Lee Bennett Hopkins

“Give children poetry. It is one of the best gifts you can give them… a gift to last a lifetime.”


Record Holder

Click here to see Hopkins’ Guinness World Records certificate, awarded in 2011 for his 113 published works.


Mary’s Song Trailer

Click to watch the trailer to this beautiful book about motherhood.


Award Winner

Hopkins’ Been To Yesterdays: Poems of a Life earned him the Christopher Award in 1995


Community Leader

Hopkins has founded two major poetry awards, one in partnership with Penn State


Pied Piper of Poetry

Hopkins has more published children’s poetry collections than any American author

Been to Yesterdays:

Poems of a Life

Lee Bennett Hopkins has written and edited numerous award-winning books for children and young adults, as well as professional texts and curriculum materials. He has taught elementary school and served as a consultant to school systems throughout the country.

Born in Scranton, Pennsylvania, Hopkins graduated Kean University, Bank Street College of Education, and holds a Professional Diploma in Educational Supervision and Administration from Hunter College. In 1980 he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Kean University.

In 1989 he received the University of Southern Mississippi Medallion for “outstanding contributions to the field of children’s literature” in recognition of his work; 2009 brought him the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) Excellence in Poetry for Children, recognizing his aggregate body of work. In 2010 he received the Florida Libraries’ Lifetime Achievement Award.

In addition to his anthologies, his own works include:

  • Been to Yesterdays: Poems of a Life (Boyds Mills Press), an autobiographical book of poetry that received the prestigious Christopher Medal and a Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) Golden Kite Honor Award
  • AlphathoughtsAlphabet Poems
  • City I Love (Abrams, 2009), illustrated by jazz musician Marcellus Hall, starred in both PW and SLJ
  • Full Moon and Star (Abrams, 2011), also illustrated by Hall
  • Mama: A Novel (Boyds Mills Press) paperback
  • Mama & Her Boys: A Novel (Boyds Mills Pess) paperback

His creativity is the result of his passion for poetry and his unflagging belief that poetry is a necessity for children, at home and in the classroom.

His award winning series of American History through poetry for children and young adults includes:

  • Hand in Hand: An American History Through Poetry, illustrated by Peter Fiore
  • My America: A Poetry Atlas of the United States
  • America At War, both illustrated by Stephen Alcorn (all Simon & Schuster/McElderry Books)

To encourage the recognition of poetry, he has established two major awards: the Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award, presented annually by Penn State University for a single volume of poetry, and the Lee Bennett Hopkins/International Reading Association Promising Poet Award, presented every three years by IRA.

One of the nation’s most sought-after speakers on the subject of children’s literature, Mr. Hopkins lives in Cape Coral, Florida.