Monica Shannon

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Born 1890
Belleville, Ontario, Canada
Died August 13, 1965
Occupation Writer, librarian
Education BS Library Science
Period 1925–1960
Genre Children's literature
Notable works Dobry
Notable awards Newbery Medal

Monica Shannon (1890–1965) was a Canadian-born American children's author. Her book, Dobry, published in 1934, received the Newbery Medal.


Shannon moved to the United States before her first birthday. She grew up on ranches in the American west. The stories told by her father's Bulgarian ranch-hands influenced her writing, as did her love for nature.[1] Even as a child Shannon's writing reflected her love for nature and the shepherds on her family's ranch. For one elementary school assignment to write about her favorite Bible character, Shannon chose Joseph of the Old Testament, who was a shepherd as a young boy. The story so impressed her teacher that Shannon won a special award for it.[2] Shannon worked at the Los Angeles Public Library from 1915 to 1925.[1] She lived at Three Rivers, California.[3]

Shannon's first book, California Fairy Tales, was published by Doubleday in 1926. It includes stories from the US, Spain, and Ireland. Dobry was published in 1934. It tells the story of a young peasant boy who longs to be a sculptor. Dobry's father is dead, and his mother wants him to work the land. His grandfather, however, supports his dream and encourages him to follow his dreams. Some of Dobry's experiences come from the life of Atanas Katchamakoff, the Bulgarian-born sculptor who illustrated the book.[1]

Monica Shannon died August 13, 1965.[1]


Dobry won the 1935 Newbery Medal for the "most distinguished contribution to American literature for children".[4]


  • California in Print (Los Angeles Public Library, 1919)
  • California Fairy Tales (Doubleday, 1926), illustrated by C. E. Millard
  • Eyes for the Dark (Doubleday, 1928), illus. Millard
Reissued as More Stories from California (1935)[5]
  • Goose Grass Rhymes (Doubleday, 1930), illus. Neva Kanaga Brown
  • Tawnymore (Doubleday, 1931), illus. Jean Charlot
  • Dobry (Viking, 1934), illus. Atanas Katchamakoff

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Chevalier, Tracy (editor), Twentieth-Century Children's Writers, St. James Press, 1989, p. 880.
  2. ^ Bostrom, Kathleen (2003). Winning Authors: Profiles of the Newbery Medalists. Libraries Unlimited. p. 44. ISBN 9781563088773. 
  3. ^ Newbery Medal Books: 1922–1955, eds. Bertha Mahony Miller, Elinor Whitney Field, Horn Book, 1955, LOC 55-13968, p. 129.
  4. ^ "Newbery Awards". Retrieved 2012-05-15. 
  5. ^ Library of Congress Online Catalog.

External links[edit]