Let's get those old books off the shelf! Today's author is a Newbery AND Caldecott winner.
Marguerite DeAngeli! She won the Newbery Award in the year I was born, 1950, for The Door in the Wall - the story of Robin who deals with a sudden illness that cripples his legs destroying his chance to become a knight. He manages to live with his infirmity and even turn it to his advantage when he uses his crutches as a disguise to go for help when his Lord's castle is besieged. Pretty cool, huh?
DeAngeli's books dealt with children from many diverse backgrounds. Her book Bright April, follows April Bright, a little black girl in Philadelphia, as she grows up. This book may have been the first children's book to deal with racial prejudice.
Many of DeAngeli's books are set in Pennsylvania. The Underground Railroad shows up in the Philadelphia Quaker story, Thee, Hannah. People who live in Pennsylvania Dutch country embrace Yonnie Wondernose. And Yonnie is the younger brother of one of DeAngeli's earliest characters, Henner's Lydia.
Up the Hill shows a young Pennsylvania coal miner struggling to become an artist.
DeAngeli was a prolific illustrator, winning two Caldecott honors, one for Yonnie Wondernose and one for her Book of Nursery and Mother Goose Rhymes.
In the spirit of her time, Marguerite DeAngeli gently showed her readers children like themselves, who lived in different times and with different expectations. With over 25 books to her credit as an author/illustrator and over 30 books and articles as an illustrator, let's hope that Marguerite DeAngeli will not be forgotten.