Elizabeth Yates Amos Fortune, Free Man
Journeyman Swiss Holiday

Elizabeth Yates was born in New York State on December 6, 1905. Determined to be an author, she moved to New York City to launch her career. She worked a variety of jobs including reviewing books, writing short stories, and doing research.

She moved to England with her husband and wrote her first book, High Holiday, based on her travels in Switzerland with three English children. Elizabeth and her husband, William McGreal, returned to the U.S. in 1939 and settled in New Hampshire.

Yates won the Newbery Medal in 1951 for her book, Amos Fortune, Free Man, a biography of an African prince who is enslaved and taken to America. Yates is also known for helping others to write.

“The written word should be
Clean as a bone,
Clear as light,
Hard as stone.
Two words are not so good
As one.”

Elizabeth Yates passed away on July 29, 2001, in Concord, New Hampshire, having written more than 40 books for children.


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