TTLG Author/Illustrator Profiles

Johanna Hurwitz

Johanna Hurwitz

Johanna Frank was born on October 9, 1937 in New York City, New York to Nelson and Tillie (Miller) Frank. Her father was a journalist and a bookseller, and her mother was a library assistant.

Johanna's parents met in a bookstore. That seemed to be the perfect starting point for the family since books were always an important part of the family life. In fact, as soon as she was old enough, she signed up to get a library card so she could get more books that she had never read before.

Her interest in the library did not stop with being a visitor. Johanna started working for the New York Public Library while she was still in high school Upon graduation, she went to Queen's College (now the City University of New York) and received a B.A. in 1958. She went on to get her Master's in Library Science from Columbia University the following year.

In 1959, Johanna became a Children's Librarian at the New York Public Library, which was a position she held until 1963.

Johanna married her husband Uri Levi Hurwitz, a college professor and author, on February 19, 1962. They have two children: Nomi and Beni.

Johanna returned to Queens College of the City University of New York in 1965 to take a position as a lecturer on children's literature. Three years later, she returned to the field of librarianship when she to a position as Children's Librarian at the Calhoun School in New York City. She would keep the same position but move twice over the years until she started writing full time. She took a position at the Manor Oaks School in New Hyde Park, New York in 1975, and she found herself in Great Neck, New York in 1977.

While her first book was published in 1976, she was not quite ready to quit her job as a librarian to work full-time on her writing until 1977.

In 1981, Johanna taught a series of workshops on children's literature at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York in 1981 and 1986.

Over the years, she has kept herself busy writing books, visiting schools and libraries as a storyteller, and caring for her family. When she is not writing, Johanna cooks and tries to play piano, which she claims she plays only moderately well.