Kowalski, Kathiann M. 1955-
KOWALSKI, Kathiann M. 1955-
Born December 27, 1955, in Mineola, NY; daughter of Edward S. (a civil engineer) and Julianna L. (a teacher and elementary school administrator) Kowalski; married Michael G. Meissner (an attorney), June 16, 1979; children: Christopher Michael, Laura Kathryn, Bethany Lynn. Ethnicity: "Polish-and Slavic-American." Education: Hofstra University, B.A. (summa cum laude), 1976; Harvard University, J.D. (cum laude), 1979. Religion: Roman Catholic.
Squire, Sanders & Dempsey (law firm), Cleveland, OH, associate, 1979-88, partner, 1988-94; freelance writer, 1994—.
Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, Fairview Park Junior Women's Club, Phi Beta Kappa, Cleveland Council on World Affairs.
Outstanding Book Award (science category), Society of School Librarians International, 1996, for Hazardous Waste Sites; Henry Bergh Children's Book Honor (environment and ecology nonfiction category), American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, 2000, for The Everything Kids' Nature Book: Create Clouds, Make Waves, Defy Gravity, and Much More!; Young Adult Top Forty Nonfiction Titles selection, Pennsylvania School Librarians Association, 2000, for Teen Rights: At Home, at School, Online.
Hazardous Waste Sites, Lerner Publications (Minneapolis, MN), 1996.
Alternative Medicine: Is It for You?, Enslow Publishers (Springfield, NJ), 1998.
Campaign Politics: What's Fair? What's Foul?, Lerner Publications (Minneapolis, MN), 2000.
The Everything Kids' Nature Book: Create Clouds, Make Waves, Defy Gravity, and Much More!, Adams Media Corp. (Holbrook, MA), 2000.
The Everything Kids' Space Book: All about Rockets, Moon Landings, Mars, and More, Plus Space Activities You Can Do at Home!, Adams Media Corp. (Holbrook, MA), 2000.
Teen Rights: At Home, at School, Online, Enslow Publishers (Berkeley Heights, NJ), 2000.
The Debate over Genetically Engineered Foods: Healthy or Harmful?, Enslow Publishers (Berkeley Heights, NJ), 2002.
Poverty in America: Causes and Issues, Enslow Publishers (Berkeley Heights, NJ), 2003.
A Balancing Act: A Look at Checks and Balances, Lerner Publications (Minneapolis, MN), 2004.
Order in the Court: A Look at the Judicial Branch, Lerner Publications (Minneapolis, MN), 2004.
Global Warming, Benchmark Books (New York, NY), 2004.
Contributor of articles, short stories, and photographs to magazines, including Cobblestone, Straight, R-A-DA-R, Youth Update, Girls' Life, and Odyssey.
Kathiann M. Kowalski once remarked, "The challenge of writing nonfiction is to both entertain and inform. To do that, I must learn all I can about a topic and find the fun and excitement within a subject.
"In-depth research is work, but it's also great fun. Besides reading secondary sources, I delve into primary resources, such as historical materials and original studies. Interviews with experts round out my research and provide important insights.
"Once I am both knowledgeable and excited about a topic, it's time to write. I draw upon my creative writing skills to make subjects come alive. Besides sharing facts and data, I add drama with true-life anecdotes, specific details, and hard-hitting quotations.
"Once I have a draft, I edit and revise until the manuscript is ready to go to the publisher. Even after all that hard work, editors raise more questions and suggest changes. I use that constructive criticism to revise the manuscript yet again—and again if necessary. The goal is to make the book or article as good as it can be for its intended audience.
"Yes, writing requires discipline and determination. It is a highly creative craft, but it is also hard work. But I learn a lot in the process, and I enjoy writing. When young people can enjoy and learn from my writing, I feel really glad."
Biographical and Critical Sources
Booklist, July, 2000, Gillian Engberg, review of The Everything Kids' Nature Book: Create Clouds, Make Waves, Defy Gravity, and Much More!, p. 2022; August, 2000, Roger Leslie, review of Teen Rights: At Home, at School, Online, p. 2130.
School Library Journal, August, 2000, Mary R. Hoffman, review of Teen Rights, p. 200; March, 2001, Mary Mueller, review of Campaign Politics: What's Fair? What's Foul?, p. 270; November, 2003, Mary R. Hoffman, review of Poverty in America: Causes and Issues, p. 162; March, 2004, Lynda Ritterman, review of Order in the Court: A Look at the Judicial Branch, p. 238.*