Ann Nolan Clark
Born in Las Vegas, New Mexico in 1896, Clark graduated from New Mexico Normal School New Mexico Highlands University in Las Vegas at age 21, and married Thomas Patrick Clark on August 6, 1919. She gave birth to an only son, Thomas Patrick, Jr., who later died as a pilot in World War II.
She began her career teaching English at the Highlands University. However, in the early 1920s, she transferred to a job teaching Native American children how to read for the Tesuque pueblo people, which lasted for 25 years. Clark found that the underfunded Tesuque School couldn’t afford any substantial instructional material. In the process of teaching the children about literature, she incorporated their voices and stories to write In My Mother's House, and other books for the 1st to 4th grade one-room schoolhouse. She writes about this process, and about her travels to many parts of Central and South America, in her adult nonfiction book, Journey to the People.
Between 1940 and 1951, the United States Bureau of Indian Affairs published 15 of her books, all relating to her experiences with the Native Americans. Her book In My Mother's House, illustrated by Pueblo artist Velino Herrera, was named a Caldecott Honor book in 1942.
In 1945, the Institute for Inter-American Affairs sent Clark to live and travel for five years in Mexico, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Peru, and Brazil. Those experiences led her to write books such as Magic Money, Looking-for-Something, and Secret of the Andes, which won the 1953 Newbery Medal. In the 1940s she also wrote books for the Haskell Foundation and the Haskell Indian Nations University at Lawrence, KS; one of them " The Slim Butte Raccoon" was illustrated by Andrew Standing Soldier.
She also won the Catholic Library Association's 1963 Regina Medal, and the Bureau of Indian Affairs' 1962 Distinguished Service Award. Clark died in 1995 in Arizona, after writing 31 books which took a glance at Native American culture, mostly through the eyes of its children.
Mrs. Clark's birth family was well known in the early 20th century in her hometown of Las Vegas, New Mexico, and their home, the Nolan House, is on the National Register of Historic Places as one of the first quarry stone houses there.
- Andie Peterson (31 October 2007). A Second Look: Native Americans in Children's Books. AuthorHouse. pp. 80–81. ISBN 978-1-4343-3663-7. Retrieved 4 October 2011.
- Newbery Medal Books: 1922–1955, eds. Bertha Mahony Miller, Elinor Whitney Field, Horn Book, 1955, LOC 55-13968, p. 392.
- Smith, Jeanette (2000). Ann Nolan Clark Featured in NMSU Library Presentation.