Allison's Book Bag

Young People’s Authors We Lost in 2015

Posted on: February 5, 2016

Just over a year ago, inspired by the Academy Awards who annually during the Oscars recognize those entertainers who have died, I decided to start paying tribute here to those authors for young people whose loss will be felt in the literary world. One that stands out to me is that of Bonnie Christensen, who died of ovarian cancer at just age 63, because I had the opportunity to interview her through email.

After the photo collage, you’ll find a list of each author whom we have lost in 2015. If the author had a website, I added the link to the author’s name. Besides the name is a description of the works that made the author famous. On the next line, I added a photo credit. If I’ve reviewed any books by the author, I added a note on the third line, along with any relevant links.


  1. Marcia Brown, a three-time Caldecott Medalist and six-time Caldecott Honor illustrator, as well as winner of the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award for the body of her work.
    Photo Credit: NY Times, Marcia Brown, 96, Dies
  2. Bonnie Christensen, picture book author
    Photo Credit: School Library Journal, Celebrated Author and Illustrator Dies
    You can read my review of one of her books here: A Single Pebble
  3. Ellen Conford, award-winning author of Annabel the Actress and Jenny Archer series. Her children’s book And This is Laura and the story Revenge of the Incredible Dr. Rancid and His Youthful Assistant, Jeffrey became ABC Weekend Specials, while her young adult novels Dear Lovey Hart, I Am Desperate became an ABC Afterschool Special and The Alfred G. Graebner Memorial High School Handbook of Rules and Regulations was a CBS Schoolbreak Special.
    Photo Credit: Publishers Weekly, Obituary
  4. Gene Kemp, British author best-known for her children’s books
    Photo Credit: Love Reading 4 Kids
  5. Mal Peet, author who came to children’s fiction at age 52, and is best-known for the books Keeper, Tamar, and Exposure
    Photo Credit: Mal Peet, About.
  6. Terry Pratchett, author of the Discworld series
    Photo Credit: Terry Pratchett, Home.
    You can read a selection of the many tributes to him here: Tributes
  7. Vera Williams, children’s book author and illustrator, artist, educator, and social activist
    Photo Credit: Publisher’s Weekly, Obituary

The above list is based on searching many web pages for reports about those young people’s authors we lost in 2015. If you know of others I missed, please add them in the comments. Thank you!

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