Monica Shannon

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Monica Shannon
BornMarch 7, 1893[1][2]
Belleville, Ontario, Canada
DiedAugust 13, 1965(1965-08-13) (aged 72)
Los Angeles, California
OccupationWriter, librarian
EducationBS Library Science
GenreChildren's literature
Notable worksDobry
Notable awardsNewbery Medal
Elbert Wing
(m. 1925)

Monica G. Shannon Wing (March 7, 1893 – August 13, 1965) was a Canadian-born American children's author. Her book Dobry, published in 1934, received the Newbery Medal in 1935.


Shannon was born in Canada to Irish immigrants Patrick and Eliza Keena Shannon,[4] but moved to the United States before her first birthday. They lived in Seattle first before settling in Montana's Bitter Root Valley, where she grew up on the ranches her father supervised.[5] The stories told by her father's Bulgarian ranch-hands influenced her writing, as did her love for nature.[6] 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.[7]

Shannon moved to California and worked at the Los Angeles Public Library from 1915 to 1925,[6] and later lived at Three Rivers, California.[8]

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.[6]

Monica Shannon, who married Elbert Wing in Santa Barbara in 1925, died August 13, 1965.[6]


Dobry won the 1935 Newbery Medal for the "most distinguished contribution to American literature for children".[9]


  • 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)[10]
  • Goose Grass Rhymes (Doubleday, 1930), illus. Neva Kanaga Brown
  • Tawnymore (Doubleday, 1931), illus. Jean Charlot
  • Dobry (Viking, 1934), illus. Atanas Katchamakoff


  1. ^ "Shannon, Monica". American Women Writers: A Critical Reference Guide from Colonial Times to the Present.
  2. ^ Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014. Social Security Administration.
  3. ^ California, Biographical Index Cards, 1781-1990
  4. ^ California, Death Index, 1940-1997
  5. ^ 1900 United States Federal Census
  6. ^ a b c d Chevalier, Tracy (editor), Twentieth-Century Children's Writers, St. James Press, 1989, p. 880.
  7. ^ Bostrom, Kathleen (2003). Winning Authors: Profiles of the Newbery Medalists. Libraries Unlimited. p. 44. ISBN 9781563088773.
  8. ^ Newbery Medal Books: 1922–1955, eds. Bertha Mahony Miller, Elinor Whitney Field, Horn Book, 1955, LOC 55-13968, p. 129.
  9. ^ "Newbery Awards". Retrieved 2012-05-15. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  10. ^ Library of Congress Online Catalog.