Subscribe to The Horn Book

Another Gone Girl

Barbara Newhall Follett, from Wikipedia

This weekend I happened upon Paul Collins’ essay “Vanishing Act,” about the writing prodigy Barbara Newhall Follett, whose The House Without Windows was published by Knopf in 1927 when the author was twelve.  Our own Bertha Mahony loved the book, devoting three pages to it in the February 1927 Magazine. While Follett would go on to publish a few more books in her teens, her life became shadowed when her beloved father deserted Barbara and her mother; Barbara’s own marriage (at age nineteen) ended when she quarreled with her husband (she suspected he was having an affair) and (allegedly) walked out of their apartment in Brookline in 1939 and disappeared. Forever. Brrr!

According to Collins, Barbara’s last published work was in the Horn Book and I give it to you here, from the February 1933 issue of the Magazine.

Roger Sutton About Roger Sutton

Roger Sutton has been the editor in chief of The Horn Book, Inc, since 1996. He was previously editor of The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books and a children's and young adult librarian. He received his M.A. in library science from the University of Chicago in 1982 and a B.A. from Pitzer College in 1978. Follow him on Twitter: @RogerReads.



  1. KT Horning says:

    And how about Plato Chan, the 12-year-old who won a Caldecott Honor in 1944 for The Good Luck Horse?

  2. Barbara was 25 when she vanished, not 19. To read more about her, check out my site at

    Stefan (Barbara’s nephew)

Comment Policy:
  1. Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  2. Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  3. Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through (though some comments with links to multiple URLs are held for spam-check moderation by the system). If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.

We accept clean XHTML in comments, but don't overdo it and please limit the number of links submitted in your comment. For more info, see the full Terms of Use.

Speak Your Mind