Slideshow shadow

Presentations and Recommendations

November 3, 2012 in Writer's Workshop by Claire Rudolf Murphy

Group photo from a past workshop at Hamline University.

I enjoy presenting to students, teachers, librarians, parents, and writers of any age and look forward to the possibility of visiting your school, library, or conference sometime soon. Since my books cover a wide range of reading levels, I can tailor my presentations to the interests of students, grades K-12. I also enjoy giving workshops for teachers, librarians, parents, and college students. Additional school visit information packet is available upon request.

“Collaboration with writers of any age can be very powerful. What we professional writers do is what student writers can do, too – discover our voices, write about what we care about, share our writing, and work on revision.”

Read the rest of this entry →

Marching With Aunt Susan

November 1, 2012 in Book Page, Books, Marching With Aunt Susan by Claire Rudolf Murphy

“…This excellent book will influence younger students about our hard-won voting rights…Schuett’s illustrations extend the text with details that add to the characterizations and dramatic scenes. Extensive back matter provides short biographies of Bessie and Anthony as well as a time-line about the fight to achieve the vote for women…Read aloud this story to encourage a conversation about voting rights and being involved in our democracy…”

Children’s Book Compass blog

Read the rest of this entry →

NCTE/NCSS – Passionate Teachers of Literature and History

December 11, 2012 in Blog by Claire Rudolf Murphy

I had the opportunity speak on the topic of pictures books at the NCTE 2012 conference.

Two weeks ago I had the opportunity to attend two stimulating national conferences and am delighted to report on them here. There is nothing like a conference to charge oneself up, connect with old friends and meet new ones. At the National Council of Teachers of English conference in Las Vegas, I was a bit in shell shock with the stimulation of lights and action in the city that never sleeps. Based on the huge crowds on the strip, and in the casinos, you’d never think that our economy is struggling. I tried a few rounds at the penny slot machines, laughing with with Spokane writer friends Meghan Nuttall Sayres and Kelly Milner Halls. Laughing hysterically, as if I don’t have a knack or a penchant for it.

I felt most at home with the teachers and fellow writers down at the conference, away from the glitz. These dedicated professionals just want to get the best books into the hands of kids. It was an honor to present on a panel about using picture books with older readers. We had a great crowd and discussion afterwards. I am glad that I talked about the marriage of art and story in picture books and how much one enhances the other in multiple ways.

At the National Council of Social Studies conference in Seattle the following day, I felt at home downtown in the rain, home of my two children, many other relatives and dear writing friends. To be around so many teachers who care passionately about history, I was like a gambler in Las Vegas and I couldn’t get enough. It was fun to wear my suffrage outfit and share my passion for women’s suffrage. I never tire of telling the stories of Susan B. and the thousands, millions of women who made it happen for the rest of us. Let’s countdown to the 100th anniversary celebration of the 10th amendment in 2020.


Welcome to My New Website!

December 11, 2012 in Blog by Claire Rudolf Murphy

Hello, dear readers. I may be getting older, but getting a little wiser, too – I hope.  Thanks to the nudging of my brilliant computer son Conor in Seattle  and the help of my talented and patient assistant Annette Helberg here in Spokane I have moved into the 21st century. My new blog-type web site will allow me to post updates on projects more easily and offer new content.  I am going to do my best to post once a week about writing topics, research related to my books and teaching ideas. New year’s wishes and good health to all, as we move through the dark, deep days of December.

My website address remains the same, but the look is totally different!

Complete List of Claire’s Books

November 2, 2012 in Books by Claire Rudolf Murphy

Marching With Aunt Susan: Susan B. Anthony and the Fight for Women’s Suffrage

Marching With Aunt SusanFull color picture book about a real girl in 1896 who just wants to hike with her brothers, until she meets Susan B. Anthony and wants much more. For readers, ages 5 and up.ISBN 1561455938






Children of Alcatraz: Growing Up on the Rock 

Purchase this book from your local independent bookstore

ISBN-10: 0802795781







Read the rest of this entry →

by Annette

Welcome to my New Website

October 31, 2012 in Featured Slider by Annette

Welcome to my updated web site. I hope you’ll enjoy learning about my books, tips for writing, and my writing life. My passion for history and the stories of outsiders has taken me on this amazing journey. Check out my new blog post.

by Annette

NEW! C.I.A. Teacher’s Guide now available for Children of the Gold Rush

September 19, 2012 in Study Guide by Annette

Now available, a teacher’s guide for Children of the Gold Rush published by the Read Side by Side company for the “C.I.A Approach” reading program.

C.I.A (Collect, Interpret, Apply ) Unit of Study
Volume 4.4 for 4th Grade, Narrative Non-Fiction
By Sarah Collinge with Bethany Robinson
Aligned to the USA Common Core Standards


“Within this unit teachers are provided with scripted lessons for the instructional read-aloud that incorporate reading, writing, language, listening, and speaking standards. This unit is aligned to the Common Core State Standards.” –

“This is the fourth in a series of five designed for fourth grade. Within this unit teachers are provided with scripted lessons for the instructional read-aloud that incorporate reading, writing, language, listening, and speaking standards. This unit is aligned to the Common Core State Standards.The book Children of the Gold Rush, by Claire Rudolf Murphy and Jane G. Haigh, was chosen for its genre and connection to the social studies topic westward expansion. Through a collection of stories, the authors communicate the positive spirit of the children who adapted to the environment of gold rush towns in Alaska. Students will be fully engaged in learning about history through the stories, photographs, and memorabilia of this time period. You will be amazed at your students’ level of engagement as they master grade-level standards and read quality literature. Sarah recommends also purchasing the unit of study’s companion text,Raising the Standards through Chapter Books: The C. I. A. Approach.”- From


Now available to order from Read Side by Side here.


About Read Side by Side


Read Side by Side is a literacy consulting and publications company that promotes current research practices and materials aligned to the Common Core State Standards. Started by teachers, for teachers!

Find out more at




by Annette

Fan Mail: Free Radical

September 18, 2012 in Books, Free Radical, Reviews by Annette

Claire loves to receive fan mail from her readers. The following is a letter written to Claire by an 8th grade student who enjoyed reading Free Radical.

Wednesday May 20, 2009

Dear Ms. Claire Rudolf,

            Hello, I am an 8th grade student at MVMS. I love to write and sports are my life. Today I am writing to you because in my language arts class we had to pick one of our favorite books we have read this year and I enjoyed your book called Free Radical.

            This book was a very interesting and taught many lessons. Your book made me think of how I would feel if my mom did that and had been a runaway fugitive from the FBI. I also enjoyed this book because it had to do with baseball. This got my attention because I really like that sport. When I read your book I pictured myself in Luke’s or his mom’s shoes and really got to know how they felt. This helped me understand the book a lot more. How you worded everything and the ends of your chapters made me want to just keep reading and find out what was going to happen next.

            Another reason I liked your book so much is how I connected with the characters. One of them that I most connected with was Luke. I had many things in common with him. I know what it feels like to not know someone who could have made a difference in your life. I and Luke also do not judge people by how they look, like how Luke got to know Amy. I also know what it feels like when someone keeps a secret from you. So when I read this I thought about my life and knew some of how Luke was feeling throughout the book.

            Thank you for taking your time to read my letter I wrote you. Your book meant a lot to me and I enjoyed it very much. They only question I have for you before I finish is are you going to write another book to Free Radical?


P.S. Your books are really good, and I hope you keep writing more books like Free Radical.

 Go to the Free Radical book page.

by Annette

Alaska Learning Resources

September 18, 2012 in A Child's Alaska, Books, Caribou Girl, Children of the Gold Rush, Friendship Across Arctic Waters, Gold Rush Dogs, Gold Rush Winter, Gold Rush Women, The Prince and the Salmon People, To The Summit by Annette

Alaska is a state with a rich history and abundant natural beauty. As you can see from my list of books, I enjoy writing about Alaska. This is why I have provided this page with additional resources and book recommendations for readers who would like to find out more about Alaska.

Links about Alaska

Check out Charles Mason’s many amazing photos at:

Extensive material for use in the classroom at:

Learn about the 1988 Operation Breakthrough, including the book and movie Big Miracle at:

The Alaska Kids web site features loads of information on geography, native cultures, history, cool critters and a complete list of Alaskan children’s books at:

View Alaskan wild life videos at:

Read the rest of this entry →

by Annette

To the Summit

September 7, 2012 in Book Page, Books, To The Summit by Annette

Buy Now: Amazon

Seventeen-year-old Sarah hopes that accompanying her father on an expedition to climb Mount McKinley will help to bridge the gap that has widened between them since her parents’ divorce.