Selected Works

Science, Nature, Intermediate school readers
They live in the most extreme places on earth. How do they survive?
Memoirs and Biographies
An inspirational memoir of the highest ranking woman in the martial art of Kuk Sool Won. (teens and up)
Science, Medicine, Health
Learn the possible causes of autism and Asperger Syndrome, new treatments and diagnostic tools, and more in this insightful overview. (teens and up)
Science, Intermediate school readers
Pinguins puke (their chicks love it!), chameleons have a super tongue, alligators have good "feelings," a master of disguise, and how to catch a rainbow! Five fascinating animal secrets and how scientists uncovered them.
What is the secret of the sleepless whales?Join the scientists and their animal partners in a amazing adventure that will reveal the secrets of these amazing aquatic mammals! Find out... (middle-school and up)
It doesn't look cool and it doesn't feel pleasant, but it rules everything you do. The brain is the most intriguing and still mysterious organ in the body. Follow fellow classmate Mark through a regular day and see how his brain makes it possible for him to learn, feel pain, get stressed, and have fun. (middle school and up)
The fascinating life of the 19th Century British doctor who discovered the first safe vaccine against smallpox, the most deadly disease of his time.
Periodicals: Fiction
A short fictional story of a young girl who does not want to dive. Inspired in "The Iron Butterfly."
Periodicals: Nonfiction
The story of how 19th century Spanish orphans carried a life-saving vaccine in their bodies to America.
Periodicals: Nonfiction
“I found it cool that lion’s health can be determined by its looks.”
--Keegan, age 12

The Iron butterfly blog

Dive like a haenyo (sea woman)

August 13, 2011

Tags: memoirs, reviews, iron butterfly, writing, editing, free divers, choon ok harmon, ana maria rodriguez, biographies

I invest heart and soul in all my books. Each book project becomes an ocean in which I completely submerge myself from beginning to end. I take a deep breath and dive into that imaginary body of water (I am Pisces, right?) from the moment I conceive the idea, through the planning stages, the bibliographic research, the interviews, and the photo research. Then I break the surface and take another deep breath. The next dive is for writing,and re-re-re-writing. This time the water gets murky, very cold, and creatures from the deep editing depths emerge and chase me toward deeper, darker waters where I struggle to make sense of the load of materials I collected. Thankfully, the sun rises every day, so I know that if I accept the challenge of the abyss, there is hope I will eventually reach clear, sunny waters with a book on my hands worth showing to my readers. So when reviewer Wrapped in Foil writes that The Iron Butterfly is "Mesmerizing.This memoir is an inspiring testament to the strength of one woman’s spirit that will stick with you long after reading it," I feel that diving like a haenyo (sea woman) was worth it. Thank you, Roberta! Click on the book cover on the left to read Wrapped in Foil's review.