Connie Nordhielm Wooldridge’s vivid imagination and spirited storytelling are fueled by her love of travel, adventure, and the unconventional way she embraces all life has to offer.
She’s lived in seven states, Washington, D.C., Athens, Greece and Seoul, South Korea; was a Latin major, a flight attendant for a major airline, raised four children who are five years apart in age, and worked at a job she’d dreamed of having as a little girl – a librarian in an elementary school.
From the time she learned to read, Connie loved to escape into her favorite stories – mysteries and fantasies. While other girls were devouring Laura Ingalls Wilder’s adventures on the American prairie, she lived in the fantasy worlds created by 19th Century Scottish writer George MacDonald or went sleuthing with Nancy Drew.
Her love of travel began early in life, as her father’s work moved the family from Black Mountain, North Carolina, where Connie was born, to several homes in Northern Ohio and finally to Sherborn, Massachusetts, where she graduated from high school. Connie attended Mount. Holyoke College, where she majored in Latin and earned a teaching certificate. After a year with American Airlines and two years teaching first grade at an English-speaking school in Korea, she attended the University of Chicago graduate school, where she received a double Masters degree in library science and education in 1977.
During this time she was recommended by Zena Sutherland, children’s literature professor and editor of The Bulletin for the Center of Children’s Books, to serve first on the American Library Association’s Newbery-Caldecott Committee, which each year selects the recipients of children’s literature’s most prestigious awards, and then on the Notable Books Committee, which compiles a list of the best children’s books published each year.
Married in 1977, she and her growing family made several moves while her husband was finishing his medical studies. She took her first step toward her dream of writing for children by taking a correspondence course through The Institute of Children’s Literature. Her first acceptance, by Highlights for Children, was a Korean folktale adaptation. Soon she was a regular contributor to both Highlights for Children and Cricket Magazine.
Connie is the author of five picture books and a young adult biography…
- Just Fine They Way They Are (Calkins Creek, March 1, 2011)
- The Brave Escape of Edith Wharton (Clarion Books, 2010)
- Thank You Very Much, Captain Ericsson! (Holiday House, 2005)
- When Esther Morris Headed West (Holiday House, 2001)
- The Legend of Strap Buckner (Holiday House, 2001)
- Wicked Jack (Holiday House, 1995)
Connie Nordhielm Wooldridge and her husband, Carl, live in Richmond, Indiana where she serves on the Richmond Symphony Orchestra Board, the Every Child Can Read Board, and volunteers for Communities in Schools. They have four grown children.