Michelle Houts

Michelle Houts holds degrees in special education and speech-language pathology. She is the author of several fiction and nonfiction books for young readers, including the award-winning The Beef Princess of Practical County, The Practical County Drama Queen, and Winterfrost.

On the Web at: http://michellehouts.com/

Listed in: Ohio and Regional · Baseball History · Biography (Juvenile Nonfiction) · American History

Photo of Michelle Houts



Count the Wings · The Life and Art of Charley Harper
By Michelle Houts

When you look at a bird, do you see feathers and a beak? Or do you see circles and triangles? Artist Charley Harper spent his life reducing subjects to their simplest forms, their basic lines and shapes. This resulted in what he called minimal realism and the style that would become easily recognized as Charley Harper’s. Art fans and nature lovers around the world fell in love with Harper’s paintings, which often featured bright colors and intriguing nature subjects.

“As a native Cincinnatian and fellow illustrator, I have been hugely influenced in my own art by Charley Harper’s work. Michelle Houts’s recounting of Harper’s life—his influences, struggles, and his path toward his iconic style—gave me a new appreciation for his classic pieces. Better yet, this engaging book will help other future illustrators discover his work.”

Jeffrey Ebbeler, children’s book illustrator and author




A School Library Journal Best Picture Book of 2016

In 1955, sixty-seven-year-old Emma “Grandma” Gatewood became the first woman to solo hike the entire length of the Appalachian Trail in one through hike. Michelle Houts and Erica Magnus bring us the first children’s book about her feat and the unexpected challenges she encountered on the journey she initially called a “lark.”

“This compelling true tale of triumph will send kids scrambling for their sneakers so they can follow in the footsteps of a legend.”

Ben Montgomery, author of Grandma Gatewood’s Walk: The Inspiring Story of the Woman Who Saved the Appalachian Trail




A 2014 “A Mighty Girl” book pick!

Kammie on First · Baseball’s Dottie Kamenshek
By Michelle Houts

Dorothy Mary Kamenshek was born to immigrant parents in Norwood, Ohio. As a young girl, she played pickup games of sandlot baseball with neighborhood children; no one, however, would have suspected that at the age of seventeen she would become a star athlete at the national level. The outbreak of World War II and the ensuing draft of able-bodied young men severely depleted the ranks of professional baseball players.

“Girls who love sports or baseball will appreciate this biography of Dorothy Kamenshek, a Cincinnati native famous for playing first base in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League. … [It] This book allows fans to discover her true story and visualize it through interesting sidebars and historical photographs.”

The Toledo Blade