Thursday, May 17, 2012

In Memory: Jean Craighead George

Jean's latest book (Dutton, 2009)
Compiled by Cynthia Leitich Smith
for Cynsations

Children's writer Jean Craighead George, 92, died on Tuesday. The author of more than 100 novels, she may be best remembered for her Newbery Award winning novel Julie of the Wolves (Harper & Row, 1972) and her Newbery Honor Book, My Side of the Mountain (Dutton, 1959).

From Jean's website: "She attended Penn State University, graduating with a degree in Science and Literature.

"In the 1940s, she was a reporter for The Washington Post and a member of the White House Press Corps.

"After her children were born, she returned to her love of nature and brought owls, robins, mink, sea gulls, tarantulas - 173 wild animals into their home and backyard. These became characters in her books and, although always free to go, they would stay with the family until the sun changed their behavior and they migrated or went off to seek partners of their own kind."

Jean Craighead George, Children's Author, Dies at 92 by Margalit Fox from The New York Times. Peek:
"'By the time I got to kindergarten,'" Ms. George told The Journal News of Westchester in 2003, "'I was surprised to find out I was the only kid with a turkey vulture.'" 

Cynsational Notes

Additional sources: Ginger Knowlton, Publishers Lunch. See more from Bookshelves of Doom, including information on two books to be published posthumously.

Video Interview with Jean Craighead George on her 90th birthday (July 2, 2009) by Rocco Staino from School Library Journal.


Deniz Bevan said...

That's so sad! I loved My Side of the Mountain.
How wonderful to have lived with so many animals.

Cynthia Leitich Smith said...

A loss to be sure, Deniz. I find the idea of living with so many animals fascinating too. It's all I can do to keep up with my cats.