Kjelle, Marylou Morano 1954-

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KJELLE, Marylou Morano 1954-


Born August 7, 1954, in Plainfield, NJ. Education: Cook College, B.S., 1976; Rutgers University, M.S., 1978.


Office—P.O. Box 4202, Metuchen, NJ 08840. E-mail—[email protected].


Writer. Westfield Leader/Times of Scotch Plains Fanwood, Westfield, NJ, reporter/correspondent; Institute of Children's Literature, instructor; tutor of reading and writing. Publisher of Gabriel's Message, a free e-zine for Christian single mothers. Middlesex County Commission on Status of Women, vice chair, 1998, chair, 1999.


Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators.


The Waco Siege, Chelsea House (Philadelphia, PA), 2002.

Helping Hands: A City and a Nation Lend Their Support at Ground Zero, Chelsea House (Philadelphia, PA), 2003.

Raymond Damadian and the Story of the Open MRI, Mitchell Lane (Bear, DE), 2003. Hitler's Henchmen, Lucent (San Diego, CA), 2003.

Arkansas: AMyReportLinks.comBook, Enslow (Berkeley Heights, NJ), 2003.

Alabama: A MyReportLinks.com Book, Enslow (Berkeley Heights, NJ), 2003.

Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Chelsea House (Philadelphia, PA), 2003.

Katherine Paterson, Mitchell Lane (Hockessin, DE), 2004.

Contributor of "Children's Book Nook" column to the Westfield Leader/Times of Scotch Plains Fanwood.


Marylou Morano Kjelle's books cover a wide range of recent history, from the 1993 siege of the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas, to the rescue and recovery efforts that followed the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in 2001. In The Waco Siege, Kjelle examines the events leading up to the federal government's lethal raid, which left seventy-three Branch Davidians dead. The book is part of the "Great Disasters: Reforms and Ramifications" series, whose purpose is to "examine disasters and look at the changes made so that they would not be repeated," as Betsy Fraser explained in School Library Journal. In another book, Hitler's Henchmen, Kjelle profiles top Nazi officials, including Hermann Göring, commander-in-chief of the Luftwaffe (Air Force) and Hitler's designated successor; Joseph Goebbels, who was in charge of Nazi propaganda; Heinrich Himmler, head of the Gestapo (Germany's secret police) and organizer of the concentration camps; Rudolph Hess, third in command in the Nazi hierarchy; and Baldur von Schirach, the head of the Hitler Youth. The book "use[s] primary-source documents extensively," Paula J. LaRue noted in School Library Journal.

Kjelle told CA: "After nineteen years in a completely unrelated field, I took a leap of faith and became a full-time writer. In addition to writing nonfiction books for middle grade students and young adults, I also am a reporter for a local newspaper, an instructor for the Institute of Children's Literature, and a tutor of reading and writing for the Department of English at a local community college. I recently was awarded a county grant to teach journaling to middle school students at risk for anti-social behavior.

"One of the loves of my life is food, and currently I am studying for a certificate in culinary arts. My hope is to one day write with authenticity about food and its preparation.

"I am passionate about nonfiction because I believe we—society as a whole and each of us individually—can learn from people, places, and events, especially those that came before our time. I especially love writing (and reading) biographies. There is so much to learn from those who have already made their mark in the world. By writing about influential people, I hope to create a bridge, through my books, that connects what came before us with what is to come. To me, what is to come is the hopes, dreams, and potential stored in the hearts and minds of those who read my books and learn from the past how to create a better future."



School Library Journal, December, 2002, John Peters, review of Helping Hands: A City and a Nation Lend Their Support at Ground Zero, p. 163; January, 2003, Linda Wadleigh, review of Raymond Damadian and the Story of the Open MRI; April, 2003, Betsy Fraser, review of The Waco Siege, p. 184; July, 2003, Paula J. LaRue, review of Hitler's Henchmen, p. 140.


Marylou Morano Kjelle Home Page,http://ourcreativespace.com/maryloukjelle (December 11, 2003).