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Forgotten Author of the Week - Lois Lenski

Because I would feel bad to call any of the authors I am going to go see as Forgotten, I scoured the internet for books that influenced one of those writers. Lois Lowry said that one of her favorite authors as a kid was Lois Lensky, not just because they shared a name, but also because she loved her book, Strawberry Girl.


Spurred by her first born son Stephen, Lenski began her "Mr. Small" series with The Little Family (1932) and The Little Auto (1934). In the early stages of her writing in the 1930s Lenski wrote "a group of imaginative stories for p

ure amusem

ent." These included Grandmother Tippytoe, Arabella and Her Aunts andBenny and His Penny. Lenski next moved into historical fiction, beginning with Phebe Fairchild, Her Book (1936), a story based on the Lenski farmhouse in Connecticut, built in 1790. Over the next decade Lenski wrote six more historical books including Bound Girl of Cobble Hill (1938), Blueberry Corners (1940) and Indian Captive (1941).Phebe Fairchild and Indian Captive both were named Newbery Honor books. As a change of pace from her intensely researched historical books, Lenski also published picture books including Sugarplum House (1934) and Gooseberry Garden (1935). She continued to illustrate the works of other writers, most notably Maud Hart Lovelace's first four Betsy Tacy books. She worked very closely with Lovelace and her publishers to make the books true to their real-life context.

During the 1940s two other major factors, her travels and her grandson, influenced Lois Lenski's writing. Due to poor health, Lenski was ordered by her physician to get away from the fierce Connecticut winters. She and Arthur Covey chose to spend winters in the South. It was during her travels that Lenski began research and writing on her series of regional books. Beginning with Bayou Suzette (1943), based on life in the Louisian

a backcountry, Lenski wrote some 16 regional books over the next twenty years. Perhaps her most successful regional story was Strawberry Girl (1945), winner of the Newbery Medal in 1946.

Inspired by her grandson, David Chisholm, Margaret'

s son, Lenski began the "Davy" series of books in the mid-1940s. David lived with his grandparents during the summers of 1943-1945 and was initially a very difficult child. Lenski's grandmotherly kindness finally won him over and his childhood activities became the basis for a series of six picture books including Davy's Day (1943) and A Surprise for Davy (1947).

In the 1950s and early 1960s, Lenski published the Ro

Although Lenski suffered from illness again in the early 1950s, she gradually recovered and resumed her writing. Lenski and her husband began

Lenski's many books have become classics in children's literature. Her books depicted children's lives much more realistically than other children's authors. She enthusiastically tackled areas and subjects long neglected in writing for children. The p






1 comments:

abey said...

Lois lenski is my FAVORITE AUTHOR!