I'm the author of six books for young people (Abraham Lincoln for Kids, The American Revolution for Kids, The Civil War for Kids, Leonardo da Vinci for Kids, Lewis and Clark for Kids, and Marco Polo for Kids.) Under my maiden name, Janis Martinson, I co-wrote The World Don't Owe Me Nothing: The Life and Times of Delta Bluesman David Honeyboy Edwards.
With each of my children’s books, I've tried to share my enthusiasm for history while presenting interesting ideas and messages for kids to consider. Young readers of my Lewis and Clark book will learn about ecology and the ways of native peoples while crossing North America with the brave members of the Corps of Discovery. I wrote Marco Polo for Kids hoping kids would find excitement in the history of ancient civilizations as well as learn a bit about other cultures and world religions. My love for American history made writing Abraham Lincoln for Kids, The Civil War for Kids and The American Revolution for Kids so much fun! My hope is that these books will inspire kids to learn more about their country's past and to play important roles in its future. Exploring the era of the Renaissance through the life of that fascinating genius, Leonardo da Vinci helped me, and hopefully my readers, realize the importance of creativity and art. It's been really gratifying to meet kids, through my school visits and camps, who have taken my books and their activities to greater levels.
I've worked in bookstores, libraries, offices, restaurants, in grade schools, and on college campuses. My favorite activities are camping, hiking, birdwatching, attending Civil War reenactments, and, most of all, reading. I grew up on the south side of Chicago. I am now living in Northern California with my husband, Jeff, and our cat, Ruckus.
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