Author Studies Research Guide

What is an Author Study?

An author study is a unit lesson that gives students the opportunity to delve deeply into an author’s life and body of work. Whether individually, in small groups, or as a class, students can: 

 Critically evaluate an author’s themes, characters, and writing style

 Make connections between the author’s life and work

 Make personal connections between their own experiences and those of the author and his/her characters

(Borrowed from the Readingrockets Author Study Toolkit)

Example author studies from Scholastic

Finding Author Information (biographies, interviews, etc)

Online Sources: Multimedia materials about children's and young adult books, authors, and illustrators.  Includes interviews, readings, book trailers, lesson plans and links to author sites.

recommendedLiterature Resource Center: Biographies, bibliograhies and critical analysis of authors from every age and literary discipline. TIP: Start with the "person search" option.

Gale Virtual Reference Library: Large collection of online encyclopedias that include many biographies.  Simply search by author name.

Scholastic's Author & Illustrator Index: Biographies, interviews (for some authors) and book lists with details about grade/interest levels and themes.


These reference books generally offer short biographical sketches (a paragraph to a few pages) and often include bibliographies.   

To search for entire books about individual authors, try searching the Library Catalog.  Example:

individual author search

Finding Book Reviews

recommendedChildren's Literature Comprehensive Database (CLCD): Over 400,000 children's literature book reviews!

Education Full Text: A database of education-related jouranls and magazines, many of which include book reviews.

Literature Resource Center: Critical analysis of authors and books from every age and literary discipline.

Good Reads: A reader-driven book review site.  Most book pages have a link to an author page with a picture, biography, bibliography and links to offical site.

Finding the Books

UT Libraries Catalog: When searching our catalog, add author or book titles to the "Keyword" seach box, and choose the "Youth Collection" location.  Write down the call number of "available" books and go to PCL's 6th floor, section S to find them on the shelves.  Use the "Request" button to recall books that are checked-out or to place searches on books that you could not locate on the shelves. Example:

finding the books


If UT doesn't own a copy of the book you need...

Check the Austin Public Library Catalog

- Use InterLibrary Services to borrow the book from another library

Suggest a purchase