Thursday, January 1, 2009

Author Review: Patricia Beatty

Mrs. Beatty wrote in an autobiographical sketch in 1972, “When I, Patricia Beatty, started writing a children’s novel -- largely as a resort from boredom -- in 1956, I had no idea that writing was about to become first my avocation with a vengeance and then a full-time job. Nor did I have any idea that my long-suffering Ph.D. husband, John Beatty, was also to be snatched up before long into the wild wide world of authorship. It has all been a great surprise to us!”

Patricia Beatty and her husband, John, were born in the same hospital in Portland, Oregon, in the same year! Even though their mothers were acquainted with each other, Patricia and John didn’t really get to know each other until they were attending Reed College and they didn’t marry until they were 28 years old.

Patricia and John were both teachers. John taught 16th-18th century English history at the college level and Patricia taught high school history before they married. This knowledge of history shows throughout their detailed historical novels.

In 1959 Patricia began a novel set in 1752 London. Her husband began helping her since this time period was his specialty. In all they wrote 11 novels together before his sudden death in 1975. Mrs. Beatty died in 1991.

In another part of her autobiographical sketch Mrs. Beatty says, “In all our writing we aim to teach history to young readers in what we conceive to be its most painless form, the historical novel.”

I was first introduced to Patricia Beatty through the Sonlight Curriculum and later we came to know more of her work through the TruthQuest history guides. Our family appreciates her approach especially because we have two very adventurous girls who don’t like typical “girl books.” Many of the main characters in her books are girls living during pioneer times.

List of titles by Patricia Beatty: "SL" = used in the Sonlight Curriculum; "TQ" = TruthQuest History Guides

The Bad Bell of San Salvador
Be Ever Hopeful, Hannalee
Behave Yourself, Bethany Brant
Billy Bedamned Long Gone By
Blue Stars Watching
Bonanza Girl --SL
By Crumbs! It's Mine!
Charley Skedaddle- TQ
The Coach that Never Came
Eben Tyne- TQ
Eight Mules from Monterey
Hail Columbia
How Many Miles to Sundown
I Want My Sunday, Stranger!
Indian Canoemaker
Jonathan Down-Under
Just Some Weeds from the Wilderness
Lacy Makes a Match
The Lady from Black Hawk
A Long Way to Whiskey Creek
Lupita Manana
Me, California Perkins
Melinda Takes a Hand
The Nickel-Plated Beauty
O the Red Rose Tree
The Queen's Own Grove
Red Rock Over the River
Rufus, Red Rufus
Sarah and Me and the Lady from the Sea
The Sea Pair
Something to Shout About
Squaw Dog
The Staffordshire Terror
That's One Ornery Orphan
Turn Homeward, Hannalee - SL
Wait for Me, Watch for Me, Eula Bee - SL & TQ
Who Comes with Cannons- TQ
Written by Patricia and John Beatty:

At the Seven Stars- TQ
Campion Towers - TQ
A Donkey for the King
King's Knight's Pawn
Master Rosalind
Pirate Royal
The Queen's Wizard
The Royal Dirk
Who Comes to King's Mountain?
Witch Dog

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