It's been a sad summer for the children's book community. Scarcely more than a week after the dual losses of Donald J. Sobol and Else Holmelund Minarik, we learned today that Margaret Mahy, author of more than 200 children's books, passed away this weekend at the age of 76.
Cybils organizer Gina Ruiz has collected a wide range of tributes to Ms. Mahy at AmoXcalli. Gina says:
"Mahy wrote over 200 books and poems, and is considered to be one of New Zealand’s finest and most acclaimed writers. Her books have been translated into 15 languages and she has won numerous awards and honors for her body of work. Ms. Mahy has won both the Carnegie Medal and the Hans Christian Anderson award. She wrote her first book at age seven.
I know I am only one among so many that are deeply saddened by the loss of such a strong voice for children’s literature. It has been a very sad year as we have lost many greats in the genre. I am sure there will be a huge outpouring from the children’s literature community and I will do my best to gather as many links to the tributes as I can find.
Rest in peace Margaret Mahy, you touched the world and generations with your work and you will be terribly missed."
From Gina's many links, we were especially moved by the words of Judith Ridge at Misrule, who said:
"I’m often asked about my favourite children’s and young adult authors, and for years and years now, I’ve often answered by saying, well, when I grow up, I want to be Margaret Mahy.
You know I have other favourite children’s authors, most notably Diana Wynne Jones, and now we’ve lost both her and Margaret. And as I write this, I keep remembering all the connections between their work—Chants and Changeovers and so on.
I’m more than a little bit heart-broken."
Personally (this is Jen speaking), I'm going to go and read Bubble Trouble to my daughter tonight, in tribute to Margaret Mahy.