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Sheila O'Conner


Sheila O'Conner

Sheila O'Connor is the author of four novels: Keeping Safe the Stars, Sparrow Road, Where No Gods Came and Tokens of Grace. Where No Gods Came won the Minnesota Book Award and the Michigan Award for Literary Fiction, and was selected as a Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers title.

She has also edited two collections of writing by young people: Come Home Before Dark and In My Hands Forever.  Her poems, stories and essays have appeared in anthologies and magazines including: Riding Shotgun; Women Write About Their Mothers; The Next Parish Over; Mothers and Daughters and others.

Her work has been recognized with Bush Foundation, Loft McKnight and Minnesota State Arts Board fellowships.  

Sheila O'Connor teaches fiction in the MFA program at Hamline University where she also serves as editor of Water~Stone Review. A long-time poet with the Writer-in-the-Schools program, Sheila has taught writing to thousands of young people.  She is a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop.

Sheila O'Conner

Books by Sheila O'Conner

by Sheila O'Conner - Children's, Children's 10-12, Family, Fiction, Friendship, Historical Fiction
Eleven-year-old Reenie Kelly’s takes up a paper route with her older brother Dare after her mother passes away, so she has something she can look forward to. As they introduce themselves to every home on their route, Reenie’s stumped by just one --- the house belonging to Mr. Marsworth, the town recluse. Reenie begins to leave him letters. Through their letters, Reenie tells of her older brother Billy, who might enlist to fight in the Vietnam War. Together, they concoct a plan to keep Billy home, though Reenie doesn’t know Mr. Marsworth’s dedication to her cause goes far beyond his antiwar beliefs. 
by Sheila O'Conner - Youth Fiction

Pride, Nightingale and Baby are the Stars. Orphaned and living with their grandfather, Old Finn, in rural Minnesota, the children, like their grandfather, are wary of outsiders. They believe, as Old Finn taught them, in self-reliance.  But then Old Finn falls seriously ill and is taken to the hospital all the way in Duluth, leaving the children to fend for themselves. Pride, as oldest, assumes the lead. Though she makes mistakes, she keeps them afloat; they even earn money for the bus trip to Duluth. But when they finally see Old Finn, he can't walk or even say his own name, and Pride knows her days of keeping safe the Stars are drawing to a close. Self-reliance can't make Old Finn well again. But maybe, just maybe, a secret from Old Finn's past might make a way for them to stay together after all.