2015 Literary Landmarks

  • Wilder Homestead, Burke, N.Y. Laura Ingalls Wilder (1867-1957) first wrote about her childhood growing up on the American frontier in Little House in the Big Woods (1932). She then immortalized the boyhood home of her husband, Almanzo, in Farmer Boy (1933), the second title in the “Little House” series. The novel chronicled one year in Almanzo’s life on the farm near Malone where he lived and worked from his birth in 1857 until 1875, when his family moved to Minnesota. Partners: New York Library Association, Empire State Center for the Book, the Almanzo and Laura Ingalls Wilder Association, HarperCollins Publishers. Dedicated July 11, 2015.

  • Toledo-Lucas County Public Library, Toledo, Ohio. Author and journalist Mildred A. Wirt Benson (known by many by her pen name, Carolyn Keene), moved to Toledo in 1938. From 1930-1953, she wrote 23 of the first 30 Nancy Drew mysteries. The library owns many items relating to the life and work of Benson. Partners: Library Legacy Foundation, Nancy Drew Sleuths, The Blade. Dedicated May 30, 2015.

  • Hamilton Lane Library, Hamilton, Ohio. Two-time Caldecott Award-winner Robert McCloskey (1914-2003) walked through the doors of the Hamilton Lane Library many times as a child. McCloskey was born in Hamilton and his first book, Lentil, featured several Hamilton scenes, including the library. Published by Viking in 1940, it told the story of a boy much like himself. Partners: Heritage, The Lane Libraries, Ohio Educational Library Media Association, Penguin Young Readers (Viking). Dedicated May 9, 2015.

  • George Bruce Branch, New York Public Library, New York, N.Y. Walter Dean Myers (1937-2014) used this Harlem neighborhood as a setting for many of his books, including Harlem, Monster, 145th Street and Here in Harlem. His childhood was spent playing basketball on the courts of Harlem and checking books out at this branch of the New York Public Library. Myers went on to become an award-winning author and National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature (2012-13). Partners: Empire State Center for the Book, HarperCollins Publishers, Holiday House, Random House Children’s Books, Scholastic. Dedicated May 4, 2015.

  • Norman Public Library, Norman, Okla. Harold Keith (1903-1998) was born in Oklahoma’s Cherokee Outlet. He pioneered the field of sports journalism as the first sports information director for the University of Oklahoma. His major works include sports histories and historical novels for young people. His book Rifles for Watie won the 1958 Newbery Award. Partners: Pioneer Library System, Friends of Libraries in Oklahoma, Libraries United, University of Oklahoma Athletic Department, Oklahoma Center for the Book, Friends of the Norman Library, Norman Arts Council. Dedicated May 3, 2015.

  • Westerly Public Library, Westerly, R.I. Margaret Wise Brown (1910-1952) was the author of many beloved children’s books, including Goodnight Moon and The Runaway Bunny. After her untimely death, her sister Roberta Rausch and her friend Jessica Gamble Dunham donated a near complete set of her published works, personal papers, manuscripts and books to Westerly Library. Partners: Friends of the Memorial and Library Association, Rhode Island Center for the Book at Rhode Island Council for the Humanities, HarperCollins. Dedicated May 2, 2015.

  • Carl Sandburg State Historic Site, Galesburg, Ill. Carl Sandburg (1878-1967), the Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and Lincoln biographer, was born in a three-room cottage adjacent to the site and grew up in Galesburg. His book Rootabaga Stories was written for his three daughters, and The American Songbag is a collection of American folk tunes that are still taught to children today. Partners: Jesse White, Illinois Secretary of State and State Librarian; Illinois State Library; Illinois Center for the Book. Dedicated April 25, 2015.