Books by Fran Hodgkins


Fran published her first book, The Orphan Seal, in 2000. Since then, she's written more than two dozen books for young readers, most of them nonficton. Visit this page often because there are always new books in the works!

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Do Seals Ever...?

Have you ever wondered if seals burp? Or what exactly is the difference between a seal and a sea lion? And what the heck is a dugong, anyway? 

In Do Seals Ever ...? you can find all those answers and a lot more! I had a lot of fun doing the research for this title, and learned things I didn't know. 

There's more than just seals in this book. We also cover walruses (which are related to seals) and manatees and dugongs (which are not related to seals; actually, they're more closely related to elephants!)  This is the kind of book you can read aloud to your friends at lunch and stump them with the questions....!

Follow this link to the Amazon page for Do Seals Ever...!

The Secret Galaxy

ISBN-10: 0884483916ISBN-13: 978-0884483915



​"You might not know I'm here . . . " So begins the story of the Milky Way, our home galaxy, which is, sadly, invisible to many people because of the brightness of the night sky. In poetic words that instill wonder while having fun, the galaxy tells some of its secrets, but leaves some to be uncovered by future astronomers.

Illustrated with the remarkable night-sky images of Mike Taylor, noted astrophotographer, and artwork from NASA, this is a great introduction for young readers to astronomy.

"Highly recommended" — Seymour Simon

"awe-inspiring" —School Library Journal

A selection of the Junior Library Guild

Named one of Bank Street's Best Children's Books of the Year, 2015

Selected by the California Reading Association for a EUREKA! Gold Award 2015


Visit and Like my The Secret Galaxy page on Facebook 


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Little Loon

ISBN-10: 1608933725ISBN-13: 978-1608933723

Little Loon traces the birth and first summer of a loon chick on a New England lake, ending with the loon’s migration for the winter. Readers follow along as the baby loon grows and discovers the world around her. Along the way, they’ll learn that loons are so perfectly adapted to life in the water that it’s very difficult for them to walk on land. They only come out of the water to lay eggs, so their nests are built are very close to shore and are very susceptible to flooding in heavy rains. Readers will also discover that the biggest threats to loons come from people—boats, pollution, and fishing tackle. 


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Andre the Famous Harbor Seal

ISBN-10: 089272594XISBN-13: 978-0892725946

Sometimes, just sometimes, a human being and a wild animal make a special connection that changes both of their lives. So it was with Rockport, Maine's Harry Goodridge and the harbor seal pup he named Andre. The two became inseparable, though the seal was free to come and go as he pleased. (His floating enclosure in the harbor simply minimized his presence in skiffs owned by yachtsmen, who complained about his sunbathing in their dinghies.)


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How People Learned to Fly

Hardcover: ISBN-10: 0060295589 ISBN-13: 978-0060295585​

Paperback: ISBN-10: 0064452212 ISBN-13: 978-0064452212



People have taken dangerous risks trying to fly. Some inventors built wings for their arms and flapped them like birds. Others tried to fly with balloons or tried to glide with the wind. This book describes the creative, fascinating, and wacky experiments that people tried before the airplane was invented. 

This is a Stage 2 Let's-Read-and-Find-Out, which means the book explores more challenging concepts for children in the primary grades. Let's-Read-And-Find-Out is the winner of the American Association for the Advancement of Science/Subaru Science Books & Films Prize for Outstanding Science Series. 

Supports the Common Core Learning Standards and Next Generation Science Standards


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The ORPHAN SEAL: A True Story

ISBN-10: 0892724714ISBN-13: 978-0892724710



Based on the actual rescue and rehabilitation of a seal named Howler and accompanied with vivid illustrations, the story of this endearing young seal will find a place in every reader's heart. The Orphan Seal was awared the inaugural ASPCA Henry Bergh Award and was named by Yankee Magazine as one of 100 Classic New England Children’s Books



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Earth Heroes: Champions of the Ocean

ISBN-10: 1584691190 ISBN-13: 978-1584691198



The Earth Heroes books feature the youth, careers and lasting contributions of some of the greatest naturalists and environmentalists in the world. This second book in the series for upper elementary and middle school children introduces great conservationists who explored the oceans and worked to save otters, whales, sharks, sunfish, and other inhabitants of the deep. In almost all cases they were scientists as well as activists and authors, and their passion made a lasting contribution to the world. This volume includes William Beebe, who climbed into a bathysphere and discovered exotic life more than a half mile down; Archie Carr, who discovered the plight of the sea turtles and did much to save them; Jacques Cousteau, inventor of the scuba diving equipment and brought ocean life to televisions across the world; Margaret Wentworth Owings, founder of Friends of the Sea Otter and tireless crusader for marine wildlife; Eugenie Clark, the Shark Lady who showed that sharks are not mindless killers; Roger Payne, who discovered that whales communicate by singing; Sylvia Earle, pioneer Jim Suit and submersible diver; and Tierney Thys, who unraveled the mysteries of the ocean sunfish and brought expanded ocean awareness to TV audiences. Awards for Champions of the Ocean: Mom’s Choice Gold Award, iParenting Media Award. Honorable Mention Nashville Book Fair, Honorable Mention Adult Nonfiction New England Book Fair, and Smithsonian Notable Books for Children.



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Who's Been Here?: A Tale in Tracks

ISBN-10: 0892727144 ISBN-13: 978-0892727148



In this fun-filled and informative book, we take a winter walk with a rambunctious golden retriever Willy. Of course he leaves his paw prints in the snow. But there are other tracks, too, and none of them matches his. One by one, we find out what animals they belong to: a cat, a gull, a raccoon, a snowshoe hare, a bear, a moose, and—uh oh!—a skunk!



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If You Were My Baby: A Wildlife Lullaby

Hardcover: ISBN-10: 1584690747 ISBN-13: 978-1584690740

Board book: ISBN-10: 1584690909ISBN-13: 978-1584690900



If you are looking for a terrific snuggle-book and ALSO want to introduce your young one to animals and their offspring, you have found it. Here is a love poem uniquely combined with non-fiction that explores how parents--both human and non-human--guide their young ones. It begins: If you were my baby squirrel, / I would welcome you to the world / In a secret nest I made just for you. The illustrations are gentle, magical, and yet in no way cartoonish - simple but visually luxurious, as the illustrator intended. The featured species are squirrel, otter, bear, opossum, deer, duck, bison, wolf, fox, beaver, skunk, mountain goat, bat, and (of course) homo sapiens. A comforting, sweet-dream book for nature lovers.



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Between the Tides

ISBN-10: 0892727276 ISBN-13: 978-0892727278



What happens to the denizens of the tidal zone when the sea recedes every 12 hours? This is the question that Hodgkins answers in a playful yet instructive way. Children are introduced to crabs, sea urchins, mussels, sea worms, starfish, lobsters, periwinkles, and other creatures that must adapt to constantly changing conditions.



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Earthquake! (HALF and HALF)

Hardcover: ISBN-10: 1601152175 ISBN-13: 978-1601152176

Paperback: ISBN-10: 1601152183 ISBN-13: 978-1601152183




STORY: Shaken to the Ground

Louis and his family arrive in San Francisco on April 17,1906. The next day, one of the most devastating earthquakes in history rocks the city. Many of the buildings crumble and most of the rest are destroyed in the fires that follow. As Louis and his mother are evacuated from the burning city, he resolves to find a way to construct buildings that can survive a great earthquake.


FACTS: About Earthquakes!

Earthquakes are one of the most powerful and feared forces of nature. We cannot predict or prevent earthquakes, but we can be better prepared for them. Discover why earthquakes happen and why some earthquakes cause little destruction, while others cause such devastation. Plus, learn about some of the most famous earthquakes in history and where they are most likely to strike in the future.



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Amazing Eggs

Hardcover: ISBN-10: 1601152515 ISBN-13: 978-1601152510

Paperback: ISBN-10: 1601152523 ISBN-13: 978-1601152527

Audio CD: ISBN-10: 1601154208 ISBN-13: 978-1601154200

Bilingual Spanish: ISBN-10: 1601150466ISBN-13: 978-1601150462



Enter the fascinating world of eggs and hatchlings! Birds hatch from eggs, and so do reptiles, amphibians, fish, and insects. Even the dinosaurs came from eggs! In this nonfiction title, readers will learn about some of the most amazing animals on the planet and how their lives begin - hatching from an egg!



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