Barbara Juster Esbensen Memorial

Award winning author, poet, teacher, grandmother, mother, wife, sister, and best-friend to those who knew her...


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Writer and Teacher

Barbara Juster Esbensen is the author of nineteen books, including seven collections of poetry. Her award-winning nature books and retellings of Native American legends have been honored by the NSTA and the NCSS/CBC as outstanding trade books in science and social studies.

In 1994, she received the NCTE Award for Excellence in Poetry For Children --a lifetime achievement award. Her book, DANCE WITH ME, was honored with the 1995 Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award. Barbara's revised 1975 book for adults, A CELEBRATION OF BEES: HELPING CHILDREN WRITE POETRY gives parents and teachers strategies for encouraging children to use their image-making powers.

Barbara began her career teaching art to grades K-12. She also taught art and creative writing methods to college of education students. As a third grade classroom teacher, she used trade books across the curriculum to teach her 39 "low-achiever" third graders to read. Her first book was a collection of her poetry, SWING AROUND THE SUN, published in 1965. There was a hiatus while she raised six children. Her husband, Tory Esbensen, is a former educator who designs computerized learning materials.


Barbara wrote the following books, some of which have been published in other countries - France, England, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark:

Barbara Juster Esbensen Memorial

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