Lean Lee Latham was born in 1902, in Buckhannon, West Virginia. She was the first West Virginian to win a Newbery.

Latham was a teacher, briefly, then a professional playwright and a scriptwriter for radio and television broadcasts. Early in her writing career, she did not realize there was any demand for children's historical fiction - when she realized her work was welcome in that field, she wrote her first kids' book, The Story of Eli Whitney.

Latham has written historical fiction and nonfiction for kids, as well as dramatic works for both children and adults. Pretty exciting stuff.


Carry On, Mr. Bowditch   (1956 Newbery Award)

David Glasgow Farragut: Our First Admiral

The Story of Eli Whitney

George Goethals: Panama Canal Engineer

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