Pelley, Kathleen T. 1955–

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Pelley, Kathleen T. 1955–

PERSONAL: Born June 11, 1955, in Glasgow, Scotland; daughter of Joseph (a telephone operator) and Kathleen (a bookkeeper; maiden name, Mulhall) Hampson; married Christopher Pelley (a financial advisor), 1982; children: Meghan, Roísin. Ethnicity: "Scottish (father was Irish)." Education: University of Edinburgh, B.A.; St. Andrews College, Glasgow, Scotland, diploma in education. Religion: Roman Catholic. Hobbies and other interests: Storytelling at an inner-city school, recording books on tape.

ADDRESSES: Agent—c/o Author Mail, Child Welfare League of America, Inc., 440 1st St. N.W., 3rd FL, Washington, DC 20001-2085.

CAREER: Children's writer and elementary school teacher in Gourock, Scotland.


The Giant King (juvenile), Child Welfare League of America (Washington, DC), 2003.

Inventor McGregor (juvenile), Farrar, Straus & Giroux (New York, NY), 2006.

WORK IN PROGRESS: Magnus Maximus, a Marvelous Measurer, publication by Farrar, Straus & Giroux, expected c. 2007.

SIDELIGHTS: Kathleen T. Pelley told CA: "Ever since I was a little girl, I loved listening to stories on the radio, and I fell in love with the music of language. I write stories as a way of pointing to some beauty or truth I have known.

"My work is influenced by many things: my Irish/ Scots roots, a love of fairy tales, great writers, the people in my life who have loved me, and my Irish father's reverence for the earth. I also read picture books twice a month at an elementary school, and writers like Eileen Spinelli, Eve Bunting, Mary Ann Hoberman, as well as C.S. Lewis and George Macdonald, have all influenced my work.

"I write five or six days a week in the mornings. I use paper and pencil. Later I transpose to the computer. I rewrite a story maybe twenty times before it is finished.

"The Giant King deals with issues of belonging and the roots of prejudice. My father was from Northern Ireland, and I witnessed the suffering inflicted by people using labels. As a newcomer to America, I also experienced feelings of not belonging, of being an outsider, and all these influenced the writing of my book.

"As a student of history, I always enjoyed writing essays; and as an elementary school teacher, I always enjoyed writing with my students. But when I came to America I began to write my own stories as a way of coping with the homesickness I felt. Indeed, the most surprising thing I have learned as a writer is that writing is a way of discovering more about yourself and the world."



School Library Journal, February, 2004, Kathleen Simonetta, review of The Giant King, p. 121.


Kathleen T Pelley—Scottish Children's Author, (November 26, 2005).

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Pelley, Kathleen T. 1955–

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