Michael O. Tunnell's book titles include Mailing May (Greenwillow), The Children of Topaz (Holiday House), Wishing Moon (Dutton), and Candy Bomber (Charlesbridge). He teaches children's literature at Brigham Young University, and he has served on the Newbery Award Committee and on the selection committee for the NCTE Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children. Tunnell also has published several professional books, including The Story of Ourselves: Teaching History Through Children’s Literature (Heinemann) and Children’s Literature, Briefly (Prentice Hall), and has written articles for a variety of educational journals. He and his wife, Glenna, live in Orem, Utah. They have four grown children.
Michael O. Tunnell writes picture books, informational books, and novels for primary, middle grade, and young adult readers. Many of his books are about historical topics, such as The Children of Topaz (Holiday House, 1996), a non-fiction, photo-essay about the Japanese-American internment camp located in Utah during World War II. It is based on an illustrated diary kept by a third grade class interned during 1943. Other examples include the picture book, Mailing May (Greenwillow, 1997; illustrated by Ted Rand), which is the amazing true story of a five-year-old girl in Idaho who was mailed by parcel post to her grandmother in 1914 (ALA Notable Book), and the novel, Brothers in Valor (Holiday House, 2001), based on the actual story of three young Germans who resisted Hitler during WWII. He also writes fantasy, such as his ghost story, School Spirits (Holiday House, 1997) and his "Arabian Nights" novel titled Wishing Moon (Dutton, 2004), which received a starred review from Kirkus Reviews and won the Utah Book Award. A sequel to Wishing Moon titled Moon Without Magic was released in October of 2007. His latest book, Candy Bomber: The Story of the Berlin Airlift's "Chocolate Pilot"(Charlesbridge, 2010), is an Orbis Pictus Honor Book and a NCSS/CBC Notable Trade Book in the Social Studies for 2011. Other titles include the picture books Chinook!, The Joke’s on George, Halloween Pie, and Beauty and the Beastly Children, as well as The Prydain Companion, a guide to Lloyd Alexander’s Prydain Chronicles.
His books have received numerous awards and have appeared on many "best books" lists (ALA Notable Children's Books, New York Public Library Books for the Teenage, Orbis Pictus Honor Book award, CCBC Choices, Notable Books for a Global Society, Notable Books in the Field of Social Studies, Teacher's Choices, Notable Books in the Language Arts, Parents' Choice Award, Carter G. Woodson Honor Book Award, Mormon Letters Award, Utah Book Award, VOYA Nonfiction Honor List, etc.).
For further biographical information see the following sources:
Something About the Author, volume 103. Edited by Alan Hedblad. The Gale Group, 1999, pp. 168-173.
The Eighth Book of Junior Authors and Illustrators. Edited by Connie Rockman. H.W. Wilson, 2000, pp. 529-533.
Something About the Author, volume 157. The Gale Group, 2005, pp. 247-252.
Member since 1993
Region: Utah/Southern Idaho
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