Florence Atwater

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General Information

Name: Florence Atwater

Pen Name: Florence Hasseltine Carroll Atwater, Florence Hasseltine Atwater

Genres: Fiction

Born: 1889

Died: 1979

Illinois Connection

Atwater attended the University of Chicago and studied French Literature.

Biographical and Professional Information

Florence Atwater was married to the author Richard Atwater. Mr. Atwater originally wrote a form of Mr. Popper's Penguins to be a fantasy book. It was much enjoyed by his daughters but he set it aside, not happy with it.

In 1934, Mr. Atwater suffered a stroke and, though he survived till 1948, he never recovered sufficiently to write again. To help support the family, Florence Atwater wrote a number of articles for the New Yorker and The Atlantic. Looking for ways to make additional income she went back to Atwater's original manuscript and took it to a couple of publishers. Both rejected it.

She reviewed the script and rewrote the beginning and the end, counterbalancing the fantasy with a story line that accentuated practical consequences. This revised version, illustrated by the Robert Lawson, received a much more positive reception from publishers and Mr. Popper's Penguins was published in 1938 to immediate acclaim. It won a 1939 Newberry Honor and has been in print ever since.

Published Works

Mr. Popper's Penguins, Little Brown, 1938 - written with her husband, Richard Atwater

Titles at Your Library

Mr. Popper's Penguins

ISBN: 0316058432
Release Date: 1992-11-02

Find on World Cat

Literary Awards

Mr. Popper's Penguins

  • Newbery Honor Book, American Library Association, 1939
  • Young Reader's Choice Award, Pacific Northwest Library Association, 1941
  • Lewis Carroll Shelf Award
  • New York Public Library's 100 Great Children's Books/100 Years

External Links

Florence Atwater on WorldCat


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