http://www.randomhouse.com/ (February 24, 2006), "Katy Kelly."
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