Crystal Kite Award Winner Jo S. Kittinger

In honor of July 4th, American Independence Day, I’m posting one of the American SCBWI Crystal Kite Award winners, Jo S. Kittinger, from the region that includes Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Alabama and Mississippi.  Congratulations, Jo!  Her book, ROSA’S BUS, starts by focusing on the bus itself, something concrete that kids can get a handle on, and shows discrimination in daily life in the segregated South.  A different angle on the Rosa Parks story, it presents children with the questions of our past–and our present and future.  And here’s a fun fact:  Bus #2857, Rosa’s bus, is currently at the Henry Ford Museum –

For some fun facts about Jo, please read on!

Q:  Tea or coffee? Flavor? Milk or sugar?

Jo:  ICED tea – unsweetened (or no-calorie sweeteners), with a special penchant for fruity flavors!

Q:  Favorite comfort food?

Jo:  Oh, that’s tough. I have lots of comfort foods…Chocolate, creamed eggs on toast, potato soup, to name just a few 🙂 Oh, can I add Eggs Benedict? I don’t ever get that, but I think it would comfort me just fine!

Q:  Language in which you’d most like to be fluent.

Jo:  In my fantasies I’d be fluent in Chinese or German, but the practical side of me makes me answer Spanish.

Q:  Country you’d most like to visit.

Jo:  Germany, so I can use my fantasy language and visit castles! But this is another really hard question because I love traveling and want to see it all!

Q:  Favorite season?

Jo:  Sprintumn — because I can’t decide between Spring and Autumn. I love spring for the burst of life and color, but autumn’s cooler temperatures are always sooo welcome after our long, sweltering Alabama summers.

Q:  Favorite board, card, or computer game?

Jo:  This one is easy – Pictionary! I love the fun and laughter of playing with a group of friends. (But everyone knows I love games of all kinds – except Trival Pursuit. My terrible memory makes that game torturous!)

Q:  Ideal evening?

Jo:  A potluck supper with my family and friends, followed by a rousing game of Pictionary.

Of course, chocolate is involved as well!

Q:  Cat or dog?

Jo:  Love them both – but right now I have just a cat, which allows weekend travel to be easier. (But we’ve had all sorts of other pets over the years: hamsters, gerbils, mice, rats, guinea pigs, rabbits, ferret, snakes, monkey, a dove … The Monkey was the worst!)

Q:  Flats or heels?

Jo:  Flat and comfortable!

Q:  Some favorite books?

Jo:  The Good Earth, The Book Thief, Tuck Everlasting, . . . This could go on all day!  A Day No Pigs Would Die, by Richard Peck, is the book I just finished, and the language and writing are remarkable! But it is too sad to become a favorite.

Thanks, Jo!  Please visit Jo at her website at  There you’ll find numerous teacher guides/curriculum tie-in activities for Rosa’s Bus, and for some of her other books, too.



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4 responses to “Crystal Kite Award Winner Jo S. Kittinger

  1. Fun post! (Although I first read Jo’s comfort foods as one food item: “chocolate, creamed eggs on toast.” Maybe I was thinking of nutella. I do that a lot.)

  2. Great interview, Kathy. You captured Jo!

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