Koestler-Grack, Rachel A. 1973-
KOESTLER-GRACK, Rachel A. 1973-
Born August 4, 1973, in Milwaukee, WI; daughter of Arlen (an English professor) and Karen (a gift shop clerk) Koestler; married Merel Grack (an office manager), 2001; children: Victoria. Education: Minnesota State University, B.A., 1999. Politics: Republican. Religion: Lutheran.
Home and office— 7787 140th St., Glencoe, MN 55336. E-mail— [email protected]
Editor and author. Capstone Press, Mankato, MN, editor, 1999-2001; freelance writer.
Going to School during the Civil Rights Movement, Blue Earth Books (Mankato, MN), 2002.
Eddie Rickenbacker, Chelsea House Publishers (Philadelphia, PA), 2003.
The Iroquois: Longhouse Builders, Blue Earth Books (Mankato, MN), 2003.
The Seminole: Patchworkers of the Everglades, Blue Earth Books (Mankato, MN), 2003.
The Sioux: Nomadic Buffalo Hunters, Blue Earth Books (Mankato, MN), 2003.
Osceola, 1804-1838, Blue Earth Books (Mankato, MN), 2003.
Tecumseh, 1768-1813, Blue Earth Books (Mankato, MN), 2003.
Chief Joseph, Heinemann Library (Chicago, IL), 2004.
The Choctaw: Stickball Players of the South, Blue Earth Books (Mankato, MN), 2004.
The Story of Mother Jones, Chelsea Clubhouse (Philadelphia, PA), 2004.
The Story of Helen Keller, Chelsea Clubhouse (Philadelphia, PA), 2004.
The Story of Harriet Tubman, Chelsea Clubhouse (Philadelphia, PA), 2004.
The Inuit: Ivory Carvers of the Far North, Blue Earth Books (Mankato, MN), 2004.
The Story of Eleanor Roosevelt, Chelsea Clubhouse (Philadelphia, PA), 2004.
Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il, Chelsea House (Philadelphia, PA), 2004.
Mary Baker Eddy, Chelsea House Publishers (Philadelphia, PA), 2004.
The Story of Clara Barton, Chelsea Clubhouse (Philadelphia, PA), 2004.
Sacagawea, Heinemann Library (Chicago, IL), 2004.
The Story of Anne Frank, Chelsea Clubhouse (Philadelphia, PA), 2004.
The Space Shuttle Columbia Disaster, ABDO Daughters (Edina, MN), 2004.
Work in Progress
More nonfiction titles; a novel; a children's fiction book.
Rachel A. Koestler-Grack has had a passion for writing ever since she was a little girl. While working as an editor of a publishing house for several years, she had the opportunity to see her work published in book form, and as a freelance writer she has authored such nonfiction titles as The Story of Clara Barton, a biography of the U.S. Civil War heroine; Osceola: 1804-1838, an account of the life of the Seminole warrior who fought and led his people against the American army; and Tecumseh, 1768-1813, which recounts the attempts of a Shawnee leader to protect his people's way of life and heritage. These books provide children with a detailed biography, while filling in key bits of information that adds to the reader's understanding of the history of the period. Hazel Rochman wrote in a Booklist review that works such as Koestler-Grack's The Story of Clara Barton and The Story of Eleanor Roosevelt "will stimulate readers to find out more about the women and their times." Linda Greengrass noted in her School Library Journal review of Osceola that the author provides readers with "events in a sympathetic, yet neutral, tone," and added that, "in general, the stories are told in a straightforward and descriptive manner with a minimum of fictionalization."
Koestler-Grack told Something about the Author: "Writing has been a huge part of my life for many years. When I was in grade school, I occupied my time writing short poems, stories, and plays. My best friend and I spent long hours planning and performing the many dramas we created together. We'd even create scripts for all of the characters in our productions. My creativity followed me into high school. With my loyal co-writer at my side, I'd create skits for class and school functions. Many skits had a humorous twist and entertained audiences of classmates, parents, and school patrons.
"After graduation, I attended Minnesota State University, Mankato, then called Mankato State University. From 1991 to 1994, I majored in English. To help support myself, I worked at the campus tutorial center, tutoring English composition and math, and algebra. In April of 1994, I gave birth to my daughter, Victoria. The stresses and demands of single parenthood took me out of school and into the work force. Three years later, however, I found myself back in school, this time prepared to finish. I graduated in 1999 with a major in English, concentration in creative writing, and a minor in sociology. Before commencement even took place, I accepted a position as an editor with Capstone Press Publishers in Mankato. I passed up the formal graduation for a job in the field I loved most: writing.
"Two years of editing landed me an opportunity to author a book. Even though my true passion was in fiction, this chance was a key stepping stone to the published author I had always dreamed of becoming. The following season, I accepted two more titles. I felt I was running on the road of my wildest aspirations. About this time, my managing editor took a job with another publisher. I expressed to her an interest in becoming an independent freelance writer. She told me if I was willing to make that leap, she'd set me up with a series of books to write. So in the spring of 2001, I resigned my position as editor in lieu of a career as a full-time writer.
"A career change wasn't the only plunge I took that spring. I married the true love of my life: Merel Grack. It was a slightly unorthodox hitch, not one you hear of much anymore—love at first sight, and married six months to the day after we met. A devoted husband and father, he later tickled my daughter with the greatest gift of all: a real dad. In January, 2004, Victoria Kathryn Koestler officially became Victoria Kathryn Grack.
"Since the beginning of my freelance career in 2001, I have authored over twenty books, wrote a revision to one previously published book, and edited another. But my dreams are far from quenched. I am currently working on a children's fiction book as well as a novel. I am confident these stories will one day find a happy home on some bookworm's bedside table."
Biographical and Critical Sources
Booklist, March 1, 2004, Hazel Rochman, review of The Story of Clara Barton, p. 1203.
School Library Journal, April, 2003, Linda Greengrass, review of Osceola: 1804-1838, p. 150; June, 2004, Marilyn Fairbanks, review of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il, p. 154.