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Janie Lynn Panagopoulos Biography

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

children: Christopher, Nicholas.

Office—P.O. Box 704, Roscoe, IL 61073-0704.

Author; freelance writer for periodicals, 1978-92; teacher of theater arts and play-writing, 1986-90; editor of a health care magazine, 1988; mentor to writing students.

Project Lakewell, Inc., Girl Scouts.

National Historical Grant, 1989-91; Michigan Author Award, Michigan Library Association and Michigan Center for the Book, 2000; Read Michigan citation, State of Michigan, for A Place Called Home: Michigan's Mill Creek Story, 2001.

Little Ship under Full Sail: An Adventure in History, River Road Publications (Spring Lake, MI), 1997.

A Place Called Home: Michigan's Mill Creek Story, illustrated by Gijsbert van Frankenhuyzen, Sleeping Bear Press (Chelsea, MI), 2001.

A Castle at the Straits, illustrated by Laura Evans, Mackinac Island State Park Commission (Mackinac Island, MI), 2003.

Author of a syndicated history column, 1986-87, and of over 1000 published articles. Author of plays.


Journey Back to Lumberjack Camp, River Road Publications (Spring Lake, MI), 1993.

Traders in Time, River Road Publications (Spring Lake, MI), 1993.

Erie Trail West, River Road Publications (Spring Lake, MI), 1995.

North to Iron Country, River Road Publications (Spring Lake, MI), 1996.

Train to Midnight, River Road Publications (Spring Lake, MI), 1999.


The Runes of Isle Royale, River Road Publications (Spring Lake, MI), 2000.

Calling the Griffin, River Road Publications (Spring Lake, MI), 2001.

Madame Cadillac's Ghost, River Road Publications (Spring Lake, MI), 2002.

Greek Heritage, for Independence Publishing; Mark of the Bear Claw, for River Road Publications (Spring Lake, MI); Spirit of America: Old Abe the War Eagle, for River Road Publications (Spring Lake, MI).

Janie Lynn Panagopoulos is noted in her native Michigan and surrounding states for the historical fiction she has written about the area. She is the author of several works for young readers, including Train to Midnight, an adventure story about a family of slaves headed for Canada on the Underground Railroad, and a picture book titled A Place Called Home: Michigan's Mill Creek Story, which was selected by the State of Michigan as one of the featured books of the 2001 Read Michigan campaign.

With authentic historical detail, Janie Lynn Panagopoulos relates the story of the Campbell family, who built and ran a sawmill at the Straits of Mackinac during the American Revolution in A Place Called Home: Michigan's Mill Creek Story. (Illustrated by Gijsbert van Frankenhuyzen.)

Although the characters in her stories are generally fictional, Panagopoulos puts extensive effort into making sure that every other detail is accurate. To research one book, she canoed Michigan's Grand River in a birchbark vessel while wearing historically accurate clothes. On other occasions, the author traveled the entire length of the Erie Canal, slept in snow shelters, and attempted such historical modes of transportation as dogsleds and snowshoes.

Through her work, Panagopoulos strives to make the past come alive for her readers. "So often history is taught in such a removed manner that children don't relate to it," she told Rockford Register Star interviewer Julie Snively. "They need to realize history is a story about us and the connections we have."

Biographical and Critical Sources


Grand Rapids Press (Grand Rapids, MI), May 10, 2001, Matt VandeBunte, "Students Learn History from Author Panagopoulos," p. 4; March 28, 2002, Brian Donovan, "Aspiring Young Authors Learn How Acting Can Help," p. 3.

Green Bay Press-Gazette (Green Bay, WI), August 20, 1999, Jean Peerenboom, review of Train to Midnight, p. D1.

Rockford Register Star (Rockford, IL), August 30, 1999, Julie Snively, interview with Panagopoulos, p. 1C.


Jamie Lynn Panagopoulos Home Page, http://www.jlpanagopoulos.com/ (October 6, 2003).

River Road Publications Web Site, http://www.riverroadpublications.com/ (October 16, 2003), "Janie Lynn Panagopoulos."*

Additional topics

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