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Katherine Ellison books in order

Katherine Ellison is an American award-winning journalist, speaker, communications consultant and author of biographies, memoirs and non-fiction books.

Born in Minnesota, Katherine has served as a professional journalist and author for more than three decades.

During her award-winning spell as an investigative journalist, she covered coups, earthquakes, samba parades, civil wars, drug-trafficking, among others.

Passionate about storytelling, Katherine strongly believes in choosing the right words in order to capture attention and move hearts.

Some of her accolades include a Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting, and the Overseas Press Club award for reporting on human rights.

Katherine is also a speechwriter, with some of her clients being Bill Gates, big Silicon Valley investors, and the Ford, Packard, and Irvine foundations and Cater Communications.

A wife and mother of two boys, Katherine currently lives in California with her family.

More about Katherine Ellison

Genres: Biographies, Memoirs, Non-fiction

Born: 1957

United States



  1. Imelda: Steel Butterfly of the Philippines (1988)
  2. The New Economy of Nature: The Quest to Make Conservation Profitable (2002)
  3. The Mommy Brain: How Motherhood Makes Us Smarter (2005)
  4. Buzz: An ADHD Mother's Search for Understanding, Patience, and Comic Relief (2010)
  5. Square Peg: My Story and What It Means for Raising Innovators, Visionaries, and Out-of-the-Box Thinkers (2013)
  6. ADHD: What Everyone Needs to Know® (2015)
  7. Loving Learning: How Progressive Education Can Save America's Schools (2015)
  8. Girl CEO (2018)
  9. Mothers & Murderers: A True Story of Love, Lies, Obsession...And Second Chances (2019)

Detailed book overview


Imelda: Steel Butterfly of the Philippines

The former first lady of the Philippines has become an icon of popular ridicule since the 1986 People Power revolution brought an end to her "ridiculous dreamworld."

That world is captured here in its empty glitter, but Ellison, bureau chief of Knight-Ridder newspapers in Mexico City, is primarily concerned with showing how the Steel Butterfly made comic opera out of a historic opportunity for greatness: "an act of selfishness far uglier than any shopping binge."

Tracing her lonely, traumatic upbringing in Leyte, her fabled courtship by Ferdinand Marcos and her role in his rise to the presidency, the author describes how the first lady gradually traded in a fairytale dream of romance for a dream of power. When the dream became a reality, she used that power for self-glorification ("Look! Look how the people love me.").

This well-researched biography sheds new light on the Manila-Washington connection, the career of Benigno Aquino and his self-effacing wife Corazon, and Ferdinand Marcos' "creative diplomacy," which apparently included using his wife as a sexual lure.

Author: Katherine Ellison
First Release: 1988
ISBN: 978-0595349227
Publisher: iUniverse
The New Economy of Nature: The Quest to Make Conservation Profitable

Why shouldn't people who deplete our natural assets have to pay, and those who protect them reap profits? Conservation-minded entrepreneurs and others around the world are beginning to ask just that question, as the increasing scarcity of natural resources becomes a tangible threat to our own lives and our hopes for our children.

The New Economy of Nature brings together Gretchen Daily, one of the world's leading ecologists, with Katherine Ellison, a Pulitzer-prize winning journalist, to offer an engaging and informative look at a new "new economy" -- a system recognizing the economic value of natural systems and the potential profits in protecting them.

Through engaging stories from around the world, the authors introduce readers to a diverse group of people who are pioneering new approaches to conservation. We meet Adam Davis, an American business executive who dreams of establishing a market for buying and selling "ecosystem service units;" John Wamsley, a former math professor in Australia who has found a way to play the stock market and protect native species at the same time; and Dan Janzen, a biologist working in Costa Rica who devised a controversial plan to sell a conservation area's natural waste-disposal services to a local orange juice producer.

Readers also visit the Catskill Mountains, where the City of New York purchased undeveloped land instead of building an expensive new water treatment facility; and King County, Washington, where county executive Ron Sims has dedicated himself to finding ways of "making the market move" to protect the county's remaining open space.

Daily and Ellison describe the dynamic interplay of science, economics, business, and politics that is involved in establishing these new approaches and examine what will be needed to create successful models and lasting institutions for conservation.

Author: Katherine Ellison
First Release: 2002
ISBN: 978-1559631549
Publisher: Island Press
The Mommy Brain: How Motherhood Makes Us Smarter

Generations of mothers have been told -- and believed -- that having a baby means checking their own brains at the delivery room door. "The Mommy Brain" usually refers to a head full of feeding times, soccer schedules, and nursery rhymes, at the expense of creative or challenging ideas.

But recent scientific research paints a dramatically different and far rosier picture. Journalist Katherine Ellison draws on cutting-edge neuroscience research to demonstrate that, contrary to long-established wisdom that having children dumbs you down, raising children may make moms smarter.

From enhanced senses in pregnancy and early motherhood to the alertness and memory skills necessary to manage like a pro, to a greater aptitude for risk-taking and a talent for empathy and negotiation, these advantages not only help mothers in raising their children, but in their work and social lives as well.

Filled with lively (and often hilarious) stories of multitasking moms at home and on the job, The Mommy Brain encourages all of us to cast aside conventional thinking and discover the positive ways in which having children changes mothers' brains for the better.

Author: Katherine Ellison
First Release: 2005
ISBN: 978-0465019069
Publisher: Basic Books
Buzz: An ADHD Mother's Search for Understanding, Patience, and Comic Relief

Popular literature is filled with the stories of self-sacrificing mothers bravely tending to their challenging children.

Katherine Ellison offers a different kind of tale. Shortly after Ellison, an award-winning investigative reporter, and her twelve-year-old son, Buzz, were both diagnosed with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, she found herself making such a hash of parenting that the two of them faced three alternatives: he'd go to boarding school; she'd go AWOL; or they'd make it their full-time job to work out their problems together.

They decided to search for a solution while Ellison investigated what genuine relief, if any, might be found in the confusing array of goods sold by the modern mental health industry.

Author: Katherine Ellison
First Release: 2010
ISBN: 978-1401312794
Publisher: Hyperion - Acquired Assets
Square Peg: My Story and What It Means for Raising Innovators, Visionaries, and Out-of-the-Box Thinkers

In the seventh grade, Todd Rose was suspended-not for the first time-for throwing six stink bombs at the blackboard, where his art teacher stood with his back to the class. At eighteen, he was a high school dropout, stocking shelves at a department store for $4.25 an hour. Today, Rose is a faculty member at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Square Peg illuminates the struggles of millions of bright young children -- and their frustrated parents and teachers--who are stuck in a one-size-fits-all school system that fails to approach the student as an individual. Rose shares his own incredible journey from troubled childhood to Harvard, seamlessly integrating cutting-edge research in neuroscience and psychology along with advances in the field of education, to ultimately provide a roadmap for parents and teachers of kids who are the casualties of America's antiquated school system.

With a distinguished blend of humor, humility, and practical advice for nurturing children who are a poor fit in conventional schools, Square Peg is a game-changing manifesto that provides groundbreaking insight into how we can get the most out of all the students in our classrooms, and why today's dropouts could be tomorrow's innovators.

Author: Katherine Ellison
First Release: 2013
Ebook: B00JJ9G606
Publisher: Hachette Books
ADHD: What Everyone Needs to Know®

Rates of diagnosis of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are skyrocketing, throughout America and the rest of the world. U.S. rates of youth diagnosis have increased 40% from just a decade ago.

Adults with ADHD are now the fastest-growing segment of the population receiving diagnosis and medication. The disorder is painful and sometimes disabling for individuals and tremendously costly for society; yet, widespread misinformation, skepticism, and unanswered questions have jeopardized effective diagnosis and treatment.

Researched and written by Stephen Hinshaw, an international expert on ADHD, and Katherine Ellison, a Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist and author, ADHD: What Everyone Needs to Know® is the go-to book for authoritative, current, accurate, and compelling information about the global ADHD epidemic.

This book addresses questions such as:

—Is ADHD a genuine medical condition or a means of pathologizing active and exploratory behavior?

—Do medications for ADHD serve as needed treatments, or are they attempts at social control, designed to bolster profits of pharmaceutical firms?

—Has the ADHD label become a ruse by which parents can game the educational system for accommodations?

—How do symptoms and impairments related to ADHD differ between girls and women and boys and men?

—Why are ADHD medications often used as performance enhancers by college and high-school students?

Author: Katherine Ellison
First Release: 2015
ISBN: 978-0190223793
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Loving Learning: How Progressive Education Can Save America's Schools

The longtime head of Park Day School, Tom Little embarked on a tour of 43 progressive schools across the country. In this book, his life’s work, he interweaves his teaching experience, the knowledge he gleaned from his trip, and the history of Progressive Education. As Little and Katherine Ellison reveal, these educators and schools invigorate learning and promote inquisitiveness by allowing the curriculum to grow organically out of children's questions—whether they lead to studying the senses, working on a farm, or re-creating a desert ecosystem in the classroom.

We see curious students draw on information across disciplines to think in imaginative yet practical ways, like in a "Mini-Maker Faire" or designing and building a chair from scratch. Becoming good citizens was another of Little's goals. He believed in the need for students to learn how to become advocates for themselves, from setting rules on the playground to engaging in issues of social justice in the wider community.

Using the philosophy of Progressive Education, schools can prepare students to shape a vibrant future in the arts and sciences for themselves and the nation.

NB: Co-authored with Tom Little.

Author: Katherine Ellison
First Release: 2015
Ebook: B00L4HAVJ8
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Girl CEO

Rebel girls, young entrepreneurs, and other trailblazing tweens and teens will find inspiring success stories and practical advice for launching their own illustrious careers--right now!

Mini-biographies of leading women entrepreneurs—from Oprah to Sheryl Sandberg, Tory Burch to Indra Nooyi, Weili Dai to J.K. Rowling—offer fascinating windows into what it takes to succeed, with a particular focus on the challenges faced (and overcome) by girls and women. Each success story provides different lessons in life and leadership--such as how to:

*build a prestigious brand

*grow a loyal customer base

*identify a lucrative niche

*raise money for research and development

Fascinating figures from the worlds of media, technology, fashion, food, and more share their secrets with tomorrow's leaders.

NB: Co-authored with Ronnie Cohen.

Author: Katherine Ellison
First Release: 2018
ISBN: 978-1941367520
Publisher: Downtown Bookworks
Mothers & Murderers: A True Story of Love, Lies, Obsession...And Second Chances

This remarkable memoir by a Pulitzer Prize- and Polk Award-winning journalist takes readers on a wild, tragicomic ride from the criminal courtrooms of California’s Silicon Valley to the Himalayan mountains of Pakistan to the deserts of Ethiopia. In delightful, insightful prose, Katherine Ellison reflects on her mistakes and her triumphs as she reveals the stories of how her career almost ended before it began, how she nearly missed marrying the love of her life, and how she unwittingly got drawn into a bizarre murder case.

Rich in drama and self-reflection, replete with unique characters—including two bumbling hitmen, a rodeo-riding prosecutor, a flamboyant Beverly Hills defense attorney, and a charismatic stay-at-home mother-of-three who is keeping outrageous secrets—Mothers & Murderers is like a mashup of Fargo and Eat, Pray, Love—a memoir to make you laugh, cry, and think.

Author: Katherine Ellison
First Release: 2019
ISBN: 978-1948239400
Publisher: WildBlue Press