Jean Craighead George was born in
Washington, D.C. and raised in a family
of naturalists, Jean George has centered
her life around writing and nature. She
attended Pennsylvania State University,
graduating with degrees in English and
science. In the 1940s she was a member
of the White House press corps and a
reporter for the Washington Post. Ms.
George, who has written over 100 books
- among them
My Side of the Mountain
(Dutton), a 1960 Newbery Honor Book,
and its sequels
On the Far Side of the
and Frightful's Mountain (both
Dutton) - also hikes, canoes, and makes
sourdough pancakes. In 1991, Ms.
George became the first winner of the
School Library Media Section of the New
York Library Association's Knickerbocker
Award for Juvenile Literature, which was
presented to her for the "consistent
superior quality" of her literary works.
Her inspiration for the Newbery
Medal-winning Julie of the Wolves evolved
from two specific events during a
summer she spent studying wolves and
tundra at the Arctic Research Laboratory
of Barrow, Alaska: "One was a small girl
walking the vast ad lonesome tundra
outside of Barrow; the other was a
magnificent alpha male wolf, leader of a
pack in Denali National Park ... They
haunted me for a year or more, as did
the words of one of the scientists at the
lab: 'If there ever was any doubt in my
mind that a man could live with the
wolves, it is gone now. The wolves are
truly gentlemen, highly social and

The mother of three children, Jean
George is a grandmother who has
joyfully read to her grandchildren since
they were born. Over the years Jean
George has kept 173 pets, not including
dogs and cats, in her home in
Chappaqua, New York. "Most of these
wild animals depart in autumn, when the
sun changes their behavior and they feel
the urge to migrate or go off alone. While
they are with us, however, they become
characters in my books, articles, and
Jean Craighead George
Copyright 2016 © Barry M. Baker