Author Harold William Thorpe grew up in southwest Wisconsin. He lived on farms for brief periods and spent many happy hours at his relatives’ farms. He had a long and rewarding career in education and education research where he contributed to many publications and journals. It was only in retirement that he decided to learn how to write fiction. Giddyap Tin Lizzie was his first book, followed by Bittersweet Harvest then Puppet on a String all based on his mother’s memoirs of growing up in Iowa County Wisconsin. The series closes with Strawberry Summer, also based on his mother, in her senior years.
During his teen years Harold Thorpe detasseled corn and worked as a live-in farm laborer and Surge milking machine sales and service man. In his early 20s, he worked as a U.S. Department of Agriculture field man.
Harold has a bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville. Early in his career, he worked as a fifth-grade teacher, special education teacher and school psychologist in Janesville, Wisconsin. During these years he started a business and earned a master’s degree in educational psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Afterward, he left Janesville for Utah State University where he earned a doctorate in education.
Upon returning to Wisconsin he took a position as a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, where he initiated a program to prepare students to teach the learning disabled. For the next twenty-five years he taught classes, supervised student teachers and graduate students, and served in administrative positions as a graduate program coordinator, department chairperson, and college associate dean. But his first love was conducting research that produced more than twenty-five publications in education and psychology journals.
Learn more about the inspirations for his books on the Q&A with Harold Thorpe page.