Selected Works

A Young Adult Novel, 2014
A Young Adult novel, 2012
Adults and Young Adults
A 2010 Green Earth Book Awards Honor Book
Younger Readers
A new twist to a very old story. Beautifully illustrated by Heather Solomon.
A tall tale from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Winner of the 2002 Charlotte Zolotow Award for best writing in a picture book. Available in hardcover and paperback.
Works in Progress
A new novel, maybe adult, maybe YA
A collection of essays about Fairy Tales


Riding the wave of an early positive reception!

Beetle Boy in the Chicago Tribune's Printer's Row Book Review

A glowing review from the city of my birth.

Beetle Boy nominated by YALSA for 2015 Best Fiction for Young Adults

*Starred review in Publishers Weekly for Beetle Boy: "A potent story about the power that the past exerts on the present." Read the entire review here

*Starred Review for Beetle Boy in MUSE BCCB Journal

*Starred review in Kirkus for Beetle Boy! Read the entire review here

Read Chapter One of Beetle Boy

FOUR SECRETS is my 2012 young adult novel about bullies, warrior, secrets and a little time in juvenile detention, is now available in paperback.

Illustration from FOUR SECRETS

**FOUR SECRETS receives starred review in Booklist!**

"...Willey's story masterfully teases out information until the final pages--and the ultimate revelations are well worth the torture." --Booklist, October 2012

My Guest Column Essay from the Fall 2013 ALAN Review:

ALA Booklist lists FOUR SECRETS among the 10 best Crime Fiction for Youths of 2013.

School Library Journal features my book launch party at my hometown indie bookstore, The Bookman of Grand Haven!

The haunting trailer for FOUR SECRETS. Watch it now

Discussion Guide for FOUR SECRETS is here

Author Interview about FOUR SECRETS at Keen Readers. Read it here.

Silk Moths symbolize creativity, regeneration and dream life.

I grew up in a very large family in St. Joseph Michigan. I am holding my baby sister Mary in this family portrait. Two more children were born into my family before I left home at seventeen.

For over thirty years, I have written in many different genres, enjoying them all equally. My current work reflects this. My YA novel BEETLE BOY has just been released. I have another novel in submission to Carolrhoda Lab. I am currently working on essays and stories and have begun a project involving my husband's childhood in Ontario. I have also published picture books, including The 3 Bears and Goldilocks (Atheneum), illustrated by Heather Solomon. Despite my current focus on novels, my love affair with folktales and fairy tales continues...

A decade ago, I wrote 3 folktales for children, all of which featured the character Beatrice, a very brave and clever girl from the north woods. Clever Beatrice and its sequels are all illustrated by the amazing Heather Solomon.

Clever Beatrice

My Inner Beatrice

Now I have a granddaughter named Beatrice and very clever.
A box of beetles arriving!

My 2012 novel Four Secrets explores what can happen when adults turn a blind eye to the bullied student, and celebrates the courage and fortitude of the victims of bullying.


For information about a Clever Beatrice video conference for younger students click HERE.

The Sequel - More Adventures!

Christmas in the Far North!


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