Lilian Garis

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Lilian Garis
Lilian Garis.jpg
BornLilian C. McNamara
(1873-10-20)October 20, 1873
DiedApril 19, 1954(1954-04-19) (aged 80)
Newark, New Jersey
Pen nameMargaret Penrose
Laura Lee Hope
Occupationnovelist, juvenile fiction writer
Genrejuvenile fiction
Notable worksMelody Lane series
Girl Scouts series
SpouseHoward R. Garis
ChildrenRoger Garis, Cleo F. Garis

Lilian C. Garis , born Lilian C. McNamara (20 October 1873 – 19 April 1954) was an American author who wrote hundreds of books of juvenile fiction between around 1915 and the early 1940s. Prior to this, she was a reporter for the Newark Evening News in New Jersey. Garis and her husband, Howard R. Garis, were possibly the most prolific children's authors of the early 20th century.


For the Stratemeyer Syndicate she wrote under the pseudonym Margaret Penrose and Laura Lee Hope, with her works including some of the earliest books in the Bobbsey Twins series[1] as well as the Dorothy Dale series. But Mrs. Garis also wrote some books under her own name. Her husband, Howard Roger Garis was also a Syndicate writer and DJ on WNJR. Her children Roger and Cleo also wrote juvenile fiction.

Bibliography of titles written under Garis' name[edit]

Let's Make Believe series[edit]

First published by R. F. Fenno; also by Donohue

  • Let's Make Believe We're Keeping House
  • Let's Play Circus
  • Let's Make Believe We're Soldiers

The Girl Scouts series[edit]

  • The Girl Scout Pioneers
  • The Girl Scouts at Bellaire
  • The Girl Scouts at Sea Crest
  • The Girl Scouts at Camp Comalong
  • The Girl Scouts at Rocky Ledge

Nancy Brandon set[edit]

Originally printed by Milton Bradley. Then by Grosset & Dunlap and Whitman

  • Nancy Brandon, Enthusiast (Milton Bradley's original title; renamed Nancy Brandon by Grosset & Dunlap)
  • Nancy Brandon's Mystery

Barbara Hale set[edit]

  • Barbara Hale (renamed Barbara Hale: A Doctor's Daughter)
  • Barbara Hale's Mystery Friend (renamed Barbara Hale: and Cozette)

Ted set[edit]

  • A Girl Named Ted
  • Ted and Tony

Cleo set[edit]

  • Cleo's Conquest
  • Cleo's Misty Rainbow

Connie Loring set[edit]

  • Connie Loring's Dilemma (renamed later)
  • Connie Loring's Ambition (renamed later)

Judy Jordon set[edit]

  • Judy Jordon
  • Judy Jordon's Discovery

Sally set[edit]

  • Sally for Short
  • Sally Found Out

Gloria set[edit]

  • Gloria at Boarding School
  • Gloria: A Girl and Her Dad

Joan set[edit]

  • Joan: Just a Girl
  • Joan's Garden of Adventure

Melody Lane series[edit]

Two versions were printed of the first six books, one with cover art by Ruth King and one by Pelagie Doane (best known for her work on the Judy Bolton series). The series follows Carol Duncan and her sister and friends as they solve mysteries around Melody Lane. The events they encounter are standard series book fare of the time-period; and are often criticized for their dated writing style and slow-moving plots.

  • The Ghost of Melody Lane (1933)
  • The Forbidden Trail (1933)
  • The Tower Secret (1934)
  • The Wild Warning (1934)
  • Terror at Moaning Cliff (1935)
  • The Dragon Of The Hills (1936)
  • 'The mystery of Stingman's Alley (1938)
  • Secret of the Kashmir Shawl (1939)
  • The Hermit of Proud Hill (1940)
  • The Clue of the Crooked Key Listed as the next title in the series in "The Hermit of Proud Hill". Never published and unknown if this book was ever written.


  1. ^ Grimes, William. "Down the Halls of a Wonder House, the Mirrors Cracked", The New York Times, July 18, 2007. Accessed November 6, 2007. "They made a mighty team: Howard and Lilian Garis, who met as journalists in the early years of the century, turned out hundreds of Tom Swift and Bobbsey Twins titles for the Stratemeyer syndicate before Howard struck it rich with Uncle Wiggily."

External links[edit]