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Margaret Rau (1913–) Biography - Personal, Career, Member, Honors Awards, Writings, Sidelights

york china people west

Surname rhymes with "now"; born 1913, in Swatow, Guangdong, China; Education: Studied under private tutor in China; attended University of Chicago, 1931, Columbia University, 1932, and University of Redlands, 1933–34; Riverside Library College, degree, 1934.

Career

Writer.

Member

Photographic Society of America, United States-China People's Friendship Association, National Writers Guild, Authors Guild.

Honors Awards

Notable Children's Trade Books in Social Studies Award, 1974, for Our World: The People's Republic of China, and 1981, for Red Earth, Blue Sky; Outstanding Science Books for Children Award, 1977, for Musk Oxen, Bearded Ones of the North and The Giant Panda at Home, and 1978, for The Grey Kangaroo at Home; Southern California Council on Literature for Children and Young People Award for a distinguished work of nonfiction published during 1979, for The Snow Monkey at Home.

Writings

FOR CHILDREN

Band of the Red Hand, Knopf (New York, NY), 1938.

Dawn from the West, Hawthorn (New York, NY), 1964.

The Penguin Book, Hawthorn (New York, NY), 1968.

The Yellow River, Julian Messner (New York, NY), 1969.

The Yangtze River, Julian Messner (New York, NY), 1970.

(Self-illustrated with photographs) Jimmy of Cherry Valley, Julian Messner (New York, NY), 1973.

Our World: The People's Republic of China, Julian Messner (New York, NY), 1974, revised edition, 1981.

Musk Oxen, Bearded Ones of the North, Crowell (New York, NY), 1976.

The Giant Panda at Home, Knopf (New York, NY), 1977.

The Grey Kangaroo at Home, Knopf (New York, NY), 1978.

The Snow Monkey at Home, Knopf (New York, NY), 1979.

Red Earth, Blue Sky, Crowell (New York, NY), 1981.

Young People of China, Dutton (New York, NY), 1983.

World's Scariest "True" Ghost Stories, Sterling (New York, NY), 1994.

The Ordeal of Olive Oatman: A True Story of the American West, Morgan Reynolds (Greensboro, NC), 1997, 2nd edition, 2003.

Belle of the West: The True Story of Belle Starr, Morgan Reynolds (Greensboro, NC), 2001.

The Wells Fargo Book of the Gold Rush, Atheneum Books for Young Readers (New York, NY), 2001.

The Mail Must Go Through: The Story of the Pony Express, Morgan Reynolds (Greensboro, NC), 2005.

(With Arthur Myers) Scary Stories for Campfires, Sterling (New York, NY), 2005.

Contributor of stories to books, including Scary Stories for Sleepovers, Sterling (New York, NY), 2006.

FOR ADULTS

(With husband, Neil Rau) My Father, Charlie Chaplin, Random House (New York, NY), 1960.

(With Neil Rau) Act Your Way to Successful Living, Prentice-Hall (Englewood Cliffs, NJ), 1966.

(With Neil Rau) My Dear Ones, Prentice-Hall (Englewood Cliffs, NJ), 1971.

People of New China, Julian Messner (New York, NY), 1978, revised edition, 1980.

Minority Peoples of China, Julian Messner (New York, NY), 1982.

(With Neil Rau) Holding up the Sky: Young People in China, Dutton (New York, NY), 1983.

(With Neil Rau) Young Women in China, Enslow Publishers (Hillside, NJ), 1989.

(With Neil Rau, John Macklin and Arthur Meyers) The Little Giant Book of "True" Ghost Stories, Sterling (New York, NY), 1998.

(With Neil Rau) Belle of the West: The True Story of Belle Starr, Morgan Reynolds (Greensboro, NC), 2001.

(With Neil Rau) The Wells Fargo Book of the Gold Rush, Atheneum Books for Young Readers (New York, NY), 2001.

Author of six-part film strip series covering ancient and modern China, Activity Records, 1977; collaborator with husband on material used by Norman Lear for film, "Cold Turkey," United Artists, 1972. Also author of pamphlets on China. Contributor to periodicals, including Parents' and Cricket.

Sidelights

Raised in China, Margaret Rau has dedicated much of her writing to sharing her love with that region with American readers in books such as The Yangtze River, Our World: The People's Republic of China, and Young People of China. Her more recent books for young readers reflect Rau's other interest: the history of the American west. In The Mail Must Go Through: The Story of the Pony Express she spins what Booklist reviewer Carolyn Phelan dubbed a "lively history" of the mail service that linked the highly populated east coast with those enterprising Americans who had moved west to settle in California in the mid-1800s. Including period photographs and other images of the well-known Pony Express, the book was praised as "a lively, well-written volume" by Patricia Ann Owens in School Library Journal, while in Booklist Randy Meyer described it as "thoroughly detailed" and noted that readers will "gain a rich understanding" of the social and political changes caused by the gold rush. Other books include the biographies Belle of the West: The True Story of Belle Starr and The Ordeal of Olive Oatman: A True Story of the American West, the latter a "well-written, highly atmospheric biography" about a young teen who lived as a captive of a Native American tribe for six years according to Booklist contributor Jean Franklin.

Rau once told CA: "I grew up in China where I spoke Chinese for four years before learning English. I have always felt a deep and abiding love for the countryside in which I grew up and for the people among whom I found myself. Now, with China taking a new and ever-Olive Oatman's life with Apache and Mohave natives during the six years following her family's brutal murder at the hands of attacking Apache in 1851 is the focus of Rau's 1997 account.growing role in the modern world, I feel it imperative that our young people know something about this great country and the Chinese—their aims, dreams and hopes.

"In 1974 I paid a visit to the People's Republic of China. I returned again in 1978, 1979, 1980 and 1982. I have also spent ten months in Australia—where I gathered material for my kangaroo book and my Red Earth, Blue Sky about the Australian outback—and have traveled in New England, Fiji, Japan, Europe, and the [former] Soviet Union."

Biographical and Critical Sources

PERIODICALS

Booklist, September 1, 1997, Jean Franklin, review of The Ordeal of Olive Oatman: A True Story of the American West, p. 71; May 1, 2001, GraceAnne A. DeCandido, review of Belle of the West: The True Story of Belle Starr, p. 1673; July, 2001, Randy Meyer, review of The Wells Fargo Book of the Gold Rush, p. 1996; June 1, 2005, Carolyn Phelan, review of The Mail Must Go Through: The Story of the Pony Express, p. 1772.

Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, June, 2001, review of The Wells Fargo Book of the Gold Rush, p. 384.

School Library Journal, June, 2001, Coop Renner, review of The Wells Fargo Book of the Gold Rush, and Patricia Ann Owens, review of Belle of the West, p. 178; October, 2005, Patricia Ann Owens, review of The Mail Must Go Through, p. 194.

Voice of Youth Advocates, December, 1997, review of The Ordeal of Olive Oatman, p. 337.

Washington Post Book World, January 13, 1980.

Elizabeth Raum (1949-) Biography - Personal, Career, Member, Writings, Work in Progress, Sidelights [next] [back] Dana Meachen Rau (1971–) Biography - Personal, Career, Member, Honors Awards, Writings, Sidelights

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