Michael Tunnell

Michael O. Tunnell taught children's literature at Brigham Young University for 24 years and has written several books about literature for young readers, including The Story of Ourselves: Teaching History Through Children’s Literature (Heinemann), and Children’s Literature Briefly (Pearson). He also has written chapters for various professional books and has published numerous professional articles in leading educational journals, including The Reading Teacher, Language Arts, The Horn Book, Children's Literature in Education, School Library Journal, The Journal of Educational Research, Book Links, Social Education, and Literacy Research and Instruction. He has also reviewed books for several publications, including Booklist. Tunnell has twice helped choose the John Newbery Medal winner, the most prestigious of children’s book awards. He and his wife, Glenna, live in Orem, Utah, and are the parents of four children and the grandparents of ten grandchildren. He retired from Brigham Young University as chair of the Department of Teacher Education.

Michael O. Tunnell also has written picture books, informational books, and novels for young readers of different ages. Many of his books are about historical topics, such as The Children of Topaz, a photo-essay about the Japanese-American internment camp located in Utah during World War II. Other examples include the picture book, Mailing May (illustrated by Ted Rand), which is the amazing true story of a five-year-old girl in Idaho who was mailed by parcel post to her grandmother in 1914 (an ALA Notable Book), and the novel, Brothers in Valor, based on the true story of three German teens who resisted Hitler during WWII (A Junior Library Guild Selection). He has written fantasy, such as the ghost story, School Spirits, and the “Arabian Nights” Moon Duet (Wishing Moon and Moon Without Magic). Wishing Moon received a starred review from Kirkus Reviews and won the Utah Book Award. Candy Bomber: The Story of the Berlin Airlift’s “Chocolate Pilot” is another of his history titles. It is a photo-essay about an American pilot who dropped candy-laden parachutes to children during the Berlin Airlift. Candy Bomber received a starred review from Booklist, won an Orbis Pictus Honor Book Award and the Beehive Book Award, and appeared on many best books lists. Some of his other books for young readers include the picture books Chinook!, The Joke’s on George, Halloween Pie, and Beauty and the Beastly Children, as well as The Prydain Companion, a guide to Lloyd Alexander’s Prydain Chronicles. His latest work is another Japanese American Relocation photo-essay, Desert Diary, which is due for release in 2020.

For further biographical information see the following sources:

  • Something About the Author, volume 103. Edited by Alan Hedblad. The Gale Group, 1999, pp. 168-173.
  • The Eighth Book of Junior Authors and Illustrators. Edited by Connie Rockman. H.W. Wilson, 2000, pp. 529-533.
  • Something About the Author, volume 157. The Gale Group, 2005, pp. 247-252.

Works

Bibliography

  • Chinook! Illustrated by Barry Root. New York: Tambourine Books (William Morrow), 1993.
  • The Joke’s on George, Illustrated by Kathy Osborn. New York: Tambourine Books (William Morrow), 1993.
  • Beauty and the Beastly Children, New York: Tambourine Books (William Morrow), 1993.
  • The Children of Topaz: The Story of a Japanese American Internment Camp Based on a Classroom Diary, Tunnell, Michael O. and George W. Chilcoat, New York: Holiday House, 1996.
  • The Children of Topaz: The Story of a Japanese American Internment Camp Based on a Classroom Diary, Tunnell, Michael O. and George W. Chilcoat, Tokyo: Kin-no-hoshi Sha, 1998. (Japanese language edition of The Children of Topaz.)
  • Mailing May, Illustrated by Ted Rand. New York: Greenwillow (William Morrow), 1997.
  • School Spirits, Holiday House, 1997.
  • Halloween Pie, Illustrated by Kevin O’Malley. Lothrop, Lee & Shepard (William Morrow), 1999.
  • Brothers in Valor: A Story of Resistance, Holiday House, 2001. Paperback edition, CreateSpace/Amazon, 2010.
  • The Prydain Companion: A Reference Guide to Lloyd Alexander’s Prydain Chronicles, Henry Holt, 2003
  • Wishing Moon, Dutton, 2004.
  • Moon Without Magic, Dutton, 2007.
  • Wishes on the Moon, Puffin, 2009.
  • The Candy Bomber: The Story of the Berlin Airlift’s “Chocolate Pilot.” Charlesbridge, 2010.
  • Desert Diary: Japanese American Kids Behind Barbed Wire, Charlesbridge, 2020.