I think I’ve always wanted to be a writer, even before I could hold a pencil. My parents were great storytellers, so bringing characters to life seemed as natural as riding horses bareback, which I also grew up doing. I won my first writing contest as a 10-year-old tomboy. My 50 words on “Why I Want to Be Batboy for the Kansas City A’s” won first place, but the team wouldn’t let a girl be batboy. It was my first taste of rejection.

Since then, I’ve had over 400 of my titles published for children and about 25 for grown-ups, with millions of copies in over a dozen countries. I write for every age and in nearly every genre. I keep busy doing school visits, keynoting at conferences, and writing from rural Ohio, where I enjoy our family, including horses, dogs, cats, & a changing array of outdoor creatures.

The Secrets of Tree Taylor

Alfred A. Knopf/Random House

The Secrets of Tree Taylor

The morning the gun went off, I was thinking about Tolstoy and the Beatles, and maybe, if I’m being honest here, a little about Ray Miller and how his eyes were perfect little pieces of sky. . ..

 Tree Taylor has two goals for the summer of ’63:

  1. Become a famous writer (or, at least, write an investigative article that will land her the freshman spot on the Blue and Gold staff.”
  2. Experience her first real kiss. A kiss delivered by a boy. A boy who is not related to her. A kiss worth writing about.


I love the changing seasons, and so do kids. All four books available from Broadman Publishing

The Fantastic Gifts of Fall

Broadman Publishing

The Fantastic Gifts of Fall  

The Wonderful Gifts of Winter

The Wonderful Gifts of Winter

The Special Gifts of Summer

The Special Gifts of Summer

Super Gifts of Spring

Super Gifts of Spring

Polliwogs and Puppy Dogs


A baby turkey’s called a poult./ A baby horse, a foal or colt.

A guinea fowl has baby keet/ with funky, funny baby feet.


I'll Talk to God About That

Harvest House Publishers

I'll Talk to God About That

Fun rhymes address a toddler’s basic fears.

When I'm face-to-face with a huge giraffe,
And his neck's as long as a shepherd's staff,
I can feel the fear, but I'll choose to laugh.
And I'll talk to God about that.

My Bible Animals Storybook

Tyndale House Publishers

Bible Animal Storybook


Chock full of animal facts:

  • Only girl mosquitoes bite.
  • A common dove disease is “pigeon pox.”   * Bees are born fully grown.
  • It would take a seahorse 2 hours to swim across your bedroom.
  • If 17 daddies stood on each other’s heads, the top daddy could touch a blue whale’s nose, and the daddy on the bottom could touch the tail (100 feet)
  • Snails can go for 3 years without eating.
  • The milk from one dairy cow is enough to make 5 gallons of ice cream a day!
Knopf/Random House
The Silence of Murder

WINNER of the Edgar Award 2012!

Nominated for Teen Choice Book of the Year

Ill. Carlynn Whitt

There's A Baby in There

Ill. Steve Johnson & Lou Fancher

Listen to the Silent Night

My Boyfriends Dogs
Now also a Hallmark Movie!

Backyard Horses

Click on Book Title for more information

Larger-Than-Life Laura
Larger-Than-Life Lara
Dutton/Penguin Books
Reading Level: Grades 4-8

A Book You'll Never Forget!

For anyone who’s ever wanted to write…

“Thoroughly enjoyable and unexpectedly wry, this book is as intelligent as it is succinct." Elizabeth Bird, NY Public Library, in School Library Journal

Study Guide Available Here

A Girl Named Dan

A Girl Named Dan
Sleeping Bear Press

Dandi's true story and lifelong dream

Study Guide Available Here

Dandi not only enters the contest--her essay wins! However, her joy is short-lived when the contest officials enforce the For Boys Only rule.

"Mackall seamlessly weaves a good deal of baseball trivia and slang into her tale...Dandi is an engaging and sympathetic heroine, and her story will resonate with many readers." - School Library Journal, June 2008

See more about this book on YouTube.


Rudy Rides the RailsRudy Rides the Rails:
A Depression Era Story
(Tales of Young America)
Sleeping Bear Press

Dandi met the real "Ramblin' Rudy" in 2000 and was inspired to capture his stories & sense of community and adventure, when Rudy "rode the rails" as a teen hobo during the Great Depression.

Study Guide Available Here
Crazy in Love
Crazy In Love

Mary Jane Ettermeyer hears voices in her head, but they're all hers-and she's going to need every single one of them to get through life, now that she's fallen hard for the amazing Jackson House, her girlfriend’s boyfriend.

"...Mackall hits the nail on the head with her poignant description of first love..." School Library Journal

Eva Underground


"Modern Communism is rarely depicted in children's literature, and never before this well." - Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • Nominated ALA Best Book for Young Adults
  • Finalist for Ohioana Award,
  • New York Public Library "Teen Pick"

This story parallels the author's experiences before "The Wall" came down.

Study guide available at Harcourt Books

WaterBrook/Random House

illustrated by David Hohn

Gaggle of Geese

In fun, rollicking rhyme, discover the names of animal groups, from tidings of magpies, ducks in a brace, elks in a gang, in a galloping race!

For those who love horses….

click on book title for more information on the series



Dandi is represented by Elizabeth Harding of Curtis Brown Inc., NY, NY.


Anna Webman at Curtis Brown