Ann Nolan Clark was born in 1898. She attended New Mexico Highland University, and planned a two-fold career: teaching high school English and history, children and writing historical accounts of the 19th-century southwest. Didn't happen that way.

She did teach English for a while at Highlands University in Las Vegas, New Mexico, then took a position with a government-run school for Indian children. She served for several years before the Tesugue Pueblo Indians asked Clark's supervisor if he would send her to teach their children. Everyone said the move would end her career as an Indian educator, but Clark was up for it. She later said that her experiences in the reservation's one-room schoolhouse were the "richest, most satisfying" in her career.

The Tesgue school was painfully underfunded, with zero money for buying such luxuries as books. Clark decided to write her own. The United States Office of Indian Affairs published fifteen of her books between 1940 and 1951. Most were bilingual, with the English and Indian translation printed in parallel columns. The Indians made up the work-force that produced these books; they translated, illustrated, printed and bound them.

In the 1940s, Clark supervised the production of materials in Central and South America for the Institute of Inter-American Affairs. For five years she traveled through Mexico, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Peru and Brazil, training native teachers to work with their own people. Of course books sprouted from this period of her life, including the Newbery winner, Secret of the Andes. All her books were based on personal experience.

Clark would eventually receive the United States Bureau of Indian Affairs' Distinguished Service Award, for excellence of service given.

I'm not sure why, or how it fits, but it's true: Clark claimed her the root of her storyteller's inspiration inspiration came from her grandfather's Irish fairies.


Bringer of the Mystery Dog

In My Mother's House

Little Boy With Three Names: Stories of Taos Pueblo

Little Herder in Autumn

Secret of the Andes   (1953 Newbery Award)

Sun Journey: A Story of Zuni Pueblo

There Still Are Buffalo

Who Wants to Be a Prairie Dog?

Young Hunter of Picuris: A Story of a Little Indian Boy of the Picuris Pueblo in New Mexico

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