Geographic Connection to Pennsylvania: Bradford, McKean County
Bradford native, Hope Newell won the 1972 Lewis Carroll Shelf Award for her children's book The Little Old Woman Who Used Her Head (1935).
After working as a nurse in World War I, Hope Newell began to write children’s stories, drawing from her childhood memories and experiences in the nursing field. She wrote a series of books about the little old woman who used her head. Newell died in 1965.
Hope Newell was born in Bradford, Pennsylvania in 1896. Newell studied nursing in Cincinnati and then went on to graduate with a Bachelor of Sciences degree from Columbia University. In between those years of schooling, she spent time in the military working with the U.S. Army Nurse Corps. During her service she was stationed in France for ten months during World War I. After her discharge from the military, she started a family, had one son, and moved to Napa Valley, California where she spent five years living on a fruit farm. She moved to New York City and in 1943, stopped her current work as a public health nurse to work with the National Nursing Council for War Service. Afterwards, she spent most of her time writing books for young people.
Using her own childhood memories, her father’s Dutch fairy tales, and her experiences as a nurse, Newell began to write children’s books. Some critics even comment on the details of hospital work displayed in her books, especially Cap for Mary Ellis (1953). For her book, The Little Old Woman Who Used Her Head (1935), Newell posthumously received the Lewis Carroll Shelf Award in 1972.
Hope Hockenberry Newell died in 1965.
The Little Old Woman Who Used Her Head. Thomas Nelson, 1935.
More about the Little Old Woman Who Used Her Head. Thomas Nelson, 1938.
Steppin and Family. New York: Oxford University Press, 1942.
Cider Ike, illustrated by Anne Merriman Peck. Thomas Nelson, 1942.
The Story of Christina. New York: Harper, 1947.
The Little Old Woman Carries On. Thomas Nelson, 1947.
A Cap for Mary Ellis. New York: Harper, 1953.
Penny’s Best Summer. New York: Harper, 1954.
Mary Ellis, Student Nurse. New York: Harper, 1958.
Selections from the Little Old Woman Who Used Her Head. New York: Scholastic Book Services, 1972.
The Little Old Woman Who Used Her Head and Other Stories. Thomas Nelson, 1973.
Burke, W. J., and Will D. Howe. American Authors and Books. 1640 to the present day. 3rd revised ed. New York: Crown, 1972.
“Hope Hockenberry NEWELL.” The Gale Literary Database: Contemporary Authors Online. 1999. 5 Feb. 2002. <http://www.galenet.com>.
Marquardt, Dorothy A., and Martha E. Ward. Authors of Books for Young People. 2nd. ed. Metuchen, NJ: The Scarecrow P, Inc., 1971.
More Junior Authors. ed. Muriel Fuller. New York: The H. W. Wilson Company, 1963.
Something About the Author. ed. Anne Commire. Vol. 24. Detroit, MI: Gale Research Company, 1981.