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Kathi Appelt (born July 6, 1954)[1] is an American author of more than forty books for children and young adults. She won the annual PEN USA award for Children's Literature recognizing The Underneath (2008).[2]

Kathi Appelt
Appelt at the 2017 Texas Book Festival
Appelt at the 2017 Texas Book Festival
BornJuly 6, 1954
Fayetteville, North Carolina
OccupationWriter, writing teacher
GenreChildren's literature, picture books, non-fiction



Kathi Appelt was born in Fayetteville, North Carolina,[1] and grew up in Houston, Texas. She graduated from Texas A&M University and lives in College Station, Texas.[citation needed]

Appelt is the author of more than 30 books. She writes novels, picture books, poetry, and nonfiction for children and young adults.[citation needed] Her books have been translated into several languages: Spanish, Chinese, French, and Swedish.[citation needed]

Her first novel was The Underneath, illustrated by David Small and published by Simon & Schuster in 2008. It features a cat and dog who live mainly beneath an old house in the Louisiana–Texas bayou. For that work she received the annual Children's Literature award from PEN Center USA[2] and she was also a runner-up for the National Book Award (National Book Award for Young People's Literature finalist)[3] and the American Library Association Newbery Medal (Newbery Honor Book).[4]

Her papers are held in the de Grummond Children's Literature Collection at the University of Southern Mississippi (unprocessed manuscripts collection, 1985–2005).[5]

Selected worksEdit

  • The Underneath, illustrated by David Small (Simon & Schuster, 2008)
  • Brand-New Baby Blues, illustrated by Kelly Murphy (HarperCollins, 2009)
  • Keeper, illus. August Hall (Atheneum Books, 2010)
  • Down Cut Shin Creek: The Pack Horse Librarians of Kentucky, co-authored by Jeanne Cannella Schmitzer (HarperCollins, 2001; Purple House Press 2019)


  1. ^ a b "Kathi Appelt – Summary Bibliography". ISFDB. Retrieved 2014-09-24. Select a title to see its linked publication history and general information. Select a particular edition (title) for more data at that level, such as a front cover image or linked contents.
  2. ^ a b "2009 Lit Awards". PEN Center USA ( Archived 2010-04-05. Retrieved 2014-09-24.
  3. ^ "2008 National Book Award Finalist, Young People's Literature: Kathi Appelt". National Book Foundation. With linked interview transcript.
  4. ^ "Newbery Medal and Honor Books, 1922–Present". Association for Library Service to Children. American Library Association.
  5. ^ "Kathi Appelt Papers". University of Southern Mississippi Libraries.

External linksEdit