Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Sterling North  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Fiction

Audience: Young Adult; Children;

Born: 1906 in Edgerton, Wisconsin

Died: December 21, 1974 in Morristown, New Jersey

-- Sterling North on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection

North attended the University of Chicago and worked at the Chicago Daily News from 1929 to 1943.

Biographical and Professional Information

Sterling North was born Thomas Sterling North. He was a prolific writer of short stories, poetry, biography and novels. After graduating from Edgerton High School, North worked his way through attending the University of Chicago and began his writing career. He wrote for many papers and magazines, including New York World-Telegram, the New York Sun, Reader's Digest, The Atlantic, Esquire, and Holiday. After leaving the University of Chicago, North worked as a reporter at the Chicago Daily News, eventually moving up to work as the literary editor. In 1957, he became the general editor of Houghton Mifflin's North Star Books. He also had two of his books made into major motion pictures by Walt Disney - ''Rascal'', his autobiographical story about raising a raccoon, in 1969 and ''So Dear to My Heart'' in 1949 which also garnered the an Academy Award nomination for best song: ''Lavender Blue'', sung by Burl Ives.

Published Works

  • The Pedro Gorino, Houghton Mifflin, 1929 - written with Captain Harry Dean
  • Midsummer Madness, Grosset and Dunlap, 1933
  • Tiger, Reilly and Lee, 1933
  • Plowing on Sunday, 1934
  • Five Little Bears, Random House, 1935
  • So Red the Nose, or, Breath in the Afternoon, Farrar and Rinehart, 1935
  • Night Outlasts the Whippoorwill, 1936
  • The Zipper ABC Book, Rand McNally, 1937
  • Seven Against the Years, 1939
  • Greased Lightning, Winston, 1940
  • Midnight and Jeremiah, Winston, 1943
  • So Dear to My Heart, Doubleday, 1947
  • The Runaway Lamb at the County Fair, Grosset and Dunlap, 1949
  • The Birthday of Little Jesus, Grosset, 1952
  • Reunion on the Wabash, Doubleday, 1952
  • Son of the Lamp Maker: The Story of the Boy Who Knew Jesus, Rand McNally, 1956
  • Abe Lincoln: Log Cabin to the White House, 1956
  • George Washington: Frontier Colonel, Random House, 1957
  • Young Thomas Edison, Houghton Mifflin, 1958
  • Thoreau of Walden Pond, Houghton Mifflin, 1959
  • Captured by the Mohawks, 1960
  • Mark Twain and the River, Houghton Mifflin, 1961
  • Mark Twain goes West, Houghton Mifflin, 1962
  • The First Steamboat on the Mississippi, Houghton, 1962
  • Rascal: A Memoir of a Better Era, Dutton, 1963
  • Little Rascal, Dutton, 1965
  • Raccoons Are the Brightest People, Dutton, 1966
  • Hurry, Spring!, Dutton, 1966
  • The Wolfing, 1969

Selected Titles At Your Library

George Washington :
ISBN: 0760352291. OCLC Number:

Voyageur Press,. Minneapolis :. ©2016.

The early life of George Washington in a new, illustrated edition of the classic biography by Sterling North.

Young Thomas Edison.
ISBN: 0142412104. OCLC Number:

Puffin Books,. [New York] :. 2009.

"Unable to hear, Thomas Edison seemed unlikely to become one of America's greatest inventors, but he wasn't about to let a minor obstacle stop him. As a young man he invented the phonograph, the incandescent light, and motion pictures, to name three of his many important inventions."--Publisher's description.

Mark Twain and the river /
ISBN: 014241235X. OCLC Number:

Puffin Books,. New York :. 2009.

Trace Mark Twain's life from 1835, when his birth was heralded by Halley's Comet, to 1910, when the comet returned upon his death, in this biography by Newbery Honor author Sterling North.

Rascal :
ISBN: 0140344454. OCLC Number:

E.P. Dutton,. New York :. ©1963.

The author's carefree life in a small midwestern town at the close of World War I, and his adventures with his pet raccoon, Rascal.



  • Newbery Honor, 1964
  • Sequoyah Book Award, 1966
  • Young Reader's Choice Award, 1966
  • Over 2.5 million copies sold