Skip to main content
Select Source:

Fradin, Judith Bloom 1945–

Fradin, Judith Bloom 1945–

Personal

Born January 8, 1945, in Chicago, IL; daughter of Harold J. (a postal supervisor) and Elsie R. (a secretary and homemaker) Bloom; married Dennis Brindell Fradin (a writer), March 19, 1967; children: Anthony, Diana, Michael. Education: Northwestern University, B.A., 1967; Northeastern Illinois University, M.A., 1975. Politics: "Local." Religion: Jewish. Hobbies and other interests: "Trying to grow daisies."

Addresses

Home—Evanston, IL. E-mail—yudiff@aol.com.

Career

High school English and history teacher, 1967-75 and 1982-90; Northeastern Illinois University, Chicago, writing instructor, 1975-82; photo researcher, 1985—; researcher and writer, 1990—. Author-in-residence, Luther Burbank Elementary School, Chicago, IL. President, Southwest Evanston Associated Residents (SWEAR).

Awards, Honors

With husband, Dennis Brindell Fradin: Flora Stieglitz Straus Award, Bank Street College of Education, Children's Books of Distinction Award, Riverbank Review, and Smithsonian Book of the Year designation, all 2001, all for Ida B. Wells; Golden Kite Honor Book for Non-fiction, Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, 2004, and Carter G. Woodson Award, American Library Association, 2005, both for The Power of One.

Writings

WITH HUSBAND, DENNIS BRINDELL FRADIN

Ida B. Wells: Mother of the Civil Rights Movement, Clarion Books (New York, NY), 2000.

Who Was Sacagawea?, Grosset & Dunlap (New York, NY), 2002.

Fight On!: Mary Church Terrell's Battle for Integration, Clarion (New York, NY), 2003.

The Power of One: Daisy Bates and the Little Rock Nine, Clarion (New York, NY), 2004.

Jane Addams: Champion of Democracy, Clarion (New York, NY), 2006.

5,000 Miles to Freedom: Ellen and William Craft's Flight from Slavery, National Geographic (Washington, DC), 2006.

Volcanoes, National Geographic (Washington, DC), 2007.

The Lewis and Clark Expedition, Benchmark (New York, NY), 2007.

Hurricanes, National Geographic (Washington, DC), 2007.

Earthquakes: Witness to Disaster, National Geographic (Washington, DC), 2008.

"FROM SEA TO SHINING SEA" SERIES; WITH DENNIS BRINDELL FRADIN

Montana, Children's Press (Chicago, IL), 1992.

Arkansas, Children's Press (Chicago, IL), 1994.

Connecticut, Children's Press (Chicago, IL), 1994.

Delaware, Children's Press (Chicago, IL), 1994.

Indiana, Children's Press (Chicago, IL), 1994.

Maryland, Children's Press (Chicago, IL), 1994.

North Dakota, Children's Press (Chicago, IL), 1994.

Washington, Children's Press (Chicago, IL), 1994.

West Virginia, Children's Press (Chicago, IL), 1994.

Wyoming, Children's Press (Chicago, IL), 1994.

Kansas, Children's Press (Chicago, IL), 1995.

Louisiana, Children's Press (Chicago, IL), 1995.

Minnesota, Children's Press (Chicago, IL), 1995.

Mississippi, Children's Press (Chicago, IL), 1995.

Nevada, Children's Press (Chicago, IL), 1995.

Oklahoma, Children's Press (Chicago, IL), 1995.

Oregon, Children's Press (Chicago, IL), 1995.

Puerto Rico, Children's Press (Chicago, IL), 1995.

Rhode Island, Children's Press (Chicago, IL), 1995.

South Dakota, Children's Press (Chicago, IL), 1995.

OTHER

Contributor of articles and photographs to Footsteps and Cobblestone.

Sidelights

Judith Bloom Fradin has partnered with her husband, writer Dennis Brindell Fradin, to create a number of award-winning nonfiction works, including The Power of One: Daisy Bates and the Little Rock Nine. A former educator who has taught both high-school and college writing courses, Fradin began her literary career in the 1980s as a researcher for a nonfiction book series her husband was producing on America's thirteen colonies. The Fradins subsequently collaborated on the informational "From Sea to Shining Sea" series. Focusing on the unique history and geography of many states in the union, the series also presents famous people who hail from each state, and the state's current developments and future trends as well.

Fradin once commented that when she and her husband began the "From Sea to Shining Sea" books, she did most of the research and he wrote them. "I spent hours each day in local and university libraries seeking information about recent events in each state. I also gathered biographical material for the ‘Famous People’ section of each book. Dennis and I often disagreed about which people and events should be included. Finally he said, ‘If you think you could do better, why don't you write those sections?’" Since 1994 she has contributed a significant portion of the writing to each of their collaborative projects.

Expanding their writing focus in 2000, the Fradins started penning nonfiction biographical accounts of successful female activists. Ida B. Wells: Mother of the Civil Rights Movement was the first such work, and this award-winning biography was followed by Fight On!: Mary Church Terrell's Battle for Integration. Drawing on actual diaries, letters, and autobiographical information, as well as on other accumulated research, in Ida B. Wells the Fradins convey the passionate crusade of journalist Ida B. Wells as she struggles to fight against the racially segregating Jim Crow laws, which finally came to an end in the 1930s. After her friend was killed by a white mob because his grocery store was apparently too successful, Wells boldly spoke out against the atrocities taking place around her. Because Ida B. Wells contains photographs of actual lynching victims, some reviewers found it to be excessively graphic, while others maintained that such pictures convey the severe reality of a brutal period in U.S. history. "This stellar biography of one of history's most inspiring woman offers an excellent overview of Wells' life and contributions," stated Leah J. Sparks in School Library Journal, and Booklist contributor John Peters wrote: "Of the several recent biographies of this colorful reformer for young readers, this is by far the most moving and complete."

The Fradins made a fresh impact on young readers when they chronicled the fight of integration activist Mary Church Terrell in Fight On! Born prior to emancipation, Terrell attended Oberlin College, was the first black woman on the Washington, DC, Board of Education, and dedicated her life to promoting civil rights. At the age of eighty-nine she won a monumental 1953 U.S. Supreme Court decision to desegregate eating places in the nation's capital. As with their biography of Wells, in Fight On! the Fradins utilize Terrell's own writings and words to clearly impart the passion behind her crusade, and photographs of the period enhance readers' understanding of the events being discussed. In a School Library Journal review, Jennifer Ralston described the book as a "carefully researched" and "inspiring picture of a woman who fought for the rights awarded every American." Calling the work "very readable and handsomely designed," Carolyn Phelan added in Booklist that Fight On! "presents the life of an educated, energetic, and determined African American woman within the context of her times."

In The Power of One, the Fradins examine the life of another important civil rights activist. Raised by foster parents after the murder of her birth mother, Daisy Bates cofounded the Arkansas State Press, a weekly newspaper for African Americans, served as president of the Arkansas chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), and helped counsel the Little Rock Nine, a group of black students who braved hatred and insults to integrate Central High School in Little Rock in 1957. The Power of One was named a Golden Kite Honor Book for Nonfiction and garnered the Carter G. Woodson Award. Readers will have "a clear-eyed appreciation for the Little Rock Nine's characters and accomplishments," noted a critic in Kirkus Reviews. "The Fradins have a lively style … and a smooth way of bringing a large cast of persons to life," remarked Horn Book contributor Roger Sutton, and Jennifer Mattson observed in her Booklist review that "the scrupulously documented storytelling and poignant journalistic photos sharply evoke the experiences" of the individuals at the center of the controversy. According to Ralston, "this compelling biography clearly demonstrates that one person can indeed make a difference."

The Fradins have also teamed up to write Jane Addams: Champion of Democracy, a biography of the humanitarian, peace activist, and Nobel Prize winner. A graduate of Rockford Female Seminary, Addams founded the social settlement Hull House on Chicago's West Side in 1889. Hull House provided educational and social services to the needy, including child-care facilities, an employment bureau, and citizenship classes. Addams also played a major role in several national organizations, serving as vice president of the Campfire Girls and voicing her support for the NAACP. A pacifist, Addams attended the International Congress of Women in 1915, hoping to prevent World War I, and later became the first president of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom. She was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1931. "A fascinating and rich life is related in strong, unfussy prose by the Fradins," noted GraceAnne A. DeCandido in a review of Jane Addams for Booklist, and Janet S. Thompson wrote in School Library Journal that the authors effectively establish a context for their subject's accomplishments by "placing Hull House and the activism of Addams and her friends within the sphere of the history they so clearly influenced." In the words of Horn Book contributor Margaret A. Bush, "the Fradins present a complex woman whose ideas are enduring and particularly timely in our day."

In 5,000 Miles to Freedom: Ellen and William Craft's Flight from Slavery the Fradins recount an incredible true story. In 1848 Ellen Craft, a light-skinned African American, disguised herself as a wealthy white gentleman and traveled by train and steamboat to Boston with her husband, William, who was disguised as her slave escort. The fugitive couple made their way to England, where they worked for abolitionist causes, and eventually returned to the United States in 1869. In Booklist, Hazel Rochman praised "the carefully documented narrative," and Patricia Ann Owens, writing in School Library Journal, noted that the work "presents the events in [the Crafts'] lives in an exciting, page-turner style that's sure to hold readers' attention."

Biographical and Critical Sources

PERIODICALS

Booklist, February 15, 2000, John Peters, review of Ida B. Wells: Mother of the Civil Rights Movement, p. 1105; March 1, 2000, Stephanie Zvirin, review of Ida B. Wells, p. 1248; February 15, 2001, Hazel Rochman, review of Ida B. Wells, p. 1152; June 1, 2003, Carolyn Phelan, review of Fight On!: Mary Church Terrell's Battle for Integration, p. 1789; February 1, 2005, Jennifer Mattson, review of The Power of One: Daisy Bates and the Little Rock Nine, p. 967; March 15, 2006, Hazel Rochman, review of 5,000 Miles to Freedom: Ellen and William Craft's Flight from Slavery, p. 43; October 15, 2006, GraceAnne A. DeCandido, review of Jane Addams: Champion of Democracy, p. 46.

Horn Book, May, 2000, Anita L. Burkam, review of Ida B. Wells, p. 331; July-August, 2003, Anita L. Burkam, review of Fight On!, p. 478; March-April, 2005, Roger Sutton, review of The Power of One, p. 214; November-December, 2006, Margaret A. Bush, review of Jane Addams, p. 732.

Kirkus Reviews, January 1, 2005, review of The Power of One, p. 51; October 15, 2006 review of Jane Addams, p. 1070.

Publishers Weekly, March 3, 2003, review of Fight On!, p. 77; November 6, 2006, review of Jane Addams, p. 63.

School Library Journal, August, 1995, p. 146; April, 2000, Leah J. Sparks, review of Ida B. Wells, p. 148; June, 2002, Nancy Collins-Warner, review of Who Was Sacagawea?, p. 120; May, 2003, Jennifer Ralston, review of Fight On!, p. 169; April, 2005, Jennifer Ralston, review of The Power of One, p. 150; May, 2006, Patricia Anne Owens, review of 5,000 Miles to Freedom, p. 145; November, 2006, Janet S. Thompson, review of Jane Addams, p. 158.

ONLINE

Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators Web site,http://www.scbwi.org/ (December 1, 2007), "Judith Bloom Fradin and Dennis Fradin."

Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators—Illinois Web site,http://www.scbwi-illinois.org/ (December 1, 2007), "Judith Bloom Fradin."

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Fradin, Judith Bloom 1945–." Something About the Author. . Encyclopedia.com. 18 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Fradin, Judith Bloom 1945–." Something About the Author. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 18, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/children/scholarly-magazines/fradin-judith-bloom-1945

"Fradin, Judith Bloom 1945–." Something About the Author. . Retrieved August 18, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/children/scholarly-magazines/fradin-judith-bloom-1945

Fradin, Judith (Bernette) Bloom 1945-

FRADIN, Judith (Bernette) Bloom 1945-

Personal

Born January 8, 1945, in Chicago, IL; daughter of Harold J. (a postal supervisor) and Elsie R. (a secretary and homemaker) Bloom; married Dennis Brindell Fradin (a writer), March 19, 1967; children: Anthony, Diana, Michael. Education: Northwestern University, B.A., 1967; Northeastern Illinois University, M.A., 1975. Politics: "Local." Religion: Jewish. Hobbies and other interests: Trying to grow dahlias.

Addresses

Home and office 2121 Dobson, Evanston, IL 60202.

Career

High school English and history teacher, 1967-75, 1982-90; Northeastern Illinois University, Chicago, writing instructor, 1975-82; photo researcher, 1985; researcher and writer, 1990. President, Southwest Evanston Associated Residents (SWEAR).

Writings

"from sea to shining sea" series; with husband, dennis brindell fradin

Montana, Children's Press (New York, NY), 1992.

Arkansas, Children's Press (New York, NY), 1994.

Delaware, Children's Press (New York, NY), 1994.

Connecticut, Children's Press (New York, NY), 1994.

Indiana, Children's Press (New York, NY), 1994.

Maryland, Children's Press (New York, NY), 1994.

North Dakota, Children's Press (New York, NY), 1994.

Washington, Children's Press (New York, NY), 1994.

West Virginia, Children's Press (New York, NY), 1994.

Wyoming, Children's Press (New York, NY), 1994.

Minnesota, Children's Press (New York, NY), 1995.

Louisiana, Children's Press (New York, NY), 1995.

Kansas, Children's Press (New York, NY), 1995.

Mississippi, Children's Press (New York, NY), 1995.

Nevada, Children's Press (New York, NY), 1995.

Puerto Rico, Children's Press (New York, NY), 1995.

Oklahoma, Children's Press (New York, NY), 1995.

Oregon, Children's Press (New York, NY), 1995.

Rhode Island, Children's Press (New York, NY), 1995.

South Dakota, Children's Press (New York, NY), 1995.

other

(With Dennis Brindell Fradin) Ida B. Wells: Mother of the Civil Rights Movement, Clarion Books (New York, NY), 2000.

(With Dennis Brindell Fradin) Who Was Sacagawea?, Grosset & Dunlap (New York, NY), 2002.

(With Dennis Brindell Fradin) Fight On!: Mary Church Terrell's Battle for Integration, Clarion Books (New York, NY), 2003.

(With Dennis Brindell Fradin) The Power of One: Daisy Bates and the Little Rock Nine, Clarion Books (New York, NY), 2004.

Contributor of articles and photographs to Footsteps magazine and Cobbestone.

Work in Progress

With husband Dennis Brindell Fradin, Five Thousand Miles to Freedom, based on the story of escaped slaves Ellen and William Craft, for National Geographic Children's Books, spring, 2005.

Sidelights

Judith Bloom Fradin has partnered with her husband, writer Dennis Brindell Fradin, to create the informational "From Sea to Shining Sea" series. Focusing on the unique history and geography of many states in the union, the series also presents famous people who hail from each state, and the state's current developments and future trends as well. Fradin once told SATA that when she and her husband began the "From Sea to Shining Sea" series, she did most of the research and he wrote them. "I spent hours each day in local and university libraries seeking information about recent events in each state. I also gathered biographical material for the 'Famous People' section of each book. Dennis and I often disagreed about which people and events should be included. Finally he said, 'If you think you could do better, why don't you write those sections?'" Since 1994 she has contributed a significant portion of the writing of each of their collaborative projects.

Expanding their writing focus in 2000, the Fradins started penning nonfiction biographical accounts of successful female activists. In 2000 Ida B. Wells: Mother of the Civil Rights Movement was published, and was followed in 2003 by Fight On! Mary Church Terrell's Battle for Integration. Drawing on actual diaries, letters, and autobiographical information, as well as other accumulated research, the Fradins convey the passionate crusade of journalist Ida B. Wells as she struggles to fight against the racially segregating Jim Crow laws, which finally came to an end in the 1930s. After her friend was killed by a white mob because his grocery store was apparently too successful, Wells boldly spoke out against the atrocities taking place around her. Because Ida B. Wells contains photographs of actual lynching victims, some reviewers found it to be excessively graphic, while others maintained that such pictures convey the severe reality of a brutal period in U.S. history. "This stellar biography of one of history's most inspiring woman offers an excellent overview of Wells' life and contributions," stated Leah J. Sparks in School Library Journal, while Booklist contributor John Peters wrote: "Of the several recent biographies of this colorful reformer for young readers, this is by far the most moving and complete."

The Fradins made a fresh impact on young readers when they chronicled the fight of integration activist Mary Church Terrell in Fight On! Born prior to emancipation, Terrell attended Oberlin College, was the first black women on the Washington, D.C., Board of Education, and dedicated her life to promoting civil rights. At the age of eighty-nine she won a monumental 1953 U.S. Supreme Court decision to desegregate eating places in Washington, D.C. As with their biography of Wells, the Fradins utilize Terrell's own writings and words to clearly impart the passion behind her crusade, and photographs of the period enhance readers' understanding of the events being discussed. In a School Library Journal review, Jennifer Ralston called Fight On! a "carefully researched" and "inspiring picture of a woman who fought for the rights awarded every American." Carolyn Phelan, in Booklist, noted of Fight On! that, "Very readable and handsomely designed, this biography presents the life of an educated, energetic, and determined African American woman within the context of her times."

Biographical and Critical Sources

periodicals

Booklist, February 15, 2000, John Peters, review of Ida B. Wells: Mother of the Civil Rights Movement, p. 1105; March 1, 2000, Stephanie Zvirin, review of Ida B. Wells, p. 1248; February 15, 2001, Hazel Rochman, review of Ida B. Wells, p. 1152; June 1, 2003, Carolyn Phelan, review of Fight On! Mary Church Terrell's Battle for Integration, p. 1789.

Horn Book, May, 2000, Anita L. Burkam, review of Ida B. Wells: Mother of the Civil Rights Movement, p. 331; July-August, 2003, Anita L. Burkam, review of Fight On! Mary Church Terrell's Battle for Integration, p. 478.

Publishers Weekly, March 3, 2003, review of Fight On!, p. 77.

School Library Journal, August, 1995, p. 146; April, 2000, Leah J. Sparks, review of Ida B. Wells, p. 148; December, 2000, review of Ida B. Wells, p. 53; May, 2003, Jennifer Ralston, review of Fight On!, p. 169.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Fradin, Judith (Bernette) Bloom 1945-." Something About the Author. . Encyclopedia.com. 18 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Fradin, Judith (Bernette) Bloom 1945-." Something About the Author. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 18, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/children/scholarly-magazines/fradin-judith-bernette-bloom-1945

"Fradin, Judith (Bernette) Bloom 1945-." Something About the Author. . Retrieved August 18, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/children/scholarly-magazines/fradin-judith-bernette-bloom-1945