PERSONAL: Female. Education: Attended Justin Morrill College, Michigan State University.
ADDRESSES: Agent—c/o Author Mail, Franklin Watts/Children's Press, 555 Broadway, New York, NY 10012.
CAREER: Children's writer and urban designer.
(With Elizabeth A. Taylor) Tornadoes, Franklin Watts (New York, NY), 1989.
(With Elizabeth A. Taylor) Astronaut Training, Franklin Watts (New York, NY), 1990.
The American Flag, Franklin Watts (New York, NY), 1991.
The United Nations, Franklin Watts (New York, NY), 1995.
The Life and Times of Miami Beach (general nonfiction), Knopf (New York, NY), 1995.
Lake Erie, Children's Press (New York, NY), 1996.
Lake Huron, Children's Press (New York, NY), 1996.
Lake Michigan, Children's Press (New York, NY), 1996.
Lake Ontario, Children's Press (New York, NY), 1996.
Lake Superior, Children's Press (New York, NY), 1996.
St. Lawrence Seaway, Children's Press (New York, NY), 1996.
Floods, Franklin Watts (New York, NY), 1996.
Wildfires, Franklin Watts (New York, NY), 1997.
SIDELIGHTS: Ann Armbruster is the author of books on science, history, and geography for young readers, as well as the author of the 1995 The Life and Times of Miami Beach for general readers. Working with Elizabeth A. Taylor, Armbruster authored her first two books, Tornadoes and Astronaut Training, both aimed at children in the fourth to seventh grades. Tornadoes offers a comprehensive look at twisters, from their formation and movement to the safety precautions one can take to avoid injury when caught in the path of such a weather pattern. The book is illustrated with color photographs, as are all of Armbruster's works, and has an extensive bibliography. Booklist's Carolyn Phelan found Tornadoes a "useful resource for school projects or general interest." Similarly, Jonathan Betz-Zall, writing in School Library Journal, felt that the book "should appeal most to children living in tornado-affected areas, but will attract readers elsewhere, as well." Astronaut Training describes the selection and training of astronauts in a work that may, according to a Kirkus Reviews critic, "turn the thoughts of younger or less practiced middle readers towards careers in astronautics."
Armbruster's first solo book, The American Flag, is a "brief history of the Stars and Stripes," according to Marilyn Long Graham in School Library Journal. Graham also felt that Armbruster's "writing is clear and matter-of-fact." In the book Armbruster also deals with the manufacture of flags and the use of the flag "to symbolize both patriotism and protest," according to Booklist's Stephanie Zvirin.
The Life and Times of Miami Beach examines that city from the turn of the twentieth century to the end of the millennium. The book surveys the glory days of the Florida town, filled with wealthy entrepreneurs, movie stars, and gangsters, all of whom came to Miami for some warmth and rest. Armbruster further traces the city's decline from the 1970s to the 1990s, and the contemporary attempts at rejuvenation. Library Journal reviewer Ann E. Cohen found the title a "delight for young and old," while Rebecca Ascher-Walsh, writing in Entertainment Weekly, called it a "thoroughly entertaining historical account."
In 1996 Armbruster returned to children's nonfiction with a series of titles in the "True Book" series on the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence Seaway, all of which include history, sailing tales, and a look at the social and mercantile aspects of each body of water. She wrote Floods and Wildfires, two books in the "First Books" science series, each if which is "well researched, clearly and concisely written, and nicely organized," according to Lauren Peterson in Booklist. Both books offer historical perspectives on their respective subject and draw from sources such as myths as well as from scientific publications.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, December 1, 1989, Carolyn Phelan, review of Tornadoes, p. 740; July, 1991, Kathryn LaBarbera, review of Astronaut Training, p. 2043; January 1, 1992, Stephanie Zvirin, review of The American Flag; January 1, 1997, Lauren Peterson, review of Floods and Wildfires, p. 848.
Entertainment Weekly, January 12, 1996, Rebecca Ascher-Walsh, review of The Life and Times of Miami Beach, p. 52.
Kirkus Reviews, October 1, 2990, review of Astronaut Training, p. 1390.
Library Journal, September 15, 1995, Ann E. Cohen, review of The Life and Times of Miami Beach, p. 85.
New York Times, December 7, 1995, Mitchell Owens, review of The Life and Times of Miami Beach, p. C6.
Publishers Weekly, September 4, 1995, review of The Life and Times of Miami Beach, p. 61.
School Library Journal, December, 1989, Jonathan Betz-Zall, review of Tornadoes, p. 104; January, 1992, Marilyn Long Graham, review of The American Flag, p. 117.*