Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Eloise Jarvis McGraw - Happy 100th!

Eloise McGraw and me picnicking on Mount Hood, Oregon, summer 1984.

Today would have been Eloise Jarvis McGraw's 100th birthday. Eloise was not only the author of three Oz books, Merry Go Round in Oz (1963), The Forbidden Fountain of Oz (1980), and The Rundelstone of Oz (2001), but she was also a close friend and a very important part of my life in my teenage and young adult years. Click here for previous blog post. Indeed, I was privileged (and a little intimidated) to be the editor and publisher of Rundelstone, which turned out to be her final book. 

Eloise Alton Jarvis - senior portrait, 1932
Eloise Alton Jarvis was born on December 9, 1915, in Houston, Texas. When she was five her family moved to Oklahoma City, where Eloise graduated from Classen High School in 1932. She was not only in the Honor Society, but won the Senior "Literary Award."

She wrote the "Class Poem of 1932" for her senior yearbook, but she had also written a poem called "Marsh Reeds" for the her junior yearbook when she was only fifteen years old. This is, I believe, McGraw's earliest published writing, and we are pleased to share it with you as a Hungry Tiger Tale. You can read it by clicking here.

Eloise Jarvis married William Corbin McGraw in January 1940. Her first children's book, Sawdust in His Shoes, was published in 1950. She went on to have a stellar career as an author of children's fiction. She wrote nineteen books for young people (three of which were Newbery Honor titles), as well as a book on fiction writing and Pharaoh, an adult novel set in ancient Egypt.

On June 16, 1958, Eloise appeared on Willard Espy's radio show Personalities in Print to discuss her new adult novel Pharaoh, which had just been released by Coward McCann.

Happy birthday, Eloise!

The Rundelstone of Oz
by Eloise McGraw

Cloth-bound hardcover, pictorial endpapers and dust jacket.
Profusely illustrated by Eric Shanower

Join the living marionette, Pocotristi Sostenuto -- better known as Poco -- on his desperate search for the magical Rundelstone in order to rescue his fellow puppets from Slyddwynn, the sinister Whitherd of Whitheraway Castle. Discover the hidden multi-colored Oz kingdom of Fyordi-Zik. And how does all this concern one of Ozma's ladies-in-waiting? This beautiful hardcover book is illustrated by Eric Shanower (with many NEW illustrations!) and comes in a full-color dust jacket. This exciting full-length Oz book by Newbery honoree Eloise Jarvis McGraw (author of Merry Go Round in Oz) will keep you thoroughly enchanted! 

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