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This is the site for writer HP Newquist.

From science and music to business and brains,
HP Newquist has written two dozen books for both children and adults. His books have received numerous awards and citations, and they have been translated into languages as diverse as Korean, kanji, Arabic, Mandarin, and Indonesian.

This website contains links to all of Newquist's books, along with excerpts, links, and reviews. Just click a book from the list on the left.

Some of the awards Newquist has won include:
• American Association for the Advancement of Science’s “Science Books & Films Prize For Excellence In Science” Finalist
• Two Time Award Winner: National Science Teachers Association "Outstanding Science Book”
• The Magnolia Prize
• New York Public Library Award: “Books For The Teen Age”

Some upcoming books include the origins of getting from one place to another, and many more. All coming to you in the next few months. (And if that weren’t enough, HP Newquist is also overseeing the creation of The National GUITAR Museum, the world’s first museum dedicated to the world’s most popular instrument.)

In the meantime, take a look at HP Newquist's books, including his newest 2017 release, “The Book Of Chocolate.” Available now!

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Chocolate Cover HPN

The Amazing Story Of The World’s Favorite Candy”

Published by Viking/Penguin

A look at the entire history of chocolate, from its origins as a bitter drink revered by the Aztecs to its use in food all over the world. Along the way you’ll meet colorful characters like the feathered-serpent god Quetzalcoatl, who gave cocoa trees to the Aztecs; Henri Nestlé, who inadvertently contributed to the creation of milk chocolate while trying to save the lives of babies who couldn’t nurse; and the quarrelsome Mars family, who split into warring factions selling Milky Way, Snickers, and 3 Musketeers bars, and became one of America’s wealthiest families. From its origin as the sacred, bitter drink of South American rulers to the familiar candy bars sold by today’s multimillion-dollar businesses, people everywhere have fallen in love with chocolate, the world’s favorite favor.

Chocolate Facts

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And, of course, other recent books!

“INVENTION & IMPACT: The Human Body”

Written for The Smithsonian Institution, published by Viking/Penguin

A look at how technology has replaced and repaired body parts since the beginning of history. Everything from the invention of glass eyeballs and peglegs on to 3D printed hands and feet and new organs created with bioprinters.

Human Body Cover Smithsonian

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The Story Of Magic Through The Ages

Published by Henry Holt

Magic tricks didn’t just invent themselves. Someone had to create them. This book looks at the strange and mysterious history of magic, from the ancient Egyptians to Las Vegas stages. Along the way, you’ll encounter famous names like Harry Houdini, David Copperfield, Nikola Tesla, and Penn & Teller, and some not-so-famous names, like T.S. Selbit, who came up with the idea of sawing a person in half. And John Maskelyne, who levitated people from London stages a hundred years ago.

Abracadabra Cover

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From Legends & Leeches to Vampires & Veins

Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt


A great review from the Wall Street Journal about “The BOOK OF BLOOD” . . .

“The predominant color here is red—there are drips and splatters on most pages—but, stylized gore aside, HP Newquist has written a lively and engaging account of the liquid that is both so vitally necessary and so disconcerting: "Bloodsucking vampires, blood transfusions in a hospital, and even the blood from a wound make many people queasy," he writes; "they don't like to think that this red fluid fills up our insides."

“In clear prose, he proceeds to explain how blood functions in the human body before touching on the blood sacrifices practiced among the Inca and in the Old Testament (and indeed the New). The author explores early blood-related ideas of illness, from imbalances of "the humors" to the medical practice of applying leeches. The famous figure of Vlad the Impaler makes a cameo here, as does the less-well-known Transylvanian countess Elizabeth Bathory, born in 1560, who was said to refresh her complexion with the blood of young girls.”

Written in the same vein as Newquist's award-winning The Great Brain Book, this look at blood explores the myths, the legends, and the very real science that have always surrounded the gallon of red, sticky liquid that courses through your body every minute of the day.

Readers will meet the doctors and scientists who have tried to unravel the secrets of blood for centuries, beasts who need to drink blood to live, the amazing things that blood does as it pulses alongs thousands of miles of vessels, and a few mythological creatures that might not be so mythical after all.

The BOOK OF BLOOD was awarded “An Outstanding Science Book for Students K-12: 2013” by the National Science Teachers Association. According to the judging panel: “This will appeal to a wide audience and does a good job of describing many anecdotes about blood–even why the myth of vampires persisted in history.”

The BOOK OF BLOOD won the Magnolia Prize in 2014, and was a finalist for the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s, “Science Books & Films Prize For Excellence In Science” and included in the organization’s Best of 2013 List. As they say at the Oscars “It was just an honor to be nominated.”

ith great reviews:

KIRKUS REVIEWS writes: “Newquist expands considerably on the premise that “There is more to blood than that it’s red and kind of gross” without neglecting to keep the “kind of gross” parts in view. Along with a suitably gore-spattered parade of Aztec and other bloodthirsty gods and blood rituals throughout history, the author takes quick looks at various kinds of blood in the animal kingdom and at vampires in modern pop culture. He also recaps the development of our understanding of blood and the circulatory system from ancient times through the scientific revolution, and thence on to modern uses for blood in medicine and research. In considerably more detail, though, he tallies blood’s individual components and the specific functions of each in keeping our bodies alive and healthy. This transfusion of information offers a rewarding experience to readers whether they’re after the specific differences between blood types and other biological data or just gore’s icky lore. It's nicely enhanced by a generous array of photographs, microphotographs and artists’ renderings.”

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Nominated for A New England Booksellers Award!
Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

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Hundreds of years ago, there were many unexplored regions of the world. These areas were left blank by mapmakers . . . but something sinister was out there. Sailors claimed that these faraway places were inhabited by mysterious beasts and sea serpents. To warn of the dangers lurking on land and under the sea, mapmakers wrote words that would chill the hearts of even the bravest explorers: Here There Be Monsters.

One of those monsters caused fear in sailors all over the world. It had huge eyes, an enormous head, and a razor-sharp beak. Most terrifying of all were its tentacles and slithering arms, each lined with hundreds of suckers. The creature was strong enough to grab an entire ship and drag it down—along with all the men on it—to the dark depths of the ocean. This monster was the legendary kraken.

Weaving scientific discovery with historical accounts—along with the giant squid’s appearance in film and literature--
Here There Be Monsters explores the mystery of this creature in fascinating detail. Readers will find that the monster remains hidden no longer, because scientists have finally seen the kraken with their own eyes . . . alive and rising up out of the sea.

KIRKUS REVIEWS writes: In an engaging, fast-paced text, Newquist chronicles how centuries-old myths about a sea monster known as the kraken transformed into the modern study of Architeuthis dux, the giant squid. Until the 1870s, when dozens of giant squid were sighted and more mysteriously washed up dead on coasts around the world, scientific knowledge of the creature was fragmentary, and speculations about it were based more on fiction than facts. Even now, despite enormous advances in underwater exploration technology, the creature remains shrouded in mystery. A live squid was not observed until 2004, by Japanese scientists. The author does a commendable job of packing a great deal of information into a compact narrative. He seamlessly moves among exploration of history, mythology, film, literature and scientific discovery; the discussions of how everyone from Alfred, Lord Tennyson to Jules Verne to Walt Disney kept the myth of the ferocious kraken alive in people's imaginations are especially interesting. The book is abundantly illustrated with charts, maps and photographs.

According to Newquist "One of the things that I write about in "Monsters" is that humans have been to the moon six times and retrieved more than two thousand rocks. The moon is 250,000 miles away from earth. Yet scientists have collected only about two dozen specimens of the colossal squid, a creature that lives less than one mile under the ocean. It's very weird that we have more specimens from a place that is a quarter of a million miles away than we do of one of the biggest creatures on the earth, even though it lives right here in our oceans."

"THIS WILL KILL YOU: A Guide To The Ways In Which We Go"

Published by St. Martin’s Press

It's a simple concept: how do things actually kill you?

TWKY cover

There are lots of ways to go. Some of them incredibly unpleasant, some not so bad, and some that are actually kind of funny as long as they’re not happening to you.

Most of us are familiar with the events that cause our always untimely demise — diseases, accidents, lethal force — but we typically don’t know why such things make us die. For example, what really happens to the human body when you get hit by lightning? What does the dreaded Ebola virus really do to your insides? Why will four shots of whiskey make you happy but forty shots make you dead?

Since you’re definitely going to go, you might as well know what happens to you. That’s where this book comes in.

Written with co-author Rich Maloof,
This Will Kill You is already featured in Men's Fitness, and is a Book of the Month selection from Quality Paperback Book Club.

Illustration by Jim Shinnick

HP Newquist's "For Boys Only: The Biggest Baddest Book Ever" has won all kinds of awards and has been printed in special editions from China to Australia.
You can click right
here to read more about it.


It’s also available in a Chinese translation. That means a billion more people can read it! Check out the cover. A little different approach from the U.S. version . . .

FBO China small

And get this: There's an Australian version, complete with facts about kangaroos, bushrangers, cricket teams, and snakes you never want to meet while out on walkabout. And it has the daily minimum requirement of 25% Australian Content! Crikey . . . now we have even more reasons to rush back to Australia – even if it's just to pick up a copy of the new book. Here's the advert:

FBO Australia Catalog Entry copy

HP Newquist

Illustration by Jim Shinnick

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HP Newquist

In real life.