Breakfast Serials Stories and Illustrations

Illustrator Jim Averbeck


Awards for In a Blue Room

Publisher’s Weekly, Best Book of 2008
CCBC Best Book of 2008


In a Blue Room (2008)
The Market Bowl (2011)
except if (2011)

Jim Averbeck

“The Breakfast Serial ‘One Step at a Time’ provided me 100% of my daily recommended allowance of admirable characters, horrific situations and satisfying resolutions."


Jim Averbeck was born and raised in the suburbs of Cincinnati, Ohio, a city built on seven hills of oak, maple, and walnut trees where he and his imagination could run wild. He loved to climb the trees and frequently threw himself from them when playing paratrooper or super-hero or gorilla. He broke his right arm three times in one year, causing his mother to bite her nails to the quick and his family doctor to say “tut-tut” as he built up each new cast from plaster-dipped bandages.

As an adult Jim continued his tradition of throwing himself blindly from the heights when he quit his well-paid engineering job and jumped from the shores of the United States to Cameroon, in West Africa. There he lived for nearly four years, working on water projects for the Peace Corps. He fell in love with the country, sampled the salty flavors of fried termites and crocodile, and learned how to say “Hello, I want one steamed bean cake, thank you,” in Bulu.

Upon his return, Jim plunged into the world of children’s literature, despite a minimum of formal training in writing or illustration. His first book, In a Blue Room, is a Junior Library Guild Premier Selection, a Publisher’s Weekly “Best Books of 2008” choice, and a CCBC “Best Books of the Year.” Jim’s third picture book, except if, was published in 2011


A Long Walk to Water

A Long Walk to Water is an original serial novel taken from today's headlines. Written for the Breakfast Serials audience by Linda Sue Park, author of many novels for young people (including the Newbery Award winner A Single Shard), A Long Walk to Water is based on the true story of Salva, one of some 3,800 Sudanese "Lost Boys" airlifted to the United States beginning in the mid 1990s.

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