Sheehan, Sean 1951-

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SHEEHAN, Sean 1951-

PERSONAL: Born October 27, 1951, in London, England; son of Michael (a transport worker) and Eileen (a nurse; maiden name, Neary) Sheehan; married Patricia Marjorie Levy (a teacher and writer), August 1, 1987; children: Joseph Levy Sheehan, Danny Levy Sheehan. Education: Swansea University, B.A. (honors), 1973; Oxford University, P.G.C.E., 1975. Politics: Libertarian socialist. Hobbies and other interests: Gardening, fishing.

ADDRESSES: Home—Raferigeen, Kilcrohane, Bantry, County Cork, Ireland. E-mail— com

CAREER: Full-time children's writer and travel author. English teacher at schools in Newcastle upon Tyne, England, 1975-80, London, England, 1980-85, and Singapore, 1986-91; freelance writer, 1992—. Woodbridge High School, board of governors, 1996.

MEMBER: Greenpeace.


(With Tony Wheeler and John Murray) Ireland: Travel Survival Kit, Lonely Planet (London, England), 1992.

(Compiler) Dictionary of Irish Quotations, Mercier Press (Cork, Ireland), 1993.

(With Patrick Murray and Geraldine Skelly) Limelight, Educational Company of Ireland (Dublin, Ireland), 1993.

(With others) New York, Prentice Hall Travel (New York, NY), 1994.

(With others) Western Europe: Shoestring Guide, Lonely Planet (Berkeley, CA), 1994.

(Compiler) The Sayings of James Joyce, Duckworth (London, England), 1995.

(With wife, Patricia Levy) Southwest Ireland: Kerry & West Cork, Passport Books (Lincolnwood, IL), 1995.

Essential Bali and Lombok, National Textbook Company (Lincolnwood, IL), 1998.

(With Patricia Levy) The Blue Guide to Malaysia and Singapore, W. W. Norton (New York, NY), 1998.

(With Patricia Levy) Rome, Raintree Steck-Vaughn (Austin, TX), 1999.

Ancient Rome, Raintree Steck-Vaughn (Austin, TX), 1999.

Beijing: Beijing City Map, Fodor's Travel Publications (New York, NY), 1999.

Fodor's Citypack Hong Kong, Fodor's Travel Publications (New York, NY), 1999.

Hong Kong: Hong Kong City Map, Fodor's Travel Publications (New York, NY), 1999.

Benin and other African Kingdoms, Wayland Pub. Ltd., 1999.

(With Patricia Levy) Footprint Ireland Handbook, Passport Books (Lincolnwood, IL), 2000.

Wittgenstein: A Beginner's Guide, Trafalgar Square Books (North Pomfret, VT), 2001.

South Africa Since Apartheid, Hodder Wayland (London, England), 2002.

Illustrated Encyclopedia of Ancient Greece, J. Paul Getty Museum (Los Angeles, CA), 2002.

Independent Travelers 2002: Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore: The Budget Travel Guide, Globe Pequot (Guilford, CT), 2002.

(With Jocelyn Murray) Africa, Facts on File (New York, NY), 2003.

(With Anton Powell) Ancient Greece, Facts on File (New York, NY), 2003.

Fodor's Citypack Beijing's Best, Fodor's Travel Publications (New York, NY), 2003.

The Cold War, Smart Apple Books (North Mankato, MN), 2003.

D-Day, June 6, 1944, Raintree Steck-Vaughn (Austin, TX), 2003.

Footprint Copenhagen, Footprint Handbooks (Bath, England), 2003.

Castles, Smart Apple Media (North Mankato, MN), 2004.

Genocide, Raintree (Chicago, IL), 2004.

Greenpeace, Raintree (Chicago, IL), 2004.

World War II: The Pacific, World Almanac Library (Milwaukee, WI), 2004.


Austria, illustrated by Kelvin Sim and Suzana Fong, Marshall Cavendish (New York, NY), 1992.

Jamaica, Marshall Cavendish (New York, NY), 1993.

Pakistan, Marshall Cavendish (New York, NY), 1993.

Turkey, Marshall Cavendish (New York, NY), 1993.

Zimbabwe, Marshall Cavendish (New York, NY), 1993.

Cuba, Marshall Cavendish (New York, NY), 1994.

Romania, Marshall Cavendish (New York, NY), 1994.

Cambodia, Marshall Cavendish (New York, NY), 1995.

Lebanon, Marshall Cavendish (New York, NY), 1997.

Guatemala, Marshall Cavendish (New York, NY), 1998.

Angola, Marshall Cavendish (New York, NY), 1999.

Malta, Marshall Cavendish (New York, NY), 2000.

Cameroon, Marshall Cavendish (New York, NY), 2001.

Trinidad and Tobago, Marshall Cavendish (New York, NY), 2001.


(With Levy) The Ancient World of Rome, Raintree Steck-Vaughn (Austin, TX), 1999.

Great African Kingdoms, Raintree Steck-Vaughn (Austin, TX), 1999.


The Death Camps, Raintree Steck-Vaughn (Austin, TX), 2001.

After the Holocaust, Raintree Steck-Vaughn (Austin, TX), 2001.


Germany and Japan Attack, Raintree Steck-Vaughn (Austin, TX), 2001.

The Allied Victory, Raintree Steck-Vaughn (Austin, TX), 2001.

The Technology of Word War II, Raintree Steck-Vaughn (Austin, TX), 2003.

WORK IN PROGRESS: An encyclopedia of Ireland—a research interest.

SIDELIGHTS: "I was born and brought up in London, but—genetically at least—I am Irish," Sean Sheehan once commented. "Both my parents came to England in the late 1930s looking for work, but they never attempted to lose their Irish backgrounds and traditions. I myself now use an Irish passport and I find it difficult to think of myself as English. This, of course, is a contradiction because—having spent nearly all my life living and working in England—I'm obviously English whether I like it or not.

"Perhaps it's this underlying problem with a sense of identity that has nurtured and motivated my interest in travel and writing," remarked the author, who is well-known for his travel books and geographical histories for children. "To compound my sense of ambivalence, I feel very unsure about the value of writing about travel. Tourism, whether conducted in an armchair with colourful books about foreign places or actively pursued through foreign travel, is not something I always feel happy about promoting. I am becoming more interested in the past—especially Ireland's past, hence my interest in the idea of an encyclopedia of Ireland," related Sheehan, who is the author of Ireland: Travel Survival Kit, Dictionary of Irish Quotations, Southwest Ireland: Kerry & West Cork, and Footprint Ireland Handbook, among other books highlighting and detailing various aspects of many different countries.

As a part of Raintree Steck-Vaughan's "History Beneath Your Feet" series, Sheehan wrote Ancient Rome, which offered grade school children insight into the ancient Roman civilization. Ancient Rome presents archaeological findings with brightly colored photographs, informative text, and student activities, enticing students to learn about the historically rich Italian city. In a review of Ancient Rome for School Library Journal, Renner Coop wrote that the book presents "an interesting blend of facts about daily life and routines in ancient times," adding that the "archaeological data found here is fresh and exciting."

Sheehan penned many books for a popular children's series on international culture, published by Marshall Cavendish. The "Cultures of the World Series" includes Malta, a work that highlights cultural aspects of life in the beautiful Mediterranean Maltese islands. Each book in the series introduces grade-school children to the cultural, geographical, and historical aspects of each country, including the customs, languages, religions, and cuisines of its people, highlighted with colorful pictures. The books also discuss government and economy in a "clearly presented, easy-to-understand" manner, observed School Library Journal contributor Susan Shaver. Shaver described the series as "inviting and user friendly" and praised the books as "appealing, informative, and engaging resources." Cameroon, another Sheehan book in the "Cultures of the World Series," describes the West African country in extensive detail. Other titles in the series penned by Sheehan include Austria, Jamaica, Pakistan, Cuba, Guatemala, and Trinidad and Tobago.

The one-volume Illustrated Encyclopedia of Ancient Greece presents readers with an alphabetized resource covering a multitude of topics about historical Greece, including lifestyle, culture, and art. The book contains over two hundred entries and is supplemented with almost three hundred pictures and nine maps that take the reader on a journey through the ancient country. "The diversity of topics is impressive," maintained Joanne K. Cecere of School Library Journal, who termed the book "accessible." Many reviewers commented on the "trails" that Sheehan places throughout the book, which are boldface words to help readers expand on a particular topic by cross-referencing it to another subject in the book. Lori D. Kranz, in the Bloomsbury Review, related that the encyclopedia is "well designed" and "takes a fun approach to learning about ancient Greece." "Although written with a younger audience in mind," the Illustrated Encyclopedia of Ancient Greece is "sure to fascinate you, no matter what your age," wrote Rochelle Caviness on the Large Print Reviews Web site. "Each entry is clearly written and the information imparted in a concise and engaging manner," continued Caviness, who concluded that the "engrossing" book will "enthrall . . . anyone who chances to glance through the pages of this reader-friendly encyclopedia."

In Greenpeace, which is part of Raintree's "World Watch" series, Sheehan turns away from global histories and focuses on the history of the international non-profit organization, of which Sheehan has been a member for years. Greenpeace addresses pressing environmental issues and attempts to make the planet more livable and sustainable by campaigning for environmental awareness and change such as ancient forest protection and the cessation of whaling. Greenpeace charts the organization back to its origin as a small group of activists and follows it through the formation of some of its leading international campaigns. Gillian Engberg who reviewed Greenpeace and United Nations, a series book by Stewart Ross, for Booklist, commented that "both volumes are admirable in their coverage of the organizations' successes and failures" and the "complexity of the issues." Engberg described the books as "clear, balanced resources" that help students understand the organizations, as well as the "most pressing, complex global issues."



Bloomsbury Review, September-October, 2002, Lori D. Kranz, review of Illustrated Encyclopedia of Ancient Greece, p. 8.

Booklist, April 1, 2004, Gillian Engberg, review of Greenpeace, pp. 1380-1381.

Books for Keeps, March, 2001, review of The Death Camps, p. 12.

Children's Bookwatch, January, 1997, review of Lebanon, p. 3; May, 1998, review of Guatemala, p. 4; February, 2001, review of Cameroon, p. 2; June, 2001, review of Trinidad and Tobago, p. 7.

Horn Book Guide, fall, 1996, review of Cambodia, p. 383; fall, 1997, review of Lebanon, p. 392; fall, 1998, review of Guatemala, p. 434; spring, 1999, review of Rome, and Great African Kingdoms, p. 145; fall, 1999, review of Angola, p. 393; fall, 2001, review of Germany and Japan Attack, p. 427, review of Trinidad and Tobago, p. 440; spring, 2001, review of Cameroon, p. 12.

School Librarian, summer, 2001, review of The Death Camps, p. 106; fall, 2001, review of Germany and Japan Attack, p. 163.

School Library Journal, September, 1996, review of Cambodia, p. 235; June, 1997, review of Lebanon, p. 43; February, 1999, review of Guatemala, p. 126; March, 1999, review of Rome, p. 227; March, 2000, Renner Coop, review of Ancient Rome, p. 249; November, 2000, Susan Shaver, review of Malta, p. 175; February, 2001, Genevieve Ceraldi, review of Cameroon, p. 139; August, 2002, Joanne K. Cecere, review of Illustrated Encyclopedia of Ancient Greece, p. 142.

Times Educational Supplement, June 29, 2001, review of After the Holocaust, p. 17.


Large Print Reviews, (January 16, 2003), Rochelle Caviness, review of Illustrated Encyclopedia of Ancient Greece.

Oxford University Press Web site, (January 16, 2003), description of Illustrated Encyclopedia of Ancient Greece.

Raintree Web site, (May 7, 2004), description of Greenpeace.*