Meet the GROG Authors:

Contributing Authors

Tina Cho is the author of Rice from Heaven: The Secret Mission to Feed North Koreans (Little Bee Books 2018), Korean Celebrations (Tuttle 2019), My Breakfast with Jesus: Worshipping God around the World (Harvest House 2020), The Ocean Calls: A Haenyeo Mermaid Story (Kokila/Penguin Random House 2020), and God’s Little Astronomer (Waterbrook 2/20/2024) & God’s Little Oceanographer 2025. Her lyrical middle grade graphic novel, The Other Side of Tomorrow, debuts from Harper Alley 11/12/2024. After living in South Korea for ten years, Tina, her husband, and two kids reside in Iowa where Tina also teaches kindergarten. She is represented by Adria Goetz of KT Literary. Find out more about Tina at her website. Connect with her @Tinamcho


Kathy Halsey- 
Kathy Halsey is a children’s author who grew up climbing trees, reading mysteries, and writing poetry in her diary. Her first work for hire board book releases fall, 2023.  Currently she serves on the State Library of Ohio's "Choose to Read Ohio" program and writes curricular toolkits for SLO’s award-winning children’s books. She also spends time digging in gardens, writing haiku, and working with her writing group, The Saucy Supremes. Kathy is a former K-12 school librarian, seventh grade English teacher, and bookseller for a children’s independent bookstore. She lives in Columbus Ohio with her husband and rescue Corgi Scrappy Doo.


Kathy is proud to have received a 2019 PBChat Mentorship with author Lindsay Leslie and to serve as the first Community Manager for Storyteller Academy. She’s SCBWI Ohio Central-South Co-Assistant Regional Advisor, and former Ohio Educational Library Media Association Past President. She loves connecting creatively with students and helping other authors and illustrators with her consulting business, Ask Infowoman: A Library Consult. Kathy is available for speaking engagement for school visits, literary and library conferences, book festivals and more here.

Sue Heavenrich has studied the sex lives of cockroaches, taught high school science, and spent six months hiking the Appalachian Trail. Her books include The Pie that Molly Grew,  Funky Fungi (with Alisha Gabriel), Thirteen Ways to Eat a Fly, Diet for a Changing Climate (with fellow Grogger, Chris Mihaly), and Are Ants Like Plants? Sue shares hands-on science activities and book reviews on her blog, Archimedes Notebook and is an active SCBWI volunteer. Sue is represented by Heather Cashman of Storm Literary Agency. Find out more at her website.
Fran Hodgkins went to journalism school, but quickly realized reporting wasn't for her! She much preferred writing for children. Since publishing her first picture book in 2000, she's written fiction and nonfiction books, stories, and articles for young readers. She's also worked on the other side of the desk as the director of editorial, design, and production at a small trade publisher in Maine. Her most recent book is In a Patch of Grass, which Kirkus called "slapstick science." She is a longtime member of the SCBWI. Visit her website at

Christy Mihaly started writing for young people after 25 years of legal writing (which was generally, though perhaps not entirely, non-fiction). She finds writing for kids is more fun. 

Christy writes primarily nonfiction. Her three 2022 books run the gamut: The Supreme Court and Us, illustrated by Neely Daggett, introduces young readers to a timely topic; Patience, Patches! (illustrated by Sheryl Murray) is a fiction PB about a dog and a new baby; and The Ultimate Food Atlas, co-authored with Nancy Castaldo and published by National Geographic Kids, takes young readers on a world food tour. Among Christy's prior books, Free for You and Me: What Our First Amendment Means, illustrated by Manu Montoya, discusses the freedoms protected by the First Amendment, using poems, historical vignettes, and a contemporary story that shows a group of kids using their political rights. Hey, Hey, Hay! (A Tale of Bales and the Machines That Make Them) (Holiday House 2018, illustrated by Joe Cepeda) is a rhyming picture book celebrating haymaking. Diet for a Changing Climate: Food for Thought (Lerner/TFCB 2018) is a YA nonfiction about the relationship between our food and our environment, co-written with GROGger Sue Heavenrich. 

Christy has published a couple dozen books for the educational market. She also writes for magazines: articles, stories, essays, and poetry. In her pile of manuscripts, you'll find a true adventure story, historical fiction, and biographies of varying lengths.  She writes for young readers because she believes that our best hope for the future is raising kids who love to learn. Her passions include music, history, travel, her family, nature and the environment. She loves walking in the woods with her dog and playing the cello (though not simultaneously). Christy is represented by Erzsi Deak, of Hen&ink Literary StudioFind out more at her website, and follow her on Twitter (@CMwriter4kids), and Instagram (@christymihaly). And thanks!

Julie Phend loves everything about the writing process. Following a career teaching writing and literature, she retired to follow a lifelong dream of becoming a published author.

She is the author of D-Day and Beyond: A True Story of Escape and POW Survival, written with D-Day survivor Stanley Edwards. In addition, Julie has completed two novels for young people, not yet published.

Julie lives in Virginia with her husband and their rescue dog, Duke. Their two children and four grandchildren live nearby. Julie loves going on adventures with her grandchildren and making unique photo-story books for them. Other interests include cooking, travel, volunteering, and taking long walks with the dog.

Julie belongs to The Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), the Historical Novel Society, Riverside Writers, and the Lake Authors club. She is active in two critique groups, and loves to speak at schools and other groups about her books and the writing process. Visit her on the web at


  1. Welcome wonderful researchers & writers!

    Jan Godown Annino

  2. It's nice to see you all in one place!

    Ping Wan

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. lovely to meet you all and thanks for the grog. :)

  5. It's fabulous to see this great group grow, with many appreciations for all the original folks & founder Todd Burleson.