Cameron and Leonard Wibberley in 1965
|Born||Eleanor Frances Butler
March 23, 1912
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
|Died||October 11, 1996
Monterey, California, USA
Eleanor Frances (Butler) Cameron (1912–1996) was a Canadian children's author. Her first book was a novel for adults, The Unheard Music (1950). For The Court of the Stone Children (1973), she won the U.S. National Book Award in category Children's Books
Eleanor Cameron was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba in Canada on March 23, 1912. Her family moved to Ohio when she was 3 years old, but she lived most of her life in California. Her parents moved to Berkeley, California early in her life. She then lived in Los Angeles until she married Ian Cameron. She then moved to Pebble Beach, California, where she lived for the rest of her life. Cameron studied at UCLA and the Art Center School of Los Angeles. She joined the Los Angeles Public Library in 1930 and later worked as a research librarian for advertising agencies and other Los Angeles-based companies. Her first book, The Unheard Music, was based on her experience as a librarian and was positively received. Cameron did not turn to writing children's books until her two sons asked her to write space stories. Her first release, The Wonderful Flight to the Mushroom Planet (1954), would be a classic, spawning five sequels.
From October 1972 to October 1973 a controversy spawned by Cameron over Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory embroiled the pages of The Horn Book Magazine. Due to her criticisms of the book, labeled by Cameron as "sadistic" and "phony", and the agreement of fellow children's author Ursula K. LeGuin, Charlie was revised by Dahl's publisher Knopf to turn the Oompa-Loompas from the abused, half-naked, African pygmy slaves into their current incarnation as dwarves of mysterious origin whom Willy Wonka adores. Since 1992 Super-Con-Duck-Tivity has presented the Eleanor Cameron Award for Middle Grades, one of its three annual Golden Duck Awards for Excellence in Children's Science Fiction, to the author of an English-language novel written for elementary school children (grades 2 to 6). It is funded largely by DucKon, a yearly science fiction convention in the Chicago region. At the time of her death, her residence was in Pebble Beach, California. She died in a hospice in Monterey, California on October 11, 1996 at the age of 84. Besides winning the National Book Award for Young People's Literature, Cameron's other awards included National Book Award runner-up in 1976 for To the Green Mountains and the Kerlan Award in 1985 for her body of work.
Mushroom Planet series
The Mushroom Planet novels are set on Earth and on its tiny, habitable second moon—in orbit 50,000 miles above the planet but invisible to Earth telescopes without a special filter. The "Mushroom Planet" is covered in various types of mushrooms and is populated by small green people, some of whom have emigrated to Earth.
- The Wonderful Flight to the Mushroom Planet (1954)
- Stowaway to the Mushroom Planet (1956)
- Mr. Bass's Planetoid (1958)
- A Mystery for Mr. Bass (1960)
- Jewels from the Moon and the Meteor That Couldn't Stay (1964)
- Time and Mr. Bass (1967)
Julia Redfern series
- A Room Made of Windows (1971)
- Julia and the Hand of God (1977)
- That Julia Redfern (1982)
- Julia's Magic (1984)
- The Private Worlds of Julia Redfern (1989)
- The Unheard Music. 1950.
- The Terrible Churnadryne. 1959.
- The Mysterious Christmas Shell. 1961.
- The Beast With the Magical Horn. 1963.
- A Spell is Cast. 1964.
- The Green and Burning Tree: On the Writing and Enjoyment of Children's Books. 1969.
- The Court of the Stone Children. 1973.
- To the Green Mountains. 1975.
- Beyond Silence. 1980
- The Seed and the Vision: On the Writing and Appreciation of Children's Books. 1993.
- "Eleanor Cameron". Old Children's Books. Retrieved 2012-02-08. (Biography with annotated bibliography at online bookseller.)
- "National Book Awards – 1974". National Book Foundation. Retrieved 2012-02-27.
- "Golden Duck Awards". Super-Con-Duck-Tivity (goldenduck.com). Retrieved 2013-11-23.
- "Eleanor F. Cameron, 84, Children's Author" (obituary). The Times. October 15, 1996.  Retrieved 2011-10-28.
- Eleanor Cameron at the Internet Book List
- Eleanor Cameron at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database
- Eleanor Cameron at Library of Congress Authorities, with 26 catalog records