Caren Stelson

Caren Stelson

author

PEACE

for all

For the Press

Caren Stelson is the author of Sachiko: A Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Survivor’s Story, and A Bowl of Peace, a pic­ture book of Sachiko Yasui’s sto­ry, as well as oth­er works for chil­dren and young adults. To write Sachiko, Caren trav­eled to Nagasaki five times to inter­view Sachiko Yasui and research her sto­ry. Caren has had a long career in edu­ca­tion, as a teacher, writer-in-residence, and free­lance writer. After receiv­ing her MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults at Hamline University in 2009, Caren decid­ed it was time to write the sto­ries that need­ed her atten­tion. Caren and her hus­band Kim have two adult chil­dren and two young grand­chil­dren. Caren and her hus­band make their home in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Caren Stelson
Caren Stelson (540 pix­els wide, 72 dpi)

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More Detailed Biography

Caren Stelson holds a BA in History, a master’s in edu­ca­tion, and an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults. She has had a long career as a read­ing spe­cial­ist, an ele­men­tary class­room teacher, a free­lance writer for edu­ca­tion­al pub­lish­ing com­pa­nies, and a writer-in-residence in schools before embark­ing on a pub­lished career writ­ing her own sto­ries. In 2001-02, Caren and her fam­i­ly had oppor­tu­ni­ties to live and trav­el abroad. During this time, Caren lis­tened to sto­ries of peo­ple who had sur­vived WWII as sol­diers, civil­ians, and chil­dren. For each per­son and sto­ry, she won­dered: What scars do peo­ple car­ry after war? How do these scars heal? Who gets to peace and who does­n’t? When she returned from her trav­els, she decid­ed it was time to write the sto­ries that mat­tered most to her.

In 2005, Caren met Sachiko Yasui, a sur­vivor of the Nagasaki atom­ic bomb, when Sachiko vis­it­ed Caren’s home city of Minneapolis. As Caren lis­tened to Sachiko’s trau­mat­ic sur­vival of nuclear war and her dra­mat­ic path­way to peace, Caren knew Sachiko’s sto­ry was the one she need­ed to write. Sachiko agreed to part­ner with Caren, but under one condition—she had to look into Caren’s eyes as they worked. That meant only one thing—travel to Nagasaki. Caren met with Sachiko five times to record and research her sto­ry. Sachiko: A Nagasaki Bomb Survivor’s Story was pub­lished by Carolrhoda/Lerner Publishing Group in October 2016 and won numer­ous awards, among them longlist­ed for a National Book Award, named a Sibert Honor Award for Information Books by the American Library Association, and received the Jane Addams Book Award for Older Children. A Bowl Full of Peace, a pic­ture book of Sachiko’s sto­ry, fol­lowed, pub­lished in 2020. A Bowl Full of Peace, illus­trat­ed by Japanese artist Akira Kusaka and pub­lished by Carolrhoda/Lerner Publishing Group was a 2021finalist for a Minnesota Book Award.

Caren con­tin­ues to write and remains active in sup­port­ing teach­ers who want to teach for peace. She and her hus­band have two grown chil­dren and two grand­chil­dren, giv­ing them an even greater per­son­al stake in the future.

Caren Stelson

Caren Stelson

Contact Caren for interviews.

Sachiko: A Nagasaki Bomb Survivor's Story

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A Bowl Full of Peace