Ellen Harvey Showell

Selected Works

Children's Fiction: Ghost Stories and Mysteries
A realistic tale set in Appalachian hill country. 12-year old Willy and his sister dare to befriend a wild child of the woods--even though she is said to have drowned years ago. They take separate paths to discover the truth about her--just in time to prevent another tragedy. An Authors' Guild Backinprint edition.
History of American Women In Science: Inventors
True to the author's bent, this non-fiction book starts with an original fairy tale. Otherwise, it presents real stories of fascinating women inventors from colonial days to outstanding scientists of present time. Co-authored with Fred M.B. Amram. Ideal for homeschoolers.
Musical Plays for Children to Perform
A young girl who loves to dance finds a fiddle-playing boy on magical Blue Mountain. An Appalachian fairy tale with traditional and original songs. Based on the novel by the same name.
A musical play on words, ideal for elementary or middle school productions. Six syllables become a word that has to find its meaning -- a hilarious exploration of language. Fun, jazzy songs and dances. Could complement a poetry or creative writing unit.
Death Penalty
In this one-act play described as "Powerful," "Deeply moving,", Men and women with opposite feelings about the death penalty confront condemned persons and each other--and a medical technician confronts his own soul. "It makes you think." Especially suitable for death penalty focus groups. Feel free to downloadthe script.

Awards and Honors

From Indian Corn to Outer Space...Women Invent in America

Selected by the Women's National Book Association (WNBA) for the list of Books for 21st Century Girls.

The Ghost of Tillie Jean Cassaway

Winner of the South Carolina Children's Book Award

Cecelia and the Blue Mountain Boy

A Parents' Choice Award for Literature in the Field of Social Studies


Listen Here, Women Writing in Appalachia, edited by Sandra L. Ballard and Patricia L. Hudson. The University Press of Kentucky, 2003. Excerpts from Our Mountain.

Hello and Welcome!

IN MY MIND ARE MANY ROOMS--places for play, places for serious thought, places for music. And of course, the doors are always open between. And so, my ghost stories and fantasies for children amuse, I hope, but also reflect serious thought. My adult play about the death penalty faces grim truths, but also reflects the absurdities and saving compassion of human nature. My book about women inventors is meticulous about facts but honors ancient stories of magic.

ROOMS make me think of windows, and the old game in which children hold hands, forming a circle, as one child winds in and out, ducking under as others raise their arms to make an opening. I remember going "in and out the window," as we sang and played at twilight, passing, it seemed, from one world to another. From such memories I bring back the wonder, mystery and sense of possibility that guide my work.

May you find something here that will please and interest you. Again, Welcome!