Born: July 8, 1940
Ohio connection: Birth
Janet Hickman was born Janet Gephart, daughter of Bernard Franklin and Pauline (Williams) Gephart, in Kilbourne, Ohio, in 1940. She received a B.S. in 1960, an M.A. in 1964, and a Ph.D. in 1979, all from Ohio State University. She married John Hickman in 1961, and the couple has two children, John H. and Holly. Janet Hickman began her career in 1961 as a junior high school teacher in Whitehall, Ohio, a position in which she served until 1964. She was a part-time instructor in children`s literature at Ohio State University from 1968 until 1973. She has been a lecturer at Ohio State since 1979. Hickman has written more than six books. Most of her writings are in the field of historical fiction for children. Her first book, The Valley of the Shadow, was published in 1974. Her other children`s titles are The Stones; Zoar Blue; The Thunder-Pups; Jericho: A Novel; Susannah; and Ravine. She received the Boston Globe/Horn Book Honor Award for Jericho: A Novel in 1995. Hickman has also co-authored two adult books on children`s literature: Children`s Literature in the Classroom – Weaving Charlotte`s Web (with Bernice E. Cullinan); and Children`s Literature in the Elementary School (with Charlotte S. Huck and Susan Hepler). She has contributed to a number of professional journals, including Ohio Reading Teacher, Research in the Teaching of English, Theory into Practice, and Language Arts. She has also written for the magazines Ingenue and Teen. The Hickmans currently reside in Columbus, Ohio.
Boston Globe/Horn Book Honor Book Award, 1995, Ohioana Book Award, 1995, and named a Notable Children`s Trade Book in the Language Arts, National Council of Teachers of English, 1995, all for Jericho; Society of Midland Authors Award, 1999, for Susannah.