In Memory: Karen Blumenthal

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

Our deepest sympathies to the friends, family, colleagues and readers of fellow Texas author Karen Blumenthal.

From Karen’s website bio:

“As a long-time journalist, Karen writes nonfiction for young people with the belief that nonfiction brings context to a complicated world.

“She is particularly fascinated by social change, how it happens and why.”


Former WSJ Bureau Chief and Columnist Karen Blumenthal Dies at 61 from The Wall Street Journal.

Continue Reading In Memory: Karen Blumenthal »

In Memory: Thomas Low, Co-Founder of Lee & Low Books

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

Our deepest sympathies to the friends, family, colleagues and readers of Thomas Low, co-founder of Lee & Low Books.

Obituary: Thomas Low by Shannon Maughan from Publishers Weekly. Peek:

“Tom Low had been a successful businessman in New York heading his own temporary personnel agency when he changed course and teamed up with fellow Chinese-American businessman Philip Lee to co-found Lee &

Continue Reading In Memory: Thomas Low, Co-Founder of Lee & Low Books »

In Memory: Robert Kimmel Smith

By Stephani Martinell Eaton

Robert Kimmel Smith, award-winning children’s author, died April 18 in Manhattan, New York of natural causes. He was 89. Since 2015, Smith had been living with Alzheimer’s disease.

Obituary: Robert Kimmel Smith by Shannon Maughan from Publishers Weekly. Peek: “…known for such popular middle grade novels as Chocolate Fever (1972) and The War with Grandpa (1984) died April 18 at his home….”

Smith was born on July 31,

Continue Reading In Memory: Robert Kimmel Smith »

In Memory: Gail Shepherd

By Stephani Martinell Eaton

Gail Shepherd, award-winning journalist, poet, and author of middle grade novel The True History of Lyndie B. Hawkins (Kathy Dawson, 2019) died of complications from a brain tumor on Feb. 24 in Lake Worth, Florida. She was 62.

Obituary: Gail Shepherd from Publishers Weekly. Peek: “Shepherd’s editor, Kathy Dawson, shared this remembrance: ‘Gail was always learning, always fighting the good fight,

Continue Reading In Memory: Gail Shepherd »

In Memory: Tomie dePaola

By Stephani Martinell Eaton

Tomie dePaola (pronounced da-POW-la), celebrated and beloved author and illustrator, died March 30 in Lebanon, New Hampshire after complications from surgery following a fall. He was 85.

Obituary: Tomie dePaola, ‘Strega Nona’ Author and Illustrator, Dies at 85 by Iliana Magra and Julia Carmel from The New York Times. Peek: “Mr. dePaola, whose best-known books were probably the ‘Strega Nona’ series,

Continue Reading In Memory: Tomie dePaola »

In Memory: Betsy Byars

By Stephani Martinell Eaton

Betsy Byars, award-winning and prolific author, died Feb. 26 in Seneca, South Carolina after complications from a fall. She was 91.

Obituary: Betsy Byars by Shannon Maughan from Publishers Weekly. Peek:

“Byars’s books were often lauded for their blend of humor, empathy, and realistic detail.”

Betsy Byars, Author of ‘The Summer of the Swans’ and Other Children’s Classics,

Continue Reading In Memory: Betsy Byars »

In Memory: Susan Jeffers

By Gayleen Rabakukk

Caldecott Honor-winning illustrator Susan Jeffers died January 22 at the age of 77.

Her book Three Jovial Huntsmen (Bradbury, 1973) received Caldecott Honors in 1974.

Jeffers studied art at the Pratt Institute, then worked in the children’s art department at three different publishing houses.

Working on other illustrators’ books inspired her to create her own. “…in 1968, Jeffers began an art studio with fellow illustrator Rosemary Wells,

Continue Reading In Memory: Susan Jeffers »

In Memory: Andrew Clements

By Stephani Martinell Eaton

Andrew Clements, beloved and prolific author, died Nov. 28 in West Baldwin, Maine. He was 70.

Obituary: Andrew Clements by Shannon Maughan from Publishers Weekly. Peek: “Clements shared…that he credited his parents, both avid readers, with instilling a love of books and reading in him and his siblings, and noted that tech-free family summers spent at a cabin on a lake in Maine helped him ‘begin to think like a writer.’”

Frindle Author Remembered from School Library Journal.

Continue Reading In Memory: Andrew Clements »

In Memory: Richard Jackson

By Gail Vannelli

Richard “Dick” Jackson, legendary children’s editor, publisher, and author, died Oct. 2, 2019. He was 84.

Richard Jackson, Who Had an Ear for Children’s Books, Dies at 84 by Neil Genzlinger from The New York Times. Peek: “[I]t was his work as an editor beginning in the 1960s that changed…literature for young people. At a time when many people still thought of Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys mysteries as the height of sophistication for young readers,

Continue Reading In Memory: Richard Jackson »

In Memory: Mordicai Gerstein

By Stephani Martinell Eaton

Mordicai Gerstein, Caldecott winning author and illustrator, died Sept. 24. He was 83.

Remembering Caldecott Winner Mordicai Gerstein by Kara Yorio from School Library Journal. Peek:

“‘Mordicai Gerstein was a genius, a master of both art and text,’ said Grace Maccarone, executive editor at Holiday House. ‘Mordicai wrote with humor and insight, and he painted with skill and with all his heart.’”

Obituary: Mordicai Gerstein by Shannon Maughan from Publishers Weekly.

Continue Reading In Memory: Mordicai Gerstein »