The Author

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S. Beth Atkin is a graduate of Barnard College and started a career as a photographer while assisting on photo shoots for publications including Time, Life, Sports Illustrated, Smithsonian. In 1988 she started a commercial and editorial photography business and moved to California. Her clients have included: Digital Equipment, Pebble Beach Company, Cellular One, National Geographic, San Francisco Chronicle, Cycle World, Houghton-Mifflin, Scholastic Inc., The U.S. Open, Nike, and The Nation.
Ms. Atkin then began to work on social issues affecting youth. After extensive research on migrant life, Ms. Atkin received a contract to write and photograph Voices from the Fields: Children of Migrant Farmworker Tell Their Stories  (Little, Brown, 1993) a book for youth, containing first-person interviews, photographs and bi-lingual poetry. It illustrates the difficulties of migrant life and how kids succeed in leaving a life working in the fields. It is a cross-market book used by young readers, adults and in the academic and retail markets. Awards include:
Booklist:  Editor's Choice  
American Library Association: Best Books for Young Adults
New York Public Library: Books for the Teen Age
Bay Area Book Reviewers Awards: Children's Literature Finalist
Hungry Mind Review: Children's Books of Distinction  
Children's and Young Adult Literature Awards:
Commended Title of Latin American Studies Programs
Children's Book Council: Notable Children's Trade Books in the Field of Social Sciences

Ms. Atkin’s next book for youth, Voices from the Streets: Young Former Gang Members Tell Their Stories (Little, Brown, 1996) is about ex-gang members in the U.S., who find ways to improve their lives and help others with the aid of mentors and intervention programs. The format is also interviews, photographs and multi-lingual youth writings, it lends a hopeful message unlike other gang oriented books. The audience it reaches includes schools, juvenile halls, prisons, violence prevention programs, universities and bookstores. Awards include:
American Booksellers Association: Pick of the List
American Library Association:  Best Books for Young Adults
American Library Association:  Quick Picks for Young Adults
Hungry Mind Review: Children's Books of Distinction
New York Public Library: Books for the Teen Age
State of Alabama Department of Education:  Emphasis on Reading Children’s Choice Book Award
Portions of text and photos from both of her books have been used in newspapers, magazines, anthologies, text books, educational CD’s, and videos.

From 2000-2006 Ms Atkin researched and created on Gunstories:Life-Changing Experiences with Guns, her latest book (HarperCollins, 2006).   It presents “both sides” of the gun issue through their voices, opinions, faces and words. Already receiving favorable reviews….” Atkin's often artful photographs personalize the tragedies of those who have suffered and reveal something of the hopes of teens to whom guns are seen as tools for good.” (School Library Journal).. and “ The accounts will be excellent for classroom discussion as teens seek to extract fact from opinion.” (Booklist)

Beth was also a Visiting Fellow at the Institute of International Studies, University of California, Berkeley. While collaborating with the Institute’s director she was a producer for an Internet based program for inner city youth, Connecting Students to the Web. ( She also photographed distinguished guests to the institute (
And was a consultant for curriculum and web design.  After working at UC Berkeley became the Bi-Cultural Curriculum Developer, for a National Science Foundation funded Internet project for Latino students, at California State University, Monterey Bay.

Ms. Atkin will be a Regent’s Lecturer at UCLA in 2007.

Atkin lectures about youth issues, her books and photography, continues to do editorial photography and consults, volunteers, and donates her work to at-risk programs for youth and non-profit organizations.  
For most internet searches please use: S. Beth Atkin