About Our Staff

quill-pen-paperCurrent Bulletin Reviewers

Deborah Stevenson, Editor (DS)
Deborah Stevenson has been with the Bulletin since 1989 and has held the position of Editor since 2001. She holds a PhD in English from the University of Chicago, where she wrote her dissertation on children’s literature and contemporary culture. She has taught children’s literature at Indiana University Northwest and in the continuing education program at the University of Chicago, and she now teaches as an Assistant Professor at the University of Illinois. Her articles have appeared in the Horn Book Magazine, The Lion and the Unicorn, and the Children’s Literature Association Quarterly, and she is a senior editor of the Oxford Encyclopedia of Children’s Literature. She is also the co-author, with Betsy Hearne, of Choosing Books for Children: A Commonsense Guide.

Quinita Balderson, Reviewer (QB)
Quinita earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. This faithful Illini works on campus at the College of Law as a Journal Assistant for the Law Review and Elder Law Journal while pursuing a master’s in Library and Information Science with a specialization in Youth Services and is enrolled in the K-12 Licensure program. Passion for diversity and dedication to all things kids’ lit makes her a special addition to The Bulletin staff.

Elizabeth Bush, Reviewer (EB)
Betty received a BA degree from Roosevelt University, an MA degree from Governors State University, and an MLS degree from Rosary College (now Dominican University.) She was a librarian within Archdiocese of Chicago for 2 decades.  After reviewing for Booklist she came to the Bulletin, where she has been a reviewer for over twenty years. She teaches as an adjunct lecturer in the Youth Services program at the iSchool of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She has served on the Boston Globe-Horn Book, Robert F. Sibert, Gryphon, and Scott O’Dell Awards Committees.

Karen Coats, Reviewer (KC)
Karen is Professor of English at Illinois State University. She holds a PhD in Human Sciences from The George Washington University, where she studied critical and cultural theory across multiple disciplines of the humanities and social sciences, and focused her research on children’s literature and culture. Her articles have appeared in Children’s Literature, Pedagogy, Children’s Literature Association Quarterly, Bookbird, and Paradoxa, and she is the author of a book from the University of Iowa Press entitled Looking Glasses and Neverlands: Lacan, Desire, and Subjectivity in Children’s Literature and the co-editor of Handbook of Research on Children’s and Young Adult Literature; The Gothic in Children’s Literature: Haunting the Borders; and Mothers in Children’s and Young Adult Literature: From the Eighteenth Century to Postfeminism. She is also author of The Bloomsbury Introduction to Children’s and Young Adult Literature.

Jeannette Hulick, Reviewer (JH)
Jeannette Hulick received an B.S. in Elementary Education and an M.S. in Library and Information Science, both from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  She has been an elementary teacher at Countryside School in Champaign, a freelance youth program leader at Tolono Public Library in Tolono, IL, and a creator and teacher of popular literature-based summer camps, also at Countryside School.  She is currently the school library media specialist at both Middletown Prairie Elementary and Sangamon Elementary  in Mahomet, IL.

Rebecca Linares, Reviewer (RL)
Rebecca received her doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where taught courses exploring the role of culture and language in teaching and learning as well as courses in children’s literature. She is joining the faculty at Montclair State University in the fall of 2017.

Melanie Kirkwood (MK)
Melanie completed her Bachelor’s of Science degree in Secondary English Education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She briefly taught high school English in the Madison Metropolitan School District before returning to graduate studies in Language and Literacy at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In 2016, she received her Master’s of Education Degree with a Reading Teacher Endorsement, and and is now pursuing her PhD at the University of Illinois,  focusing on race, gender and sexuality in children’s literature

Kate Quealy-Gainer, Assistant Editor (KQG)
Kate received her master’s degree in Information Science from the University of Illinois with a specialization in Youth Services from the University of Illinois. After reviewing for the Bulletin while completing her degree, she joined the staff as Assistant Editor in the summer of 2009. She’s chaired the Gryphon Award committee for several years now, is responsible for the production of our annual Guide Book to Gift Books, and teaches a reviewing class for the iSchool in the summers.

Sarah Sahn, Reviewer (SS)
Sarah earned her Ph.D. in English from the University of Illinois in 2016, focusing on YA fantasy, gender, and citizenship. As a graduate student instructor, she incorporated children’s and YA literature into courses in American literature and fantasy literature. She is currently working toward her Master’s in Library and Information Science and works as a writing consultant at the Writers Workshop in the Undergraduate Library. Her work has appeared in Children’s Literature and the Journal of Literary and Cultural Disability Studies.

Bulletin Staff

Adam McConville is currently the Bulletin’s editorial assistant. He is pursuing a master’s degree in Library and Information Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.