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Indian Boyhood: The True Story of a Sioux Upbringing

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Home > Children's Authors > Bette Killion

Bette Killion
Photo of author Bette Killion

Bette Killion  is a writer of poems, stories, and articles for children. Her most recent book with Wisdom Tales Press is Little Lek Longtail Learns to Sleep, which was illustrated by Beatriz Vidal. Little Lek Longtail was an award-winning Finalist in the 2016 USA “Best Book” Awards. Ms. Killion has also written Princess Rosie's Rainbows, her first book for Wisdom Tales, which was illustrated by Kim Jacobs.

Ms. Killion has had 800 children’s poems, stories and articles published in well-known juvenile magazines such as Jack and Jill, Highlights, Ranger Rick, Turtle, Hopscotch, several Cricket Magazine Group publications. Her picture books include The Apartment House Tree, Think of It, Just Think, and The Same Wind, all of which were published by HarperCollins. She is also known for her rewriting of several classic fairy tales, such as Rapunzel, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, and others.

Bette Killion reading to her great-grandson from her book The Apartment House Tree

Bette Killion attended college at Indiana State University, in Terre Haute, Indiana. In addition to having built a successful writing career, Bette has also worked as a children’s librarian and as a substitute teacher, so her connection with children and children’s literature has benefited from contacts on many levels, including with the multiple generations within her own family!

Bette and her husband, William, a P51 Fighter Pilot in World War II, have six children and several grandchildren. They lived in the country, among farms, for several years until the passing of William. Bette now lives in Greencastle, Indiana.

When asked why she wanted to write she quoted a couple of lines from an old poem: “Richer than I you can never be. I had a mother who read to me.”

alt textAn early baby photo of
Bette Killion

Bette’s grandfather lived with the family when she was quite small. He and Bette’s mother read many stories and poems to her so she learned to love words. She carried the love of those words all of her growing up years.

“It has never been just a want-to-write,” she says. “It has always been a have-to-write.”

Why for children? “Because I love children and children’s literature.” I feel children need good stories and poems and great art to go with them. They are more appreciative of what they read or hear and children provide the best soil for planting and perhaps I just never completely grew up.”

Bette has visited many schools and libraries and especially enjoys reciting story-poems which she has committed to memory. The favorites of the children are “Nibble-de-Gnaw” and “Rigney Wiggleby”. “It is more fun and lets you be closer to the children than just reading the poems,” she says.

Bette is always working on another story, and always loves talking to children. For those children and adults who have loved the books of Bette Killion over the years, and for followers of Wisdom Tales, we are happy to have her on our list of award-winning authors!

Awards for this Author’s Wisdom Tales Books


  • Little Lek Longtail Learns to Sleep (illustrated by Beatriz Vidal):
    • Award-Winning Finalist in the “Children's Picture Book: Hardcover Fiction” category of the 2016 USA “Best Book” Awards
    • Honorable Mention in the “Children’s” category of the 2017 Eric Hoffer Book Awards
    • Silver Medal in the “Interior Design” category of the 2016 Midwest Book Awards


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