Author, Hester Bass was raised in a small town in Georgia, and currently resides in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Bass also spent cherished years in Ocean Springs, Mississippi; a setting that has inspired her adventures and her writing.
With a wide range of experiences, Bass has lived a full and interesting life. In addition to her pursuits as an author, Bass was once a singer in a Boston, Massachusetts rock band, and she has appeared on the game shows $50,000 Pyramid and Who Wants to be a Millionaire?
As a child, Bass created a list of places to go and things to do; as an adult she still enjoys checking items off of that list. Game shows and rock bands were there, of course, but some of the most important items on her list include: reading books, writing stories, and having a job that’s fun. Without doubt, she is succeeding in all of these arenas.
Bass is married to a Southern artist and has two children. The family has enjoyed time in New York City, Atlanta, and Huntsville, in addition to Santa Fe. Travel is a recurring theme throughout Bass’ writing, and her enjoyment of it shines through.
Bass’ first book, So Many Houses is a children’s primary reader published by Scholastic. Her second book, The Secret World of Walter Anderson is also a children’s book, but is aimed at an older audience. Published by Candlewick Press, Secret World was illustrated by E.B. Lewis and has received the honors of the SIBA Book Award and the NCTE Orbis Pictus Award for Outstanding Nonfiction for Children. Her latest book, Seeds of Freedom: The Peaceful Integration of Huntsville, Alabama, also received accolades throughout the industry, with a starred review in Publishers Weekly and the Winter 2015 SIBA Okra Pick.
Hester Bass continues to publish wonderful books for children of all ages and to check items off of her life’s list. Her readers benefit from the fact that those two things are so beautifully intertwined.
Hester Bass and E.B. Lewis have once again collaborated to bring the world a beautiful book. Seeds of Freedom tells the true story of the peaceful integration of Huntsville, Alabama. Bass’s use of the present tense makes this emotional story resonate with readers. Lewis’s soft water color paintings create powerful impressions. Seeds is not the bitter pill that so many people familiar with stories of integration are accustomed to swallowing. It is a story without sides. It is a story that recognizes the wrongdoings of a society without pointing a finger and placing blame. It portrays peace instead of the sensational violence for which the integration of the South is so well known. Reading Seeds of Freedom will make you realize that there is a side of integration you haven’t heard. I am ashamed to say I did not know little Sonnie’s story. Although I knew about “sit‐ins," I never knew about “Blue Jean Sunday." Bass’s straightforward prose melds gently with Lewis’s art to create a book that should and will be known world‐wide.Learn More
Hester Bass's Secret World of Walter Anderson is a wonderfully written story about a gifted man. Walter Anderson spent much of his life in the company of his "animal buddies" on Horn Island. Neighbors and residents alike in this nonfiction biography had no idea that the seemingly odd Walter had a hidden talent. For most of his life, the only notable thing about him seemed to be his fondness for Horn Island, an unremarkable and uninhabited island. Soon we discover that the island provides beautiful inspiration for Walter's secret hobby. To quote Bass, "Art was an adventure and Walter Anderson was Explorer, first class."
E.B. Lewis's soft watercolors are perfectly paired to this story that complement's Bass's other work as a children's author. This is an easy read, but one that inspires all of us to appreciate the art and beauty in the world around us.Learn More
So Many Houses by Hester T. Bass is the perfect story for parents and teachers to help start new readers on a road to learning. Bass uses simple repetitive text and rhyming words to help young readers build confidence and sight-word recognition. The bold illustrations by Alik Azoumanian are simple but very well suited to the tone of the book. Houses is also an excellent book to introduce to young students starting Social Studies.
This simple yet powerful reader for little ones, expertly crafted by Hester Bass, provokes the reader to think about the many different types of houses and the places they can be found.