Jean Craighead George (1919-2012)
Jean Craighead George was born into a family of naturalists. Her father, mother, brothers, aunts and uncles were students of nature. On weekends her father took her and her twin brothers, Frank and John, up along the Potomac River near their Washington, D.C. home. They camped, climbed cliffs to study peregrine falcons, gathered edible plants and made fish hooks from twigs. Her first pet was a turkey vulture. She began to write in third grade and never stopped. She wrote over 100 books.
Her book, Julie of the Wolves won the prestigious Newbery Medal, the American Library Association's award for the most distinguished contribution to literature for children, in 1973. My Side of the Mountain, the story of a boy and a falcon surviving on a mountain together, was a 1960 Newbery Honor Book. She received 20 other awards.