Wilson, Hazel (1898 - 1992)

Genre: Children's Literature

Hazel Wilson was born in Portland on 8 April 1898. She lived on Munjoy Hill and attended Portland schools.

Munjoy Hill (or, The Hill, as it is known in Portland) is the location of The Surprise of Their Lives, published in 1957.

Wilson graduated from Bates College in 1919 and the following year earned a Master of Library Science from Simmons College. She returned to Portland where she was employed as the librarian at Portland High School from 1920 to 1923. Later, she was a librarian at the Northeast Missouri Teachers College (1923-1926), American Library in Paris(1926-1928), and at Bradford Academy (1928-1929), and was supervisor of Denver school libraries in 1929 and 1930.

Although her library career ended when she married, Wilson's knowledge of children and books helped her create characters and plots that make her books appealing to both child and adult readers. She was also a book reviewer for publications in the Washington, D.C., area and was a lecturer at George Washington University from 1956 to 1967.

Bates College awarded Wilson an honorary Master of Arts in 1956.

She earned The Ohioana Award for Island Summer, the Boys Club of America Junior Book Award for Thad Owen, and the Edison Award for His Indian Brother.

She died in Bethesda, Maryland on 20 Aug. 1992.

Selected Bibliography

Books set in Maine

  • The Red Dory (1939)
  • The Owen Boys (1947)
  • Island Summer (1949)
  • Thad Owen (1950)
  • Tall Ships (1950)
  • His Indian Brother (1955)
  • The Surprise of Their Lives (1957)

"Herbert" series

  • Herbert (1950)
  • Herbert Again (1951)
  • More Fun With Herbert (1954)
  • Herbert's Homework (1960)
  • Herbert's Space Trip (1965)
  • Herbert's Stilts (1972)

Non-fiction Works

  • The Story of Lafayette (1952)
  • The Story of Mad Anthony Wayne (1953)
  • The Little Marquise: Madame Lafayette (1957)
  • The Seine, River of Paris (1962)
  • Last Queen of Hawaii: Liliuokalani (1963)
  • The Years Between: Washington at Home at Mount Vernon, 1783-1789 (1969).

Selected Resources