James Solheim

Poet, Fiction Writer

Omaha, NE
Nebraska US

Author's Bio

James has published sixty works of poetry and fiction in top magazines including Poetry, The Kenyon Review, and The Pushcart Prize.  His children’s books include It's Disgustingand We Ate It! from Simon & Schuster, Born Yesterday from Penguin Random House, and Grandmas Are Greater Than Great from Greenwillow/HarperCollins, illustrated by New York Times Bestselling artist Derek Desierto.  It explores history’s stories through twelve generations of grandmotherly love.  Kids learn about how tiny caring gestures grow and spread exponentially throughout time.

The Wall Street Journal and PBS included It’s Disgusting—and We Ate It in their lists of best books for getting boys to read.  The Washington Post included it on its list of best books for summer reading.  It was a Junior Library Guild selection, an American Bookseller Pick of the Lists, and a Blue Ribbon Book of The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books.  Most recently, It’s Disgusting—and We Ate It was licensed as part of the educational HMH Reading Program for the year 2020.

Solheim’s picture book Born Yesterday from Philomel was a multi-year choice of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, with 446,000 copies donated to children to encourage reading.  A Junior Library Guild selection, it received starred reviews from Publisher’s Weekly and The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, where it was Big Picture Book of the Month and chosen as one of the ten best picture books of the year.  Young people across the nation selected it as a Children’s Choice book for the CBC and International Literacy Association.

James was born in Kensal, North Dakota, and grew up mostly in Maryville, Missouri.  Powered by his grandmothers' Norwegian cooking, he now speaks Norwegian with his own kids and continues his family traditions of folk dancing and music.


Publications & Prizes


Grandmas Are Greater Than Great (Greenwillow Books, 2021)
The Only Alex Addleston in All These Mountains (Lerner Publications, 2014)
Born Yesterday (Philomel, 2010)
Journals: ,
Chicago Review
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Kenyon Review
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Northwest Review


Santa's Secrets Revealed (Lerner Publications, 2004)
It's Disgusting...and We Ate It (Simon & Schuster, 1998)
Pushcart Prize XV (Pushcart Press, 1991)

More Information

Gives readings: 
Travels for readings: 
Identifies as: 
Norwegian American
Prefers to work with: 
Children, Teenagers
Fluent in: 
Born in: 
Kensal, ND
North Dakota
Raised in: 
Maryville, MO
Please note: All information in the Directory is provided by the listed writers or their representatives.
Last update: Sep 28, 2020