About Me



You can contact me at kristydempseybooks @ gmail.com

I am a Middle School/High School/ Advanced Placement Language and Composition English Teacher and former Preschool-12th grade librarian at The American School of Belo Horizonte in Brazil, an International Baccalaureate PYP and MYP school. I believe in the power of story to help us understand ourselves and the world around us.

I am also the author of ME WITH YOU (Philomel), MINI RACER (Bloomsbury) and SURFER CHICK (Abrams), as well as the recent A DANCE LIKE STARLIGHT (Philomel). Four more books will publish in 2016: Superhero Instruction Manual; Ten Little Fingers, Two Small Hands; A Hop is Up; and Ten Little Toes, Two Small Feet. See the “My Books” page for more information.


Where were you born? Where have you lived?

I was born in Lake City, South Carolina. We soon moved to Gastonia, North Carolina. And after that to Statesville, NC. And after that to Elizabethton, TN where I started first grade at Happy Valley Elementary School. But in fourth grade, we moved to Greenville, SC, where I eventually graduated from high school (Travelers Rest High School) and university (Furman University). I then moved to Carrollton, Georgia until I moved to Belo Horizonte, Brazil, where I have lived since 1998.

What are your hobbies?

I like writing, exercising, and doing any kinds of arts and crafts. I don’t consider myself an artist but if you read my blog, you will occasionally see my limited artistic efforts. Some day I want to take a painting class. And a drawing class. And a mixed media collage class.

Who are your favorite writers?

I love books by Kate Dicamillo, Barbara O’Connor, Linda Urban and Richard Peck, among many others. My favorite poets are Mary Oliver, Mary O’Neill, Rebecca Kai Dotlich, Mary Ann Hoberman, Joyce Sidman and Marilyn Nelson, along with many, many, many others. My first favorite and still one of my most favorite poets was Carl Sandburg. (I love poetry!)

Ask me more questions and I’ll give you more answers!


9 thoughts on “About Me

  1. Amanda Whitehead

    A Dance Like Starlight has left me with chills. What a gorgeous, important book. Thank you, from a ballet teacher in Berkeley!

  2. Kristy,
    My 29 year old daughter Lisa Skyped me last night and read to me your book “Surfer Chick” I have to tell you that you “nailed it”!! Every page had some detail that applied to Lisa and Me! I was in tears halfway through, and she would turn the page and some detail would astonish me because of how accurate it was. It is as if you wrote this book for us!

    We still surf together every chance we get. She is getting married on the beach in June and (if I can do it with out bawling like a baby) I would like to give your book to each of our 100 guests.

    Thanks for what you do…
    Erik Hertz

    1. Erik,

      And now I am in tears! What a beautiful message. My very best wishes to you, as well as to your daughter in her upcoming marriage. My own relationship with my daddy was very special and I know that much of the success I have in life and in relationships was due to his example. I feel honored that Surfer Chick reflects that truth for you and your daughter. Thank you so much for your note. I consider it a treasure.

  3. Judy Bauman

    Hi Kristy,

    I am the chair of the Illinois Monarch Award: Illinois’ K-3 Readers’ Choice Award. I am pleased to tell you that your book Dance Like Starlight has been chosen to be included in our 2016 Illinois Monarch Award Master List. Children will read the 20 nominated books and vote in February and March 2016. Last year over 170,000 Illinois children read and voted!
    A heads up to your publisher is in order since schools and libraries all over Illinois will be ordering this book for their patrons. If you want to know more about the Monarch Award visit our website http://www.islma.org/monarch.htm or just contact me at jbauman@lisle202.org.


    Judy Bauman
    Tate Woods Elementary School

  4. Dolly

    Dolly Bonnet from California,

    Hi Kristy,
    Question, What inspired you to write “A Dance like Starlight”? I loved the book but I thought the writer will be an African American writer… to my surprise!

    1. Hi, Dolly, I’m so glad you enjoyed the book. I was inspired to write A Dance Like Starlight after reading an anecdote from a 1950’s newspaper about Janet Collins’ performance with the Metropolitan Opera Ballet. It was such a widely publicized event that drew people from all races. I was reminded of a concert I saw as a child during which I was moved to tears, and I imagined how a young African American child might feel having witnessed Janet Collins’ historic performance. While my main character is fictional, the emotion she feels was documented by various witness accounts of the event. My hope was to not only get the events right in my telling, but also to represent correctly the human emotions that bind us all together, independent of race.

      Thank you for loving my book!
      All my best,


  5. Jessica

    Happy Thursday or when ever your reading this. I just wanted to come on here and leave you a reply. I’m a sophomore in high school and I’m taking a children’s literature class, we have been learning about different children book authors and making a paper on them. I chose to learn about you and write a paper on your work. I have learn so many good things, you are a kind, caring, and loving person and I am glad I decided to learn about you. I know that you love to help children and make them understand they can do anything in the world. You help kids know that hope can make you do what you want to do each day. One of my favorite books that you wrote is surfer chick, it’s such a great childrens book. This story shows if you say you can’t do something then you wont be able to, but if you say you can then you would be able to. Good job on doing what you love. Keep doing what your doing. People like you inspire me everyday!

    1. Hi, Jessica,

      What a lovely message to receive! My favorite thing about Surfer Chick is that she chose to be brave. I feel like being brave is a choice, even when big waves threaten to knock you down. We often have to face risks in order to achieve our biggest dreams. Thanks so much for reading my books and for letting me know that you enjoyed them.
      All my best,
      kristydempseybooks@ gmail.com

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