Dow Phumiruk – Counting on Katherine: How Katherine Johnson Saved Apollo 13
Exploration , Youth / September 10, 2018

September 10, 2018 – Our time machine rockets to the moon — and misses — aboard the ill-fated Apollo 13. Saving the day is the African-American woman whose mathematical know-how guided the trio of Jim Lovell, Jack Swigert, and Fred Haise safely back home. As a child, Katherine Johnson loved math, and triumphed with her family’s support to learn despite segregated schools of the day. Bringing an out-of-this-word story to life for readers 5 to 9 years of age, is Dow Phumiruk, whose vivid illustrations blast off in Counting on Katherine: How Katherine Johnson Saved Apollo 13, written by Helaine Becker. Dow Phumiruk is a pediatrician with a passion for art who enjoys adventures at home, hiking on the trails of Colorado. Visit her online at or follow her @DowPhumiruk. We previously discussed Dow’s illustrations when we chatted with Jeanne Walker Harvey about their book, Maya Lin: Artist – Architect of Light and Lines. A special Happy Birthday to Katherine Johnson, who turned 100 years old just a couple of weeks before this episode’s air-date!     Podcast: Download (Duration: 44:10 — 101.1MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | RSS | More

Selene Castrovilla – Revolutionary Rogues: John André and Benedict Arnold
Colonial America , Youth / December 18, 2017

December 18, 2017 – This week — just in time to get stuffed into your young reader’s stocking — we travel back to a familiar location, at a pivotal moment in the American Revolution. The year is 1780, when one of the greatest heroes of the Continental Army — General Benedict Arnold — decides to betray the patriot cause by surrendering West Point to the British with the help of British spymaster Major John André. We talked about these infamous men when we interviewed Robert Norden, tavern keeper at the Old ’76 House in Tappan, New York, where patriots kept the captured Andre locked up after his capture and before his execution. You can enjoy that episode in the archives at or your favorite on-demand audio outlet. Our guide on this journey is award-winning young adult novelist and nonfiction author Selene Castrovilla who brings us: Revolutionary Rogues: Revolutionary Rogues: John André and Benedict Arnold. It’s the real history behind heavily dramatized stories such as AMC’s Turn: Washington’s Spies and the smash Broadway musical Hamilton. Selene’s third YA novel Melt, Book One of the Rough Romance Trilogy, racked up six honors including the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators…

Rich & Sandra Neil Wallace – Bound by Ice: A True North Pole Survival Story
Youth / October 30, 2017

October 30, 2017 – This week, our time machine bolts on its studded snow tires for a freezing journey to the North Pole — a trip we’ll make long before GPS, cell phones, or Gortex gloves — with Gilded Age explorers aboard the schooner USS Jeannette.  Returning to the show are husband-and-wife writing team Rich Wallace and Sandra Neil Wallace. They last joined us to discuss their book Blood Brother: Jonathan Daniels and His Sacrifice for Civil Rights. You can hear that chat in our archives at, or wherever you’re listening. Their book today is a world away from the sweltering Alabama heat of the 1960s. It’s Bound by Ice: A True North Pole Survival Story, and it’s aimed at readers nine to eighteen years of age, although I enjoyed it even at a good distance beyond my high school graduation. You’ve seen Sandra’s work as a news anchor and ESPN sportscaster, and Rich has written over three dozen novels for children and teens, including such as Babe Conquers the World co-written with Sandra. The Young Adult Library Services Association named his novel Wrestling Sturbridge, one of the 100 Best of the Best for the Twenty-First Century. You can…

Deborah Kops – Alice Paul and the Fight for Women’s Rights
Civil Rights , Youth / August 21, 2017

August 21, 2017 – This week, our time machine heads back 100 years, to a time when surging numbers of women were demanding the right to vote. Our guest is Deborah Kops, who has written more than twenty nonfiction books for children and young adults, including her latest for ages 11 to 18. It’s Alice Paul and the Fight for Women’s Rights: From the Vote to the Equal Rights Amendment. Alice’s name may not spark recognition and appreciation in the minds of today’s Americans, but Alice Paul’s bravery and dedication — her willingness to take on policemen, presidents, and even those in her own movement — make her a person worth remembering, and one that can inspire today’s young people. Visit, or follow our guest @DeborahKops on Twitter.       Podcast: Download (Duration: 44:20 — 101.5MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | RSS | More

Jeanne Walker Harvey – Maya Lin: Artist – Architect of Light and Lines
Architecture , Youth / July 24, 2017

July 24, 2017 – This week, we introduce children to the woman behind the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington D.C. The book (for young readers ages 4 to 8) is Maya Lin: Artist-Architect of Light and Lines, by San Francisco children’s author Jeanne Walker Harvey. Just how did a college student managed to win the design competition for what’s now the most frequently visited monument in the nation’s capital? To answer that question, we called up a pinch hitter to conduct the interview: Thriller author, practicing architect and father of five Tom Grace. You’ll recall Tom’s chats with best-selling author Gerald Posner on his book God’s Bankers: A History of Money and Power at the Vatican and with Hugh Howard on his book Architecture’s Odd Couple: Frank Lloyd Wright and Philip Johnson. You can enjoy those interviews in our archives wherever you’re listening now, or stream it at those pages. Visit our guest at or @JeanneWHarvey on Twitter. You can also check out her weekly blog, True Tales & a Cherry on Top, where Jeanne has reviewed over 140 picture-book biographies.     Podcast: Download (Duration: 35:54 — 82.2MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | RSS | More

Peggy Reiff Miller – The Seagoing Cowboy
Youth / August 29, 2016

August 29, 2016 – In this episode, our time machine sets sail in the aftermath of World War Two, on a mission to feed the hungry that endures to this day, through Heifer International — those folks who help you give the gift of livestock. It’s a storybook for kids called The Seagoing Cowboy, and it tells the story of the ships that once carried weapons and soldiers, turning to humanitarian cargo: Livestock, farmers, teachers and others, who answered the call to rebuild the devastation. Our guest is author Peggy Reiff Miller, the granddaughter of one such cowboy, 7,000 men from the ages of 16 to 72 who pitched in under the auspices of the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration. The Seagoing Cowboy is illustrated by Claire Ewart, and available exclusively through Brethren Press. You can join the effort to carry on the cowboy’s work, at Heifer International by visiting, and learn more about this story, at       Podcast: Download (Duration: 41:26 — 37.9MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | RSS | More

Chris Stevenson – Drum of Destiny
Colonial America , Youth / June 27, 2016

June 27, 2016 – Today, we jump through the Guardian of Forever and into New York City during the American Revolution — just in time for Independence Day 2016. Once there, we meet twelve-year-old Gabriel Cooper, an orphaned patriot who sets out to join the Continental Army. Our guest is Chris Stevenson, and his book is The Drum of Destiny, historical fiction for readers 9-12 years of age. You can find a teacher’s guide at, and also on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Chris also hosts a blog that focuses on the Revolution and Colonial period.  You can also get the Teaching Guide at Chris’s website.         Podcast: Download (Duration: 29:50 — 27.3MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | RSS | More

Betsy Harvey Kraft – The Fantastic Ferris Wheel
Youth / May 16, 2016

May 16, 2016 – Our time machine drops us off in December 1892, during the planning for Chicago’s Columbian Exposition — a forerunner of the 20th Century world’s fairs — with the perfect story for the boardwalks and carnivals of Summer 2016. At the ticket booth is Betsy Harvey Kraft, and she’s sharing The Fantastic Ferris Wheel: The Story of Inventor George Ferris. You may have seen her several other nonfiction books for young readers, including Theodore Roosevelt: Champion of the American Spirit. The Fantastic Ferris Wheel is a book aimed at children ages 5 to 9, but it’s fun — as the saying goes — for children of all ages. And it’s beautifully illustrated by Steven Salerno. You can see some of the over 20 books he’s brought to life at           Podcast: Download (Duration: 30:58 — 28.4MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | RSS | More

Jim Leeke – Matty Boy
Civil War , Youth / August 31, 2015

August 31, 2015 – In our last episode of August, we introduce you to our first History Author Show correspondent: Amanda Read. Amanda Read grew up across the States and overseas as an Army brat before her family settled on Fair Hill Farms in Alabama. She graduated from Troy University Magna Cum Laude in 2013 with a Bachelor of Science in History and a minor in Political Science. She’s done voice-over work on previous shows, performing dramatic readings from war diaries and the letters of First Lady Dolley Madison. Amanda has a love of old fashioned things, from dipping pens to vintage dresses. She even dresses her horse in period tack. She is passionate about two historical figures in particular: Isaac Newton and Harvey Wiley. Keep up with Amanda’s wide range of work at,, or on Twitter @SincerelyAmanda. While we’re meeting Amanda, we also enjoy her first interview: A chat with Jim Leeke, author of Matty Boy: A Civil War Novel for Young Readers. Amanda seemed perfect for this conversation. She not only counts both Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee as ancestors, but she’s the eldest of nine children. We’ll also hear from Jim Leeke again…