Obituaries

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Ava Weiss (1925-2020)

We were sorry to learn that longtime Greenwillow Books art director Ava Weiss has died, at the age of ninety-five. She was with Greenwillow from its beginnings in 1974 (having followed founder Susan Hirschman from Macmillan), retiring in 2002. Greenwillow’s Facebook page called her “brilliant” and said: “Ava designed the Greenwillow logo (inspired by Janina Domanska’s etchings in Under the Green...

R.I.P. Jill Paton Walsh

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We're sad to have lost Jill Paton Walsh yesterday. I only met her once, at a 1990s CLNE gathering at Radcliffe, but Jill was a longtime friend of the Horn Book dating back to the 1970s, when Paul and Ethel Heins were running things here, and they and Jill and...

In Memoriam: Lee Kingman Natti (1919–2020)

Editor, author, artist, and designer Lee Kingman Natti’s association with The Horn Book, Inc., spanned eighty years — surely a record. Bertha Mahony, founder of The Horn Book Magazine and owner of The Bookshop for Boys and Girls, gave the nine-year-old Lee advice on choosing ten free books from the...

In Memoriam: Tomie dePaola (1934–2020)

The first thing I think of when I think of Tomie dePaola (who died in March at the age of eighty-five, from complications following a fall) isn’t a book at all. It’s Christmas. I think of a Tomie dePaola nativity set my family had growing up. I’m not even talking...

Karen Blumenthal (1959–2020)

We were sad to hear about the death earlier this week of Karen Blumenthal. A respected journalist (for the Wall Street Journal and Dallas Morning News) and author of nonfiction books for young adults, Blumenthal also co-created the #KidLitWomen* initiative. Read our review of her latest book, Jane Against the...

Tomie dePaola (1934-2020)

Beloved author and illustrator Tomie DePaola has passed away this week, on March 30, 2020, from a fall. "What a rich legacy he has left us with," says Roger Sutton. Some articles, interviews, and artwork by and about this "great guy" are here; look for a full remembrance in an...

Betsy Byars (1928-2020)

We were sad to hear from her daughter about the death last week of author Betsy Byars. Byars's many awards and recognitions includes the 1971 Newbery Medal for The Summer of the Swans; the 1981 National Book Award for The Night Swimmers; and an Edgar Award in 1992 for Wanted...Mud...

Katherine Johnson (1918-2020)

We were sad to hear of the death today of Katherine Johnson at age 101. In recent years there have been several books for young people about this remarkable "hidden figure," including her 2019 autobiography Reaching for the Moon and the titles below. As we near the end of Black...

Andrew Clements (1949-2019)

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Photo: George Clements. We were sad to learn that Andrew Clements passed away late last month. Perhaps best known as the author of Frindle, Clements wrote over eighty books, many of them school stories. Recent titles include The Friendship War and The Losers Club; read Roger Sutton's Five Questions interview...
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